Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Case Reports
. May-Jun 2009;24(3):205-7.
doi: 10.1177/0885066609332963.

A Case of Kombucha Tea Toxicity

Case Reports

A Case of Kombucha Tea Toxicity

Alison SungHee Kole et al. J Intensive Care Med. .


Introduction: Kombucha "mushroom'' tea is touted to have medicinal properties. Here, we present a case of hyperthermia, lactic acidosis, and acute renal failure within 15 hours of Kombucha tea ingestion.

Case presentation: A 22 year old male, newly diagnosed with HIV, became short of breath and febrile to 103.0F, within twelve hours of Kombucha tea ingestion. He subsequently became combative and confused, requiring sedation and intubation for airway control. Laboratories revealed a lactate of 12.9 mmol/L, and serum creatinine of 2.1 mg/dL.

Discussion: Kombucha tea is black tea fermented in a yeast-bacteria medium. Several case reports exist of serious, and sometimes fatal, hepatic dysfunction and lactic acidosis within close proximity to ingestion.

Conclusion: While Kombucha tea is considered a healthy elixir, the limited evidence currently available raises considerable concern that it may pose serious health risks. Consumption of this tea should be discouraged, as it may be associated with life-threatening lactic acidosis.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

  • Kombucha: is a cup of tea good for you?
    Holbourn A, Hurdman J. Holbourn A, et al. BMJ Case Rep. 2017 Dec 2;2017:bcr2017221702. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2017-221702. BMJ Case Rep. 2017. PMID: 29197835 Free PMC article.
  • Role of the Pharmacist in Caring for Patients with HIV/AIDS: Clinical Practice Guidelines.
    Tseng A, Foisy M, Hughes CA, Kelly D, Chan S, Dayneka N, Giguère P, Higgins N, Hills-Nieminen C, Kapler J, la Porte CJ, Nickel P, Park-Wyllie L, Quaia C, Robinson L, Sheehan N, Stone S, Sulz L, Yoong D. Tseng A, et al. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2012 Mar;65(2):125-45. doi: 10.4212/cjhp.v65i2.1120. Can J Hosp Pharm. 2012. PMID: 22529405 Free PMC article. No abstract available.

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources