Kombucha is a slightly acidic, fermented drink made from a base of tea, sugar, good bacteria and yeast. It originated in China about 2,000 years ago. It has been growing in popularity at health food stores and among holistic health consumers, who drink it for its many alleged health benefits.
To make kombucha, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a “SCOBY,” is added to the tea and sugar, and the mixture is allowed to ferment. The result is a beverage that some say smells like beer and tastes like fizzy apple cider. Others say it tastes like wine; other say it tastes like vinegar. Though this fizzy drink is sometimes called kombucha mushroom tea, there are no mushrooms in it.
Fans of kombucha have attributed several health claims and positive effects to the tea, the...