Can kombucha tea relieve arthritis? Can it help with other types of chronic pain? The answer is “yes,” if you listen to the chorus of kombucha enthusiasts.
However, many mainstream doctors say “no.” In fact, they may even warn against drinking kombucha, despite the fact it’s been consumed for centuries in Asia. Actually, the Chinese have a nickname for kombucha. They call it “The Immortal Health Elixir.”
A number of natural health experts, including Dr. Josh Axe, DC, believe kombucha has “tremendous health benefits. (You can find this information on his blog. See link below.)
Kombucha Tea for Arthritis
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Kombucha tea is made from black tea and sugar. Bacteria and yeast are introduced. The tea is then aged. The end result is a fermented vinegar-like beverage. It contains natural B-complex vitamins and enzymes.
However, kombucha has its detractors. One is the Mayo Clinic. Its website warns against the possibility of making kombucha in lead vessels. It says “the prudent” approach is to avoid drinking kombucha “until more definitive information is available.”
By “more information,” the Mayo Clinic is likely referring to clinical trials. This would involve following two groups of people. One group would consume kombucha, in some form. The other group would receive a placebo. If the kombucha group reported a decrease in symptoms, this would be indicative of a health benefit. The study authors would then invariably conclude, “more research is needed.”
Studies on Kombucha Tea
Don’t get me wrong. I love studies. I cite them often. That’s because they’re the gold standard of proof. But, as a former medical writer, I’m aware of their limitations. The medical profession is closely aligned with the pharmaceutical industry. So many studies are designed around drugs. There’s little financial incentive to research a natural remedy, such as kombucha.
Also, studies are limited by their design. If a study is poorly designed, the results are misleading. So I refer to studies. But I don’t live and die by them. If a natural remedy has a long history of use, this factors into my decision whether or not to use it.
Is Kombucha Tea Good for Arthritis?
The Mayo Clinic is 100 percent correct in stating that research on kombucha tea is “limited.” However, it did note that, “The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds.”
Risks of Kombucha Tea
Also, according to the Mayo article, “limited evidence suggests kombucha tea may offer benefits similar to probiotic supplements, including promoting a healthy immune system and preventing constipation. At present, however, valid medical studies of kombucha tea’s role in human health are very limited — and there are risks to consider.”
The Mayo report stated this can include “stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions.” It also stressed the potential problem of brewing kombucha, a fermented drink, under unsanitary conditions. The clinic expressed concern that kombucha could be stored in a lead-contaminated vessel.
Kombucha Tea and Joint Pain
I did an internet search for studies on kombucha and arthritis. I wasn’t able to find any. This means there’s no scientific proof that kombucha can help arthritis. However, it rule out potential benefits. It just means the research isn’t there, at least not yet.
I need to stress that I’m not a doctor. I can’t give medical advice. I can’t recommend that you start drinking kombucha. I can’t promise that kombucha will help you. However, I can share my personal experience of using natural remedies for pain. I can also pass along other published information on kombucha.
Kombucha Tea for Chronic Pain
Dr. Josh Axe, DC is one of my favorite natural health authorities. He has a blog post called 7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Everyday. (I link to this post below.) As you can probably guess, by the title of his post, Dr. Axe is a big fan of kombucha. He believes this drink works like a probiotic to support a healthy digestive tract.
Having a healthy digestive system, in turn, will help your immune system, according to Dr. Axe. Like many other holistic practitioners, Dr. Axe believes that a healthy gut means a healthy body.
Kombucha Tea For Joint Pain
I have widespread body pain. This has responded well to natural remedies. I’ve also changed my diet, with the idea of reducing excess inflammation. A certain level of inflammation is normal. However, not when it kicks into overdrive. If you suffer from chronic pain, you also have chronic inflammation.
Nowadays, my pain is negligible. It used to be off the charts. I don’t take drugs. Instead, I use various herbal remedies. I’m always looking for something new. I need to rotate my remedies. Otherwise, they stop working. Once they stop working, I need to take a break and try something else. That, when enough time passes, I can use the remedy again. So that’s why I’m always interested in new remedies.
Kombucha Tea and Joint Pain
I’ve never tried kombucha. But it’s on my list. You can either buy kombucha tea that’s ready to drink. Or you can buy kits to make your own. (I plan to order organic ready-to-drink kombucha.)
Part of my recovery from chronic pain has involved avoiding genetically modified foods. GMO’s have been shown to cause cancer in lab rats. They’ve also been linked to stomach inflammation in animals. Kombucha is made from sugar. But much of the sugar sold in the United States is genetically modified. So I’d definitely want to get kombucha tea that’s USDA certified organic. This means it can’t be made from genetically modified sugar.
Where to Find Organic Kombucha
However, I couldn’t find organic ready-to-drink kombucha that was highly rated. (At least this was for tea packaged in glass bottles.) I did find organic kombucha in a tin can. But this is something I can’t recommend, due to concerns about potential leaching. Aluminum is a toxic heavy metal that doesn’t belong in our body.
I did find non-organic kombucha in a bottle. But, because it could contain GMOs, I won’t drink it myself. So I can’t recommend it to my readers. I’m hoping someone will start to sell high-quality ready-to-drink organic kombucha in a bottle. Until then, I’m holding off. If I find good organic kombucha, I’ll update this post. So check back. Meanwhile, here’s some information on how to make your own kombucha with a kit that contains organic sugar.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should talk to their doctor before drinking kombucha tea. People with health concerns or chronic illness should ask their doctor before drinking kombucha tea.