Friday, June 7, 2013

Kombucha and Flouride

I just came across an interesting page about tea's flouride levels. I stopped drinking kombucha awhile a go, and have been drinking 2 cups of green and black tea each day. With honey, no milk. I've had some gum problems that started with some dental work about 8 months ago, the same time that I switched to drinking black tea. From one of my blood tests I know that I may be reactive to tannins. Some think that if you put milk in the tea the tannins will combine with that and have less salivary and gastrointestinal effects. Long story short - I'm giving up the tea until I sort out my gum erosion, just in case they are related.

So now I see this kombucha and fluoride article, and it gives me another reason to lay off the tea, at least for now. Ideally, I would cut out all tea and coffee, because as Anne Marie Colbin told me in an appointment we had together 15 years ago: "Zero caffeine equals high energy." But, I must have a bit of a vice. Just want those gums to heal.

Here is the post, from Let me know what you think. And if you're a kombucha or black tea drinker - how are your teeth and gums? Maybe wonderful!

Why we don’t drink kombucha

There continues to be quite a buzz about the benefits of kombucha these days. While we agree that re-establishing a healthy gut flora is foundational for creating greater health, we believe that taking consideration of what form that microbial inoculation comes in would be wise.

So what’s wrong with kombucha anyway?

Well, any of you who have made kombucha know that the kombucha culture thrives on sugar and… black or green tea. Now, given that our focus generally is on helping folks navigate to greater oral health, I’ll bet that many of you are thinking it’s the sugar that we’re going to demonize. I can hear the, ‘but the culture consumes the sugar’ rebuttals.
However, in this case, we want to bring to light the amount of fluoride in tea. You see, the tea plant naturally uptakes fluoride from the soil more than any other plant known to humans, presumably as a defense mechanism to protect its lush, yummy looking leaves from being eaten by grazing animals in the wild. Animals learned a long time ago that if they ate a belly full of the tea plant, they would get a stomachache, so have learned to avoid that plant.
In fact, the tea plant has very specialized functions to uptake fluoride and then encapsulate it within its plant tissues so that the fluoride doesn’t damage the plant! Then we humans come along and decide that we’re going to dry the leaves of this plant that grazing animals avoid and make it into a tea.

How much fluoride is in tea anyway?

A website by a pro-fluoridation infant medical group states that a cup of black tea contains 7.8 mgs of fluoride.(1)  However, according to Andreas Schuld in his article titled “Fluoride – What’s Wrong With This Picture?”, “Recent analyses have revealed a fluoride content of 22.2 mg per teabag or cup in Chinese green tea, and 17.25 mg of soluble fluoride ions per teabag or cup in black tea. Aluminum content was also high—over 8 mg. Normal steeping time was five minutes. The longer a tea bag steeped, the more fluoride and aluminum were released. After ten minutes, the measurable amounts of fluoride and aluminum almost doubled.” (2)
That said, for the sake of balance, we also have to quote the Linus Pauling Institute and their figures on the content of fluoride in various teas, which is much lower…  They suggest that the amount of fluoride in green and black teas ranges from .3 – .5 mg fluoride per 8 ounces of tea.  With such dramatic ranges in the amount of fluoride found in tea, I think it wise to use the highest quality, organic tea you can for kombucha.
So, after a quick look on the net, I found that the average recipe for kombucha uses 4-6 bags of tea for a gallon of kombucha. Steeping times varied from 5 minutes to until the boiling water cooled (yikes). Given that the amount of fluoride released from the tea doubles when the steeping time increased from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, we can do the math.
Taking the average between the fluoride content of black and green tea, I estimate that there is 20mg of fluoride in a tea bag steeping for 5 minutes. For the sake of making a particularly ‘good’ batch of kombucha, I’m going to assume a 10 minute steep time, thus doubling the fluoride released per tea bag. (3)
So, 40mg fluoride per tea bag x 5 bags = 200mg of fluoride per gallon of kombucha
For the sake of simplicity, we’re not going to include the potential fluoride content from the water used to make the kombucha (which would obviously raise these numbers even higher).
The average serving (from the store) of kombucha is 16 ounces. So, 8 servings in a gallon = 25mg of fluoride in a single serving of kombucha (from the tea alone).

