Kombucha [kawm-boo-chah] is a fermented tea that is often drunk for medicinal purposes. There is limited scientific information supporting any health benefit and few studies are being conducted. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha culture which is often referred to as the ‘mushroom’ or the ‘mother.’

The recorded history of kombucha began in Russia during the late 19th century. In Chinese, kombucha is called hongchajun (red tea fungus). In Japanese, the drink is known as kōcha kinoko (black tea mushroom). Some promotional kombucha sources propagate the legend that this tea-based beverage originated in ancient China or Japan centuries prior to knowledge of leaf-based teas. There is little historical evidence to support this claim.

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