Kombucha tea a no-no for some AA members

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Santa Ana, CA, United States (4E) – Despite lacking scientific proof that it is beneficial to health, kombucha tea has regular drinkers like Joanne Sales of Qualicum Beach in Vancouver Island, Canada.

Sales claimed in an interview with community newspaper Oceanside Star that the fermented beverage, which is produced by mixing tea and a colony of bacteria and yeast used for making ginger beer and vinegar, gives her lots of energy. That is not surprising since kombucha contains B vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics for good digestion.

Sales has so much faith in her home-made, blueberry-flavored kombucha that she is teaching her neighbors how to make the concoction.

Even an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) member admits to the positive health result from drinking kombucha that she brings bottles of her home-brewed beverage during group sessions, the food website Munchies reported. That raised some eyebrows from her co-members as kombucha has traces of alcohol.

Being a fermented drink, kombucha’s alcohol content ranges from a negligible 0.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) to as much as 1.5 percent ABV depending on how long the fermentation is. The Tax and Tobacco Bureau classifies drinks with above 0.5 percent ABV as alcoholic.

An AA spokesperson told Munchies that drinking kombucha sends wrong signals to members. They might think it’s okay to drink a beverage with alcohol and that is dangerous for people struggling to get sober.

“Recovering alcoholics should avoid the alcohol-positive kombuchas but not fear fresh kombucha that is less than 0.5 percent ABV,” advised Victor Rusu, an employee of alcoholic Kombucha maker Beyond Brewing, according to Munchies.

Brady Grainer, chief operating officer of addiction solutions company BioCorRx Inc. (OTCQB: BICX), agrees with Rusu.

“Our Start Fresh Program teaches addicts how to avoid triggers. Ingesting anything with alcohol content, no matter how little, would not be a part of our program,” said Grainer, referring to BioCorRx’s treatment for alcohol and opioid addiction.

BioCorRx believes that the key to successful alcoholism treatment and rehabilitation is addressing the triggers that set off alcoholics to drink. This involves targeting the brain’s pleasure center. Start Fresh Program (www.startfreshprogram.com) uses implants that timely releases Naltrexone, an FDA-approved drug that curbs cravings for alcohol and opiates, on patients from six months to a year. Complementing the implant is a Life Coaching Program, a series of talk therapy sessions that help patients live free of abuse.

For those making kombucha at home, Eric Childs, the owner of Kombucha Brooklyn, a supplier of kombucha ingredients, said keeping the ABV below 0.5 percent can be done by limiting the fermentation process or time.

WebMD columnist Kathleen M. Zelman said home-brewed kombucha can be kept refrigerated or be pasteurized to control its fermentation or alcohol levels.

The name kombucha is derived from Kombu, a doctor of a Japanese emperor, and cha, the oriental name for tea. According to legends, Kombu fermented a tea to heal the emperor’s illness and the latter named the tea after the doctor to honor him.

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