Lead poisoning from drinking Kombucha tea brewed in a ceramic pot

Med J Aust. 1998 Dec;169(11-12):644-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1998.tb123448.x.


Kombucha tea is an alternative therapy that is gaining popularity as a remedy for a diverse range of ailments. We report two cases of symptomatic lead poisoning requiring chelation therapy in a married couple who had been drinking Kombucha tea for six months, brewing the tea in a ceramic pot. We postulate that acids in the tea eluted lead from the glaze pigment used in the ceramic pot, in a manner analogous to elution of lead from crystal decanters by wine and spirits.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Ceramics / adverse effects*
  • Chelation Therapy
  • Cooking*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / etiology*
  • Lead Poisoning / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tea*


  • Tea