Kombucha tea


kombucha tea

Kombucha - the Facts!

Some of the other names for Kombucha: Cajnogo griba, Cajnyj kvas, Combou Chai, Elixir de longue vie, Japanese sponge, Jponskij grib, K'un- Pu-ch'a, Kargasok Pilz, Manchurian Tea Elixir, Olinka, Symbiont Schizosaccharomyces Pombe, Tea Beer, Teewein, Yapnge

The origin of the Kombucha culture is mysterious! No-one knows where it comes from and it can't be found in the wild anymore. The use of this living organism is thought to have first been started in Manchuria, China, but others consider it was in Eastern Russia or Japan. Wherever it began it was a very long time ago.

What it is. Often Kombucha is referred to as a fungus which is not strictly true. It is more like a jelly fish, a combination of yeasts and bacteria, rather like a yoghurt culture, an algae or sponge, a sort of symbiosis like Irish Moss (a lichen), which, strangely, lives off a dilute solution of sugar and water.

Its name. So the name "kombu" (from the sea) and "cha" (tea) doesn't quite tie up! Nor is it a tea, for it neither tastes like tea nor do you drink it hot! Hence some of the names speak of it as a "beer" or "wine" since the drink it makes tastes somewhat like a sparkling beverage, something like cider. The reason it was called a tea is that tea is usually mixed with the sugar solution to make the brew. The tea can be black or green, mixed with herbal or fruit teas. These are more than just for flavour, they do of course contribute to the health-giving benefits of the sponge which are becoming legendary.

Its uses. It is now being recommended for anyone with abnormal cell formation. But the drink is not just for those with illnesses. Brewed correctly, it is a delicious drink. It is of course the national drink of Manchuria and Mongolia and certain countries of the former Soviet Union, just as tea is England's national brew. Kombucha is a natural tonic and is highly regarded by health professionals all over the world to be an excellent, safe, promotional health drink (or preventative remedy against all illnesses).

How it is made. Certain authors speak about Kombucha as "fermenting" in the sweetened water. This is not really accurate. Kombucha is a living organism and the sweet water is its food, and the "brew" is the result of the sponge's digestive process, just as pollen and herbal medicinal qualities are the result of the plant's metabolic system and honey is the result of the bee's digestive processes.

What is in it? Just as wine and beer are dependent on micro-organisms for their life and benefit so also all living things require these micro-organisms for health. It is when these get out of balance that such conditions as thrush and candida, etc, occur. Could all health problems be related to an imbalance of these micro-bacteria and organisms? There are at least five active natural bacteria in Kombucha: Acetobacter xylinum, A. xylinoides, A. aceti, A. pasteurianum, Gluconobacter bluconicum, and many yeasts, for instance Schizosaccharomyces pombe, S ludwigii, Pichia fermentans. Since the yeasts increase by cross division (in contrast with conventional yeasts, which is the reason why people with candida problems can benefit from Kombucha. It completely transforms sugar into lactic acid and other health components. Lactic acid itself is detoxifying. The Kombucha culture produces gluconic and glucuronic acids, carbonic acid and acetic acid (anti-streptococci, anti-diplococci, etc), plus a range of B vitamins (1,2,3,6,12) folic acid and many enzymes, usinic acid (antibacterial and antiviral). The life span of the culture is said to be unlimited, endless, ageless. Kombucha beverage is organic and living.

The Herbactive Kombucha Herbal Tea is made from pure spring water, green tea, herbs and fruit teas. Its taste is very pleasant. The green tea potentises Kombucha's own anti-abnormal cell formation effect. Green tea contains the chemical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which inhibits the growth of carcinogens and lowers blood cholesterol; the Chinese say it gives longevity and is protective of the memory. Kombucha is appropriate for all people, for health promotion and as disease preventative; a real, natural, holistic tonic of ancient origin and wide traditional use.

We also have Kombucha in a Herbal Mixture as a tincture.

Ask for your bottle of Herbactive Kombucha

Our Kombucha is also available by mail order

We sell the Kombucha Culture and send it mail order worldwide




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Herbal tonics

Kombucha Herbal Tonic — with green tea, herbs and fruits




Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.

Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.

Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.

MRCHM - see Alan Hopking's statement about renouncing his association with membership of this organisation

HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436

General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK

• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.


Pregnant/Breast-feeding mothers

Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.

Volatile Oils

Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.


A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.

Breast-feeding mothers

A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.

Paediatric Use

Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.

Perioperative use

The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK


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