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Kombucha – Healing My Addiction


"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Thomas Jefferson

Many years ago I was addicted to diet cola. I know, I know. It is terrible for you. But still, I couldn't stop drinking it. I had drunk it for years and when I first started eating cultured foods they made me want to conquer my addiction.  But try as I might, I couldn't stop drinking it. It would call my name, so I knew it was an addictive substance. It had a hold of me and it was not giving up without a fight. Interesting things begin to happen when you start to nourish your cells with real food. You start wanting to eat better and better. The desire and feelings of wellness start to take over and you will begin to change. Slowly sometimes, but gradually this happened to me. Like having a personal trainer, my body began to train me to eat healthier because I wanted to feel good.

Changes In The Body

Naturally Occurring CO2

I noticed something wonderful that began to happen when I started drinking kombucha. The fizz that I loved in pop was naturally occurring in kombucha. It was not through forced carbonation but naturally occurring CO2 made through the bacteria and yeast that consumed the sugars and then made a natural bubbliness. I felt so good when I drank kombucha that I stopped craving diet cola, and I started reaching for kombucha instead.

Kombucha assists the liver in detoxification

Kombucha is full of glucuronic acid which plays a part in one of the body's most important detoxification processes: glucuronidation, a process in which glucuronic acid binds to toxins and transforms them so they can be easily eliminated by the kidneys. The liver produces this substance naturally, but sometimes the body can’t keep up with the number of pollutants that it comes into contact with. The extra glucuronic acid in kombucha basically helps make up the difference. 1

Kombucha also helps your kidneys

Kombucha may help kidneys eliminate environmental pollutants.  Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to remove and eliminate chemicals and toxins.  Calcium builds up in the blood tissues and can cause calcification throughout the body, which can cause calcification in the kidneys (aka kidney stones). Kombucha has been used to prevent the kidneys from forming kidney stones by helping to purify and remove toxins.2,3

The more kombucha I drank, the better I felt. My cravings for the artificial poisonous substances in soda began to leave me. After about eight months of not drinking diet cola, I was on vacation and someone bought me a diet cola. To be polite I drank it and as they kept refilling my drink I drank more and more. As my vacation continued I started drinking more diet cola and within a few days I started having severe dizziness and my eyes were having trouble focusing. It scared me and really ruined my vacation, but I didn't realize (at the time) that it was the diet cola. I thought something terrible was happening and there was something wrong in my brain. It got so bad that I had to take Dramamine, I felt so dizzy.

As soon as I got home I started drinking kombucha and stopped the diet cola and all the symptoms went away. I never put two and two together and assumed it was just a virus that had scared me to death. But I was happy the symptoms were gone. I didn't recognize that my body was guiding me and had put out a red flag that said, "DANGER!"

Symptoms returned with a vengeance

Two months later at my daughter's Christmas play, I was in charge of refreshments and of course, everybody brought pop to drink and nothing else. Everybody just always brought pop and never thought a thing about it. I thought regular pop was terrible for you and there was nothing else to drink so I drank diet pop all night. The next day the symptoms returned with a vengeance. When I tried to get out of bed in the morning I felt so dizzy that I almost fell over. Scared me to death. Confused and unable to think straight, I called my brother-in-law, a medical doctor, and asked him if he thought I had a brain tumor. My brother-in-law is such a great guy and always answers my questions when I probe him for how the body works. He never tires of my questions and is always happy to answer all 50 million of them. He didn't know what could be causing this but did go into detail about how the eyes and brain are connected and how the human brain has to interpret four different sets of electrical impulses from the light being picked up by the eyes.

