Anyone who has ever looked through the beverage section at Whole Foods is probably at least familiar with Kombucha. While this homeopathic tea has been around for centuries--especially in China and Russia--it's made a popular commercial resurgence in health food stores and even many mainstream supermarkets. Kombucha claims to have many health benefits, including digestive.
Kombucha is a tea brewed with a special mixture of bacteria and yeast which clump together and form a white, flat "pancake" sometimes referred to as a mushroom. While it's no fungus, it is very much alive and facilitates a fermentation process. The naturally carbonated drink it forms contains "probiotics" or bacteria and yeast which are considered to be at least harmless if not healthy for you.
Kombucha users and product sellers and distributors claim it regulates high blood pressure, repopulates your digestive tract with healthy bacteria (aka probiotics), regulates blood sugar levels, helps ease hormonal problems and metabolic disorders, eases digestive complaints from the esophagus to the large bowel, improves immunity, lowers cholesterol, and decreases inflammation, which in turn helps with arthritis, acne, and other inflammatory conditions.
Dr. Brent A. Bauer, Internist at the Mayo Clinic points out that there are no published human studies on Kombucha. Most of the "evidence" behind Kombucha is from patient reports and some animal studies. But modern medicine hasn't been able to show Kombucha as particularly effective or helpful to acid reflux. However, Bauer admits that doesn't mean it doesn't help; it just doesn't mean that it does. Sites such as seedsofhealth.co.uk claim that the Butyric acid and Lactic acid contents have strong digestive benefits.
Take Kombucha for acid reflux at your own risk. No one can say for certain that it will or won't work. However, a few things to consider. Acid reflux has many causes. Digestive upsets may be more prone to relief from Kombucha. However, Kombucha may not cure a peptic ulcer caused which is caused by a bacterial infection and which often needs other help to heal. Acid reflux can also stem from stomach cancer, mild heart attacks and other more serious issues. You may want to know the cause of your acid reflux before deciding if you want to try Kombucha.
Also, the FDA warns about the safety of homemade Kombucha, saying that it is often brewed in non-sterile conditions and that the brews can become toxic when not properly prepared. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic warns about using ceramic pots when making Kombucha as ceramics may have lead which can then seep into the tea. Lead poisoning may result. When seeking to treat your acid reflux with Kombucha or with anything, it's always wise to consult your physician.
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