That’s all great, but how much fluoride is too much?

Well, here in the US, the standard ‘safety’ level for fluoride in water fluoridation is 1ppm (1 part per million). Even if you buy the idea that 1ppm is safe, a 16 ounce kombucha with an average of 25mg of fluoride has an equivalent amount of fluoride as 25 liters (roughly 6 gallons) of fluoridated water! Now you can see why we’re not big fans of kombucha.
That bears repeating.  One 16 ounce serving of kombucha can contain as much fluoride as 6 gallons of fluoridated water.

How do these figures compare with a tube of toothpaste?

According to the ADA (4), an average tube of fluoride toothpaste contains 30mg of fluoride per ounce of paste.  So, depending on how strong the brew of kombucha is, one serving may contain as much fluoride as consuming an ounce of toothpaste.  (Ugg)
Unfortunately, fluoride isn’t the only thing that tea is rich in. Studies also show that aluminum also ends up in a cup of black or green tea. This is truly adding insult to injury as the combination of aluminum and fluoride has been shown to significantly disrupt cellular communication in the thyroid gland. (5)

Are all teas created equal?

Research suggests that some higher quality teas have less fluoride in the leaves because the tea is made from buds and younger leaves.  Also, if you purchase organic tea to make kombucha, you are getting less exposure to fluoride due to the fact that some pesticides are made from fluorinated compounds.

What about the fermentation process?

There is some writing from prestigious organizations that suggests that the fermentation process would remove the fluoride.  On one hand, this doesn’t make sense as we can’t change an element.  However, perhaps the scoby (mother culture) ‘captures’ the fluoride in the kombucha.  We will do our own testing of various kombuchas and let you know what we find.
So, while restoring healthy gut flora is crucial to create an ideal immunological response, we think there are many better ways to reinoculate our bellies with ‘the good guys’ through water kefir, milk kefir, fermented veggies, etc than to potentially expose oneself to an extra dose of fluoride by choosing to drink kombucha. Sorry scoby (kombucha mother culture), we used to cultivate you too! :)
In the end, moderation is key here.  We simply want to bring to light that kombucha has a dark side amidst its beneficial side too.

1. BabyCenter Editorial Team w/ Medical Advisory Board (
2. Schuld, A – “Fluoride – What’s Wrong With This Picture?”
3. Analyses conducted by Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC) at Gov’t -approved labs.
5. Strunecka, A; Patocka, J – “Aluminofluoride complexes: new phosphate analogues for laboratory investigations and potential danger for living organisms” Charles University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Physiology and Developmental Physiology, Prague/Department of Toxicology, Purkynì Military Medical Academy, Hradec KrßlovØ, Czech Republic

Monday, January 21, 2013

Candida and Constipation (With a Little Bloating Thrown In)

Luckily, I'm not scared to talk about poo. 

For 13 years I've tended towards constipation. My transit time has always seemed okay, but things didn't flow for me like I needed them to. Dr. Larry Wilson wrote that at least half the large bowel (about 1 foot long) must empty every day. Wow, that seems like a lot! But it's no problem now with Dr. Miller's Holy Tea, so I drink that am and pm, about a glass each time.

I used to take magnesium capsules, about 4 every day, to get things moving. No need to now. You can make this tea as strong or weak as you like - if just takes some experimentation.

When my candida was at its worst so many years ago, my belly looked so bloated and big and huge and basketball-like that my pants didn't fit, and I was most comfortable in the winter when I could wear huge sweaters with a coat on top so that I didn't have to be so self-conscious. 

Don't be frightened, but I'm going to show you a picture of my belly.