Later that afternoon, in the kitchen washing dishes, it suddenly hit me. Both times when I got dizzy I had drunk diet cola, a lot of it. I rushed to the internet and found that aspartame, one of the main ingredients in Diet Coke, can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye problems. It is a neurotoxin that can greatly affect the brain and everything connected to it. I had my answer, it was my body giving me a warning sign. But why hadn't I had these effects when I drank tons of it years before? Was it because I had detoxed from it and then putting it back in after being free from it made my body revolt and teach me what it needed? This is my theory. Our body is a complex, magnificent machine that knows how to act and my body was actually helping me. I have a strong desire to be well and experience all this life has to offer.  So many times I treated my body as something to just put up with, and instead I have found it is my best friend and teacher. Every day it is manifesting to me how I am doing.

Food addictions and habits that you don't want

If you find yourself with some food addictions and habits that you don't want anymore, my suggestion to you is just start adding the good stuff into your diet. You don't have to change all at once. I didn't, but I did begin by adding cultured foods and little by little my cells responded by behaving differently. Before I knew it, I was craving the foods that my body loved and thrived on naturally. It's like having a personal trainer go with you everywhere. Your body will teach you what it needs to be well nourished.   Little things can make a big difference and desire is the key to change. One day at a time.

How To Make Kombucha

Kombucha was very influential in curing my addiction and a million other things. It helps me balance my hormones, keep my joints healthy, and also helps my immune system stay strong and healthy! Kombucha is my food-like-medicine remedy for so many things.

More about Kombucha

How to Make Kombucha

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42 Responses to "Kombucha – Healing My Addiction"
  1. Donna, I’m very interested about the kombucha but I have a blood disorder and at times I’m immune system can become low at anytime mine is fine right on and has never been low. My concern is this ok for me to take?

  2. Hello!! My friend Rachel and I are CFL newbies. I have scoured your website, so forgive me if my questions are repetitive:
    1) If I want to second ferment my KT, can I use stevia to sweeten it a little? With the information about diet coke, is stevia safe to use, and/or will the yeast eat up the sweetness?
    2) Does KT alter the level of caffeine that initially went into the tea? Will the 2nd fermenting alter it? I am trying to get off of diet coke and coffee, but I am finding that I still need the caffeine!
    3) I really love GT’s Kombucha drinks, and find that they are sweeter/fruitier than what I am making. Can I use more juice to second ferment, and will the yeast still kill most of the sugar? I am trying to go sugar-free on everything.
    Thank you!!!

    • No you can not use stevia to second ferment. It has to have sugar s the culture can consume it and make probiotics from it. It won’t be bubbly without it.
      It does alter the caffeine a little or you can use decaff tea to make kombucha.

      Let them ferment until the sweet taste is gone and then you will know the sugar is gone. Adding more juice will make it take longer to ferment.

      • A few months ago we went to a tour of the Tea Plantation just south of Charleston, SC and were told that they do not sell decaf tea because two of the ingredients to decaf tea or coffee are also used in nail polish remover, I decided it’s best just to use real tea. There is a natural process to decaf but it is very very slow and expensive to do so it is rare to find anything that is naturally decaffeinated. just sharing…. thanks for everything, Donna

  3. Im still a newbie at making kombucha. I was very careful to strain the KT when pouring it into the bottles bcuz i dont like stuff floating around in the KT that i am going to drink. But in spite of my efforts, it is still there!! What can i do about that? Also initially it was bubbly, but that went away too. Thank u for your support! We really appreciate it!


  4. I would love to try to make kombucha. However, I know from following an elimination diet that I am highly intolerant of tea. I’m presuming it’s the caffeine I don’t tolerate. Is there a way round this? Could I try making it with herbal teas?

  5. I do my kombucha for nine days and it’s perfect for me…is it ok to stop there and refridgerate? or is it suppose to ferment a second time?

  6. Hi Donna,

    When a person has amalgam fillings, will kombucha draw out the mercury from my teeth into my body?

  7. I am a kombucha addict. As soon as I can figure out where to put a continuous brew in my kitchen I will do it. Right now I am slowly draining my grocery budget to buy it. Strawberry GT is my fave. How do I make a strawberry flavor?

