Health-Ade Kombucha beverages on display during Hilarity for Charity’s 5th Annual Los Angeles Variety Show: (Photo : Randy Shropshire / Stringer)
Fermented tea, which is popularly known as Kombucha, is a fermented, sweetened black or green tea commonly intended to serve as functional beverages for their assumed health benefits. The tea is produced by mixing a “symbiotic colony” of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) and then set aside for fermentation to take place.
The actual population of microbes present in a SCOBY cultures varies, but the yeast component includes Saccharomyces while the bacterial component includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to acetic and other acids.
Together, the culture looks like the slab of human subcutaneous tissue or an undercooked pancake. It is alive and self-perpetuating. New starter colonies typically come from another kombucha. Although it is claimed that Kombucha has numerous health benefits, there is no authentic evidence that drinking Kombucha has such effects.
In contrast to the above, there are various documented cases of adverse effects, including fatalities, possibly arising from contamination during unhygienic home preparation. However, since the risk of taking Kombucha outweighs the mostly unclear benefits, it is not recommended for therapeutic use.
Kombucha originated in present day Manchuria around 220 BCE and was exported to Japan around 400 CE by a physician named Kombu. …
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