Saturday, July 2, 2011

Detox Caution: Kombucha is Powerful Stuff

I took a long break from brewing and made a batch about three weeks ago with green tea. It was awesome! I love green tea; it is light, fizzy and very much like a vino verde wine to me without the "wine." It was so good, I immediately made up two more gallons and they are sitting now.

I was on my way to work one morning and grabbed the 26 oz jar of Kombucha that I put in the fridge. I drank as I worked and soon enough the jar was empty. I've had an occasional store bought kombucha in between my own brews, but I hadn't consumed much in some time.

Three days later, I feel like I am getting a cold. My eyes are burning, I am exhausted, my nose is stuffy and I have a major, serious headache. I rest, drink lots of water, and take my usual cold remedies, but this doesn't feel like my normal cold symptoms. It feels worse, but also not like a cold. Hard to explain, but I know what it feels like to be getting a cold and I know how to kicks its ass before it takes me down. This, was different.

Laying in bed, feeling bad,  I realized that I'd had this feeling before. A few years ago I was brewing kefir and drinking a lot of it. I felt like I was getting sick five or six times that winter, with similar symptoms and after some research, I discovered that kefir, like kombucha, is a powerful detoxifer. I read up on detox illness and quit consuming.

My symptoms went away and I quit getting "sick." I decided that kefir was some serious stuff and I needed to drink it with caution.

Well, it occurred to me that downing an entire 26 oz of kombucha without some prep for my body could certainly have the same effect. I was detoxing in a way that made me feel like crap! Actually, I don't so much see it as detoxing,  as an attack my body with an army of probiotics. My body had no preparation.

So, what do I take away from this? If you are brewing kombucha, start drinking slow. I seriously wouldn't drink much more than 4- 8oz a day for three or four days; maybe a week. I'm no doctor and don't play one on TV, but my experience says that you need to introduce this powerful and yummy stuff carefully.

I have read on some other sites about folks having detox illness/effects, but I don't think this is cause for alarm. The deal is, you have to give your body time to adjust to the powerful stuff in there. So, word to the wise new brewers, don't slam your first batch down in one sitting!


Anonymous said...

Is there any way I could get a scoby? If so where would I find it? I am in Austin only until tomorrow afternoon.

Dot Connector said...

I'd be happy to share one, but am out of pocket until late afternoon. Check craigslist in your town. I bought one for $10 once (got thee for one cause I'm nice) after accidently drying out a batch.

Good luck!

lilbox said...

Hey, your blog is fantastic, thanks for writing about kombucha! I want to start making my own, can I buy a Scoby from you? ~ Lauren

Leslie/ Kombuchick Inc said...

Yea! I tell my customers @ my kombucha/ juice bar to get a bottle or just take the sample cup, sip on it slowwwly (the bottle obvi not the sample cup) then come back and buy more in a few days when they see how they handle it.

I also recommend they drink with plenty of water! :)

They love it and especially are digging the new pumpkin chai blend and spiced asian pear blend I introduced for fall!

Cheers! I love your writing style and this article really resonates with me...this week I started green juicing after a few years on a SAD yet vegetarian diet....and i developed flu-like symptoms but WASNT the flu; so I'm slowing down some on the health- food overhaul. I am even contemplating fasting for a day, then re-introducing myself to a high- raw foods vegan diet. I ultimately want to return to a high- raw vegan diet; but baby steps; baaaaby steps.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, just moved to austin from montreal, where i had kombucha going... but its not the sort of thing you can bring through an airport... so! i am looking for mother, could you help me out and/or point me in the right direction? would GREATLY appreciate it, and would love to return the favor in some way, thanks!!!!! email me or text 512 363 3146 ERICA
PS: ill also check craigs list as you suggested to the last person, but yeah, if you can help me out please let me know!..

Kefir said...

Get your kits from
they are awesome

Michele said...

I just started making my own Kombucha and my first batch was great! But I want to do some flavors because my husband is wanting to do it now too -- so I have 3 1/2 gallons brewing now! So my question is -- I want to add ginger to it along with blueberries, and was reading about making ginger tea by steeping it after peeling and slicing the ginger root up.