I now know, after years of asking: What is that in there? Air? Yeast? Little men? But any candida-experienced person knows that gas makes you bloated. And the gas is produced by the yeast when - in my experience - you eat sugar, or when you're trying to kill it with antifungals or a natural antibiotic like colloidal silver. This was the huge conundrum for me: Am I making it better or is it getting worse!?!? I am happy to say that my belly no longer gets like this.

Anyway, back to helping yourself with yeast and die-off and improving elimination. If you're not excreting the waste, you're probably feeling lousy. When I move the bowels two or more times a day, I know I'm on top of things in this department, and I feel better.  Coffee enemas are great also, but more on that later.

If you try Dr. Miller's Holy Tea, please drop me a line and let me know. I also talk about how it's helped me on my other health website,

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tinea Versicolor: Can't Blame the Kombucha

I haven't made my own kombucha in a year. Neither have I drunk any G.T.'s since they changed the formulation (I really liked the fizziness). And yet I have a round white patch on the middle of my back. So this tinea is not from kombucha.

It's from systemic yeast, which has been a problem for me for at least 14 years. Antibiotics, birth control pill, sugar and grains, stress, too many pathogenic bacteria and not enough good in my gut, and there you go.

I am writing this post to exonerate kombucha, at least in terms of causing tinea versicolor. In fact, last month I paid ten bucks for a scoby (the kombucha 'mushroom') and tried to make my own. But it was winter and cold in my house and the black tea continued to taste too sweet even after three weeks of fermenting in the dark corners of my cupboard so I composted the scoby. I'll try again in the summer.

That's right, I will go back on the kombucha. I remember it giving me great energy and needed trips to the bathroom, and it has loads of good bacteria, so I'm again game. Despite Dr. Wilson's admonitions.

I make and eat sauerkraut and beet kvass, and I take Klaire Therbiotic probiotics, but to add kombucha to my list of beneficial bacteria foods would be swell. Too bad that G.T.'s taste no longer pleases me (how crazy they had to lessen the alcohol amount!).

I recently sent in a stool test to a parisitologist MD, who dx'ed me with yeast, a protozoan parasite, and a roundworm infection. I have started on the Aroma-Tabs for the yeast, and had only minimal die-off reaction (a slight headache on the second day), but I am still waiting for the three other supplements in the mail to kill the other infections.

These remedies, plus the fermented foods, plus the natural treatment I am doing for the Lyme spirochetes (at least I think they're Lyme spirochetes! Here is video of them, complete with auditory descriptions), should help me greatly, all combined. And don't forget to detox detox detox!!

Have you given up kombucha for whatever reason, and then started back? If so let us know.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Current Health Website...

is now operational. I have moved on from kombucha and candida. is where I am sharing what has helped me the most in my 12 year search for radiant health. I feel better now than I have in a long, long time, and I'd like to share my experiences with others. Please visit when you get a chance!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Bought G.T.'s Passionberry Kombucha Yesterday...

I think it's delicious.
And it has only 4 grams of sugar. For a 16 oz. bottle of cold, delicious, fizzy drink that's pretty good. I drank it over two days. It loses its fizziness after that, so I've learned. I am happy to say that I don't have huge reactions to kombucha anymore - I think my body is less out of whack. I remember the night years ago, when I drank somebody's homemade coconut kefir - that's fizzy and cold and delicious as well - and I only had a small paper cup of it. But my goodness, almost immediately I started glazing over as I stood listening to the guy talking to me...for the life of me I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying. That kefir was potent stuff.

In fact for a while there I made my own coconut kefir. Lots of work cracking those coconuts and digging out the white meat for the other delicious fermented component of the coconut, but I really loved how it tasted. I still believe that, in general, probiotic food beats pills/supplements in terms of how much good bacteria really make it to your gut to stay. And are candida symptoms confusing or what, when you start on serious probiotics! "Is this a healing crisis and I'm getting better? Or is this not good for me and that's why my symptoms are worse?" That was the conundrum I had for many many years!! I'm glad I'm not there any more.

Now I just need to quit my day job so I can have the time to crack those coconuts...