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Kombucha is a fermented tea drink made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (aka a “SCOBY”) and it’s all the rage right now. The effervescent ‘booch is loaded with probiotics that have a positive effect on your gut, brain, and overall health.

Probiotics can be used to support a healthy digestive system and to help prevent and treat symptoms of diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Studies have shown that our gut is also linked to our brain — what’s deemed the gut-brain axis. Gut microbiota interacts with the central nervous system, regulates brain chemistry, and affects neuroendocrine systems connected with stress and memory function.

Certain probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are found in fermented foods and beverages like kombucha, may help ease symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress while improving mood.

Kombucha benefits

  • balances gut bacteria with probiotics
  • may help ease depression, stress, and anxiety
  • helps support a healthy digestive system
  • can prevent cancer risk

With all these benefits, we can’t see any reason not to sip kombucha daily.

If store-bought kombucha is getting expensive, try stretching your bubbly brew further by crafting kombucha mocktails with added juices.

Try it: To make a refreshing kombucha spritzer or mocktail, combine kombucha with sparkling water, fresh citrus juice, fruit, and herbs in your favorite combinations. The possibilities of this fruity, gut-healthy drink are endless.

Recipe for Kombucha Mocktail

Tasty combinations:

  • Lemon Lavender: lavender kombucha, lemon sparkling water, fresh lemon juice, and dried lavender
  • Cranberry Lime: cranberry kombucha, lime sparkling water, fresh lime juice, and lime wedges
  • Tropical: mango or passion fruit kombucha, lime sparkling water, fresh orange juice, and mint

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. kombucha (any flavor)
  • 4 oz. sparkling water, such as La Croix (any flavor)
  • 1–2 oz. fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh herbs, such as lemon balm, mint, lavender, or basil
  • fresh fruit, optional

Directions

  1. Pour kombucha in a glass and top with the sparkling water. Stir in fresh citrus juice and herbs of choice.
  2. Garnish with sliced or chopped fresh fruit.

Dosage: Drink one to two 8-ounce servings of kombucha a day and feel the effects after a few weeks.

Possible side effects of kombucha Kombucha doesn’t have serious side effects, but consuming large amounts may cause bloating, diarrhea, and headaches. Kombucha is unpasteurized and contains alcohol, so pregnant women and people with weak immune systems should avoid drinking it. Rarely, it can cause serious allergic reactions, jaundice, or even death.

Always check with your doctor before adding anything to your everyday routine to figure out what’s best for you and your individual health. While kombucha is generally safe to consume, drinking too much (more than 12 to 16 ounces) in a day could be harmful.


Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.