  8. Donna, I was drinking kombucha regularly until I discovered that it was what was disrupting my sleep at night. No problem going to sleep, just staying asleep. Same reaction I get from coffee, even if I drink it in the morning. Any solutions to this? Green tea doesn’t bother me at all. Just black tea. Can you use a caffeine-free version of a tea for it?

  9. Hi Donna, 🙂

    I saw recently that you add coconut cream or similar to your Kombucha, what a cool idea! I recently started adding Blue Green Algae to mine, but am wondering if that is an ok mix in your opinion please?

    Thanks much,

  10. I love kombucha and with my gluten allergy have found it to be a a wonderful alternative to vinegar. But as careful as I have been I have lost recurring batches to fruitfly worms even after keeping it carefully covered. I didn’t even see fruitflies in my house! So disappointed because I can’t afford to keep replacing it.

    • It must have already been in your brew. Don’t use cheesecloth as sometimes the whole still allow them to get through. A linen cloth and rubberband is what I use and I have never had any fruit flys get into my brew.

  11. Dear Donna – 20 years ago I gained a lot of weight – overeating due to having difficulty dealing with life stresses. So I started drinking lots of diet soda. Within a short period of time, I too suffered what you did. Even became unable to move one side of my body with marked numbness and tingling and aphasia. That is, I tried telling my friend what was happening and the words came out all garbled. What I was thinking was not what I said……It took months to find the cause of these things – doctors initially thought I’d had a stroke, then wondered about MS – finally was “diagnosed” with “complicated migraine”. But the meds I was given dropped my blood pressure so low that I couldn’t function.

    Finally, after searching for natural treatments, my new chiropractor told me that his sister-in-law suffered from similar symptoms and his wife told her to get off the diet coke. BINGO!!! The light came on in my head (and not the “lights” that made me feel like I was going to have seizures! Another symptom, not seizures – thank God – but the wondering because lights bothered me so much).

    Stopped the diet sodas – got better. Tried little sips a couple of times. Immediately the numbness and tingling would begin.

    Have told a number of people over the years who were suffering from migraines and other “non-specific” neurological symptoms. Most people don’t want to hear it. They too are addicted. But once in a while, someone would be glad to hear it – give up the soda and get better.

    Thanks for sharing your story……..
    P.S. I love my kombucha!!!

  12. I found your website recently and ordered two copies of your book “Cultured Food for Life”; I’ve been fermenting kombucha tea for a few months and pass on quarts to friends at church who have ‘gut’ issues. We are all amazed that within a few days they are experiencing major relief, even after decades of serious problems. To God be the glory!

  13. There is a great company out there that will allow you to get your soda fix without all the problems.

    ZEVIA, I am in love. This is second only to Kombucha

    They have natural, diet and many other flavours. They taste pretty close to the name brand soda (some of my friends can’t tell the diference). They are made from all natural ingrediendts and sweetened with stevia. The only downside is that they are expensive, but if you only have them once in a while as a treat they are worth it. A big plus they will fill your occasional craving for a soda and have zero side effect.

  14. I’m a former diet coke addict too (and current kombucha addict!). I haven’t experienced any adverse symptoms such as the ones you have, but I have caved and had the occassional diet coke and have felt awful afterwards. my sugar cravings go thru the roof and my sleep cycle gets thrown off. Great post, thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. I’ve got a major sweet tooth I need to lose. Pretty sure that and not drinking anything all day long are the cause of my IBS. Hopefully I’ll get in the swing of things and find a way to make cultured foods that I like – so far either I’m not making them right or I just don’t like vinegary foods. Lots of experimentation to do! Donna, we need to get you to come to the fort!

    • We started with a cup of kefir smoothie before drinking the coffee! If you think about it,it blocks the bad stuff from being absorbed into your system. You will find that the smoothie will take the place of the coffee.I am going to try the kombucha coffee soon,just a little treat when” A cup of coffee would taste so good right now.”

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