Is Kombucha Safe for Pregnancy?

Many natural and herbal teas reportedly reduce or relieve certain pregnancy symptoms such as constipation, heartburn and morning sickness. Although some of these teas are safe for consumption during pregnancy, others lack scientific research to support the safety and efficacy of their ingredients. Kombucha tea, commonly used in Japan, Germany and Russia, is a fermented beverage said to provide medicinal and nutritional benefits. Consult your midwife or obstetrician before consuming any type of tea during pregnancy.



Marketed for health purposes, kombucha tea consists of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, black or green tea and sugar water. After undergoing the fermentation process, the mixture produces a tea that contains certain nutrients including lactic acid, B vitamins, amino acids and vitamin C. Although the colony of yeast and bacteria resembles a mushroom, kombucha is not a mushroom or a fungus.

Proposed Benefits

Although proponents of kombucha claim that the tea offers medicinal qualities and health benefits, as of 2011 there is little scientific proof to support such claims. Kombucha tea reportedly improves digestive problems such as constipation, a common ailment among expectant mothers. While some pregnant women who drink the tea report experiencing a decrease in morning sickness and constipation, scientific research to support these reports is lacking. Supporters of the tea also claim to experience a strengthened immune system and improved circulation.

Potential Risks

Because kombucha tea undergoes the fermentation process, it may contain alcohol. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may cause developmental disorders, such as fetal alcohol syndrome or birth defects. Although kombucha tea may contain only a small amount of alcohol, it may still interfere with your baby's development. The bacterial fermentation process may also cause kombucha to affect the bacterial balance in the intestines. Kombucha tea brewed in the home or nonsterile environments has a high risk of contamination and may contain harmful bacteria.


Expectant mothers should avoid drinking kombucha tea until more scientific research supports the safety and efficacy of the drink during pregnancy. If you drank kombucha or any other type of herbal tea prior to becoming pregnant, talk to your midwife or obstetrician before continuing to do so throughout your pregnancy.


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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or