I'd been drinking the GT gingerberry and have been feeling better and I think the combination of the ginger, the berries and the kombucha are the key! I have chronic fatigue which causes inflammation. I'm also losing weight because i'm not craving sugar and have cut out a lot of sugar out of my diet. So I'm feeling better!

I just stumbled acrossed your blog and love it! Have it bookmarked now and look forward to reading more! Happy brewing!

Christopher Powell said...

This stuff is great! I'm on my third batch as a novice kombucha brewer. My first batch molded up because I did not seal it properly. What a waste of yerba mate and sugar!

I put alkaline drops in the water when brewing.

Being cautious, my second brew was much smaller, about a half gallon size and turned out very strong but also sweet enough to make it bearable.

Remember not to add fruits or flavors until bottling time to prevent mold and other bad reactions.

I'm going to use kombucha in conjunction with blue green algae and probiotic superfoods for the rest of the year to see what happens.

Anonymous said...

you can make your tea mix and add a bottle of the High Country plain kombucha. High Country has the original line of bacteria that isn't compromised or changes via GMO or hybridization.

Unknown said...

How can I put blue algae in my homemade kombucha?

Nathalie Beaupre said...

Hi Kombucha Girl, I source you in my kombucha post!!! Happy New Year to you <3

Kombucha Tea Lovers said...

We love mixing scobys with powerful anti cancers and extractions such as Chaga! Imagine the health system charging for a cancer preventative as powerful as one such as a tea containing Beta D Clucan Polysacharrides!!! No chance! Because they would have to criminialize chaga! lol

Anonymous said...

You can also grow one from a bottle of unflavored raw kombucha, it'll just take a bit longer.

Charlotte O'Dea said...

Ants are attracted to my continuous brew kombucha tea. Can I put it in the fridge to keep them away? They like the tea better than the ant traps. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Re: The ant problem. A couple of years ago our kitchen was invaded by ants, so I went online and found a great, non-toxic answer to the problem. It's also very easy, very inexpensive, and you probably already have everything you need. The steps are: 1) Find the entry-point for the ants and smear clear vaseline around it. You also can smear vaseline barriers around pantries, etc., if you want, but it might not be necessary. It usually dries clear. Thing is, ants won't cross a vaseline barrier at all. 2) Use a soap-water mixture in a spray bottle to zap any ants still in the house, unless you want to catch them individually and put them outside. 3) Wipe down their trail with soapy water to destroy their navigational markers. Finally, 4) if you know where their ant-hill is, outside, sprinkle used coffee grounds around it. Caffeine confuses the ant's navigational ability so that they can't find their way back to food sources. After several applications, the ant activity will be greatly reduced, or they may move off altogether. The interesting thing about this approach is that I didn't have to start over the next year - it's still working.

Jean Piere Delima said...

I'd like to thank this website for giving a step by step guide on how to brew Kombucha from home. We are slowly growing our small brewery here in Cebu Philippines and it's good that we get some tips from these kinds of website. For people in Philippines reading this blog, please check us out at we brew the best Kombucha in Cebu and we ship anywhere in the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

I did recently start kombucha with no real expectations. My dose was about four ounces a day. On the fourth day I was bedridden with pain in the uterine area. It felt like labor pains were at about 5cm. The next morning my urine was brown and pain was slowly lessening for a week or so till gone. Even my husband says my body is less puffy in the area beneath the belly button.

At fifty six years old I'm near the age other women in my family have had hysterectomies. Pap smears have been clean too. Could this really have been a detox of that area and a problem avoided? I've searched the internet and not found anyone having that strong of a response to kombucha. I'm a devoted fan now and plan to use it the rest of my life.

Kombucha starter kit said...

Looks like you have been taking a break from the Kombucha blog. Are you still brewing it yourself? What are the latest flavorings that you like to use? I wrote about the Kombucha starter kits on my blog, but I still haven't brewed myself yet. I'll be trying it out in the near future. I didn't realize you could get cold-like symptoms if you drink too much, so I appreciate the tip.