Kombucha for a Sore Throat: Does It Help?

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Kombucha contains acetic acid and millions of live microorganisms, which are proven to help alleviate a variety of bacteria-related illnesses, including the common cold. But what about a sore throat? While some may swear by using kombucha for a sore throat, no scientific evidence affirms kombucha's role as a sore throat remedy.

Is It Okay to Drink Kombucha When You’re Sick?

Kombucha is perfectly okay to drink when you’re sick. I encourage you to take a swig or two of kombucha whenever you feel unwell. It is most potent for gut-health-related issues but can also aid other ailments.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from starter tea, SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), and sweetened green or black tea. It undergoes a two-part fermentation process and is rich in probiotics, antioxidants, vitamin C, and B vitamins, such as B1, B6, and B12.

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Fermenting kombucha

Many kombucha brewers believe that the tea’s fermentation process helps to fight off bacteria and viruses that cause health problems. And there’s evidence that proves this connection.

For one, kombucha contains acetic acid, a proven antibacterial agent, full of health benefits (think vinegar or apple cider vinegar, but more palatable). This acid helps stop foreign pathogens from wreaking havoc in the digestive tract.

Furthermore, regularly drinking kombucha (and green or black tea) helps strengthen the immune system. This is primarily due to the probiotics, good bacteria, and many infection-fighting antioxidants.

Can Kombucha Cure a Sore Throat?

Kombucha doesn’t directly cure a sore throat. However, it can combat the bacteria that cause sore throat due to its high acid content and antibacterial compounds.

Some of the bacterial infections that kombucha can help inhibit include the following:

  • E. coli
  • Sal. enteritidis
  • Cm. jejuni
  • Sh. sonnei
  • Sal. Typhimurium

If the source of the sore throat is bacterial, such as strep throat, drinking kombucha could help. However, if the cause is due to a virus or chronic health condition, then kombucha may be unable to provide relief independently.

Can Kombucha Cause a Sore Throat?

As mentioned earlier, kombucha contains acetic acid. If you’ve homebrewed kombucha, it likely has a higher acidic content, especially if it’s been brewed for over two weeks. The acid and minimal alcoholic content in kombucha can cause a slight burning sensation in the back of people’s throats. Sometimes, the ingredients used to flavor kombucha, like ginger, turmeric, and cayenne, can amplify this sensation.

This intense feeling may be uncomfortable, but it’s not medically recognized as a sore throat. You can either dilute your kombucha or neutralize it to reduce its acidity and avoid the burning sensation. Keeping the kombucha in the fridge can also slow down yeast activity.

Is Kombucha Good for a Cough?

Like a sore throat, kombucha isn’t a direct cure for cough and coughing symptoms. However, its rich antimicrobial and antibacterial content makes it a great supplement to more direct treatments.

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Some research has found that the probiotics in kombucha tea effectively treat cough-related symptoms.

A publication found that children who underwent probiotic supplementation experienced fewer cough symptoms. While the research doesn’t cover kombucha per se, it shows that the tea has at least a minor positive effect on people experiencing coughing fits.


Joshua recently discovered flavored kombucha and has since become a fan of its taste and health properties. He's currently attempting to taste test at least 20 different kombucha flavors, and his current favorite is apple kombucha.

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