Probiotics are beneficial for digestion, immune health, and other factors. But what about “Probiotic Tea?”
How did the probiotics make it into our bodies? Are they good for us?
- A new trend is to make a probiotic strain and add it to teabags.
- For centuries, kombucha and naturally fermented puer teas have been enjoyed for their probiotic properties.
We will explore the effectiveness of these probiotic teas, their differences, and the exciting ways other teas can support a healthy gut and microbiome.
Modern research has confirmed that these teas are a digestif that can soothe the stomach after a meal.
What is Probiotic Tea?
Any dietary supplement that contains probiotic Tea can contain either true, Camellia sinensis tea or herbal tea without caffeine. The theory behind probiotic Tea increases the beneficial bacteria in your stomach.
The marketing of commercial teas as “probiotic” teas is a recent innovation by mass-market tea companies who have embraced the wellness trend of probiotic supplements for gut health.
These teas add one industrially produced bacterial strain to regular herbal teas. Except for the novelty, they don’t provide anything more than regular probiotic capsules.
If you are familiar with your tea history, you will know that probiotic Tea was not a new invention.
There are many traditional methods of making Tea. These produce multiple beneficial microorganism strains and transform the Tea in delicious and unique ways. We’ll be covering the next section.
What teas contain probiotics?
Because of how they are made, kombucha tea, raw and ripe puer, contains natural beneficial bacteria and microbes.
According to peer-reviewed research, traditional probiotic and fermented foods like kombucha and pu’er may have more benefits than modern probiotic supplements (including probiotics added in grocery store tea bags).
Kombucha is a probiotic beverage made from fermenting Tea and sugar for approximately 1-2 weeks.
The SCOBY metabolizes the tea polyphenols, sugar and creates a unique, delicious, effervescent beverage. This is associated with many health benefits, including:
- Probiotic Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces microorganisms can support gut health
- The powerful antioxidants in Tea are a great way to support your cells’ health.
- A single cup contains more than the RDA for vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
We have a complete article that will help you dive deeper into the science and make your kombucha safely and cheaply.
Raw Pu’er is also known as sheng Pu’er or green Pu’er. It’s a Chinese tea that’s grown in Yunnan. It’s processed the same way as white or green tea. It’s pressed into cakes and then aged.
The naturally occurring bacteria transform the tea leaves in the Tea to make it a special cup of Tea.
An analysis of multiple types of puer revealed 390 fungal species and 629 bacteria species.
These probiotic tea components are associated with many health benefits, including:
- Healthy blood sugar support
- Support for healthy cholesterol
- Support for healthy weight maintenance
Tea lovers also need to know that the experience of drinking Tea is unique. This is why the most costly Tea globally has been made from decades-old, raw Pu’er.
To create ripely or “cooked” Pu’er (also known as shou pu’er), you need to heap freshly harvested tea leaves in a large, moist pile. The warm environment will keep them there for several months to promote fermentation and oxidation.
This process is very similar to making garden soil. The result is that ripe puer matures much faster than raw puer.
Like raw Pu’er but from Yunnan, Rough paper appears to be a new invention. To meet the growing demand for aged puer tea, a tea factory invented the “wet piling” method in the 1970s.
The ripe Pu’er is not as stable as raw Pu’er because it undergoes most of its transformation during rapid fermentation.
Although the experience of drinking sheng Pu’er is quite different, many people still enjoy it as a delicious and authentic probiotic tea.
Bonus: Prebiotics in White and Green Tea
Prebiotics are special compounds that may support healthy gut microbiomes by feeding beneficial bacteria strains.
Camellia sinensis Tea contains much important prebiotics. Here are some examples.
- EGCG and other catechins in green and white tea
- Black Tea contains theaflavins and thearubigins
Because of their ability to promote healthy gut bacteria, Tea’s polyphenols and natural prebiotic molecules could be responsible for many health benefits.
Some gut health researchers argue that prebiotics should be included in your diet more than probiotics. So don’t overlook the importance of high-quality Tea for obtaining prebiotics.
Is Probiotic Tea effective?
Although probiotic tea bags containing additional probiotic strains may not offer any particular advantage over regular probiotic supplements, they can be just as effective.
It’s important to fully understand what you are ingesting and any side effects or drawbacks.
Some manufactured probiotic teas use a probiotic strain known as GanedenBC 30. It is also known by Bacillus coagulations GBI-30. This Bacillus cookies strain is designed to survive boiling water, stomach acid and reach your large intestinal tract.
Bacillus coagiens is what is known as a spore-forming bacteria. Scientists believe it is not an essential part of the human microbiome and that it usually comes from the soil.
Health experts have expressed concern about the use of probiotics that spore-form. They can colonize your stomach and pose a danger to people with compromised immune systems.
It’s impossible to eradicate spore-forming bacteria using antibiotics if they become opportunistic or start causing damage to your GI tract.
Although spore-forming organisms derived from soil may seem like a good idea, other options can be beneficial for your gut health.
What is the best probiotic Tea?
Raw Pu’er, ripe and homemade kombucha are the best probiotic teas.
They taste great, offer more healthy bacteria and are likely safer than “probiotic tea” on the market.
While commercial probiotic teas only contain one strain of probiotic bacteria, kombucha tea and Pu’er tea have been shown to have many and hundreds of different kinds of microorganisms.
Although some strains of pu’er might not survive boiling water, studies suggest that probiotics can still be beneficial for your health.
Don’t forget to drink high-quality, antioxidant-rich green, white, and black teas for your gut health.
Prebiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to support healthy microbiomes. They nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut through polyphenols and antioxidants found in Tea. According to gut health researchers, prebiotics is even more important than probiotics.