Is Kombucha Halal?

shutterstock 1676949397
Many grocery store kombucha brands are considered halal even though this fermented tea drink contains trace amounts of alcohol. Why is kombucha halal even though it has a low amount of alcohol? Allow me to explain.

What Does Halal Mean?

Halal is an Arabic word that translates to ‘lawful’ or ‘permitted.’ It refers to food and drink that is permissible according to Islamic law. Fruits and vegetables are always halal. Meat must be slaughtered in a certain way to be considered halal.

Alcohol is haram, the opposite of halal. Other foods considered haram include pork, reptiles, birds of prey, and certain kinds of gelatin.

How Is Kombucha Made?

Kombucha is a fermented tea. It is made from sweetened black or green tea and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

During the fermentation process, the SCOBY consumes the sugar in the tea, converting it into beneficial acids and enzymes. The SCOBY also infuses the tea with probiotics and microorganisms, infusing it with numerous health benefits.

Fermentation converts some of the sugars into carbon dioxide, ethanol, and alcohol.

shutterstock 2174095559
Various stages of fermenting kombucha

Is There Alcohol in Kombucha?

Yes, kombucha tea has a small amount of alcohol as a by-product of the fermentation process. Kombucha has less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. This amount should not affect most individuals.

Regular kombucha is not considered an alcoholic drink since it only has trace amounts of alcohol. A ripe banana may even have an ABV of 0.4%, which is considered halal since the alcohol doesn’t lead to intoxication. The amount of alcohol in kombucha is similar to that in fruit juice or other non-alcoholic beverages.

Are All Fermented Drinks Halal?

Most fermented drinks and foods are considered halal. Water kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut are considered to be halal foods. They have a very low amount of alcohol and do not lead to drunkenness. As long as the ABV doesn’t exceed 1.2% ABV, most fermented foods and drinks are halal.

Alcoholic drinks, however, usually use a lot of sugar that breaks down and creates a beverage with high alcohol levels. These drinks can lead to drunkenness. Alcoholic drinks are considered haram.

Is Home-Brewed Kombucha Halal?

Homemade kombucha can be either halal or haram. Store-bought kombucha is tested to make sure the ABV is at safe levels. Homemade kombucha doesn’t undergo that testing, so homebrewers can’t be sure exactly how much alcohol is in their brew.

The longer kombucha ferments, the higher the alcohol content will be. Homebrewers should be cautious if they follow halal guidelines. If you brew kombucha at home, store it in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process and the conversion of sugars into alcohol.

Is Kombucha Good for You?

Yes, kombucha is good for you! Researchers are still discovering all the benefits of this ancient fermented tea, but they generally agree that kombucha:

  • Contains beneficial antioxidants. Antioxidants help support your immune system and reduce inflammation.
  • Contains probiotics that help create a healthy gut. This leads to better digestion and increases good gut bacteria, keeping you healthy.
  • Helps promote a healthy heart. Kombucha can help increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower your bad cholesterol (LDL).
  • Is low in caffeine. It may be a good choice for those sensitive to caffeine. It still provides energy but doesn’t cause ‘caffeine jitters.’
  • May aid in weight loss. Since kombucha is carbonated, you may be able to replace your afternoon soda with a cup of kombucha. Caffeine can also boost your metabolism, leading to weight loss.
  • May help reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidants in kombucha may help protect cells from damage. They may also help stop damaged cells from reproducing.

Sarah Pearce

Sarah first tried kombucha in 2015 and she was hooked. Her favorite flavor is ginger, but cranberry comes in a close second. She made her own for many years and loved experimenting with fruit flavors.

Recent Posts