The Magic of Kombucha Tea 

'Booch, Kombucha, Kambucha, Kambotcha'

Kombucha has been brewed in homes for centuries if not millennia. Starting with a pot of sweet tea, a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is added to the brew and left alone for a week or more. The resulting tangy sweet beverage delights the senses and the living nutrition invigorates the body.

"Kombucha tea is a slightly sweet, slightly acidic refreshing beverage consumed worldwide. It is obtained from infusion of tea leaves by the fermentation of a symbiotic association of bacteria and yeasts forming “tea fungus” (Chen and Liu 2000). A floating cellulosic pellicle layer and the sour liquid broth are the 2 portions of kombucha tea (Figure 1). It tastes like sparkling apple cider and can be produced in the home by fermentation using mail order or locally available tea fungus. Though green tea can be used for kombucha preparation, black tea and white sugar are considered the finest substrates. Kombucha is the internationally used Germanized form of the Japanese name for this slightly fermented tea beverage. It was first used in East Asia for its healing benefits. Kombucha originated in northeast China (Manchuria) where it was prized during the Tsin Dynasty (“Ling Chi”), about 220 B.C., for its detoxifying and energizing properties. In 414 A.D., the physician Kombu brought the tea fungus to Japan and he used it to cure the digestive problems of the Emperor Inkyo. As trade routes expanded, kombucha (former trade name “Mo‐Gu”) found its way first into Russian (as Cainiigrib, Cainii kvass, Japonskigrib, Kambucha, Jsakvasska) and then into other eastern European areas, appearing in Germany (as Heldenpilz, Kombuchaschwamm) around the turn of the 20th century. During World War II, this beverage was again introduced into Germany, and in the 1950's it arrived in France and also in France‐dominated North Africa where its consumption became quite popular. The habit of drinking fermented tea became acceptable throughout Europe until World War II which brought widespread shortages of the necessary tea leaves and sugar. In the postwar years, Italian society's passion for the beverage (called “Funkochinese”) peaked in the 1950s. In the 1960s, science researchers in Switzerland reported that drinking kombucha was similarly beneficial as eating yogurt and kombucha's popularity increased. Today, kombucha is sold worldwide in retail food stores in different flavors and kombucha culture is sold in several online shopping websites. A kombucha journal is electronically published by Gunther W. Frank and available worldwide in 30 languages (Dufresne and Farnworth 2000; Hartmann and others 2000)."  

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So Whats the Magic?

It is apparent that kombucha tea is a source of a wide range of bioactive components that are digested, absorbed, and metabolized by the body, and exert their effects at the cellular level.