A years ago a friend gave me a kombucha fungus or disc with the instruction that to keep it alive I must feed it black tea with sugar , and when another liken fungus appears,about 7 days from the brewing solution, I am obliged to give the new disc to someone and give the same instruction to propagate it. I did just that. After the first batch was formed, and I started drinking the fermented liquid,I notice that I got dizzy and nauseous and suffered from persistent diarrhea so I stop using it. In short I was not able to propagate the fungus but once.
The lesson here is to find out more about a food product or medication before we ingest it. When we take an over the counter pill, we read the label,if we are sick, the doctor ask questions about our illness before he or she prescribes a medication for us. In my case, I took my friends advice without checking out if manchurian tea has has adverse effect on people.
The first recorded use of Manchurian or kombucha tea was in 221 B.C. during the Chinese Empire of the Tsin-Dynasty. It was referred too as “The Remedy for Immortality” or “The Divine Tache”. 2 centuries later, Dr. Kombu from Korea brought it to Japan during the reign of the Emperor of Tokyo about 414 B.C. The use of the tea became widespread , and soon reached Russia, India and the world.
Some of the attributes that users are touting regarding the tea is that, it promotes longevity. They say that Siberians and Russians who had been drinking the tea lived to be over 100 years old and are healthy and happy. They attribute this gift of life to manchurian or kombucha tea. Dr. Pan Pen from Japan reports that manchurian tea helps restore hair growth and greying of hair and straightens the eye sight. It can be used as a natural antibiotic. Reduce weight,lower uric acid and cholesterol levels, cure rheumatism,arthritis ,kidney disorders,gout, boils,arteriocloroses,hypertension ,rebuild the stomack flora and increase blood circulation . There are other attributes that are too numerous to mention. Sounds great so far
Kombucha fungus has a built in membrane-form and is a symbiosis of yeast cells and different bacterias.This bacterias are: Bacterium gluconicum, acetobacter ketogenum and pichia fermentans. Kombucha fungus need to live in a solution composed of black tea and sugar. Given the right temperature, they will multiply . Unlike yeast, kombucha fungus is not a spore bearer. They multiple by a process producing glucuronic acid,lactic acid ,aceitic acid and high levels of the B vitamins. The culture transform the sugar and black tea into enzymes useful for the body. The resulting brew also had been found to have 0.5% alcohol.
This is the instruction I received to propagate this so called miracle tea
Make sure you use enamel or glass pot containers. Metal rimmed pots are forbidden. Remove hand jewelries when handling the mushrooms . Use wooden or plastic spoon.
Heres how to prepare the brew:
Heat 31/2 quarts of water in an enamel or glass pot . Bring to a boil, then add 1 cup of light brown sugar and let it boil for five minutes. Turn off stove, add 5 teabags (lipton or other black tea brand) .Cover for 5 minutes,then remove the tea bags and discard.. When the prepared tea is cool, put the fungus on top of solution. The fungus should float, it it sinks, it will resurface again so do not worry. Cover the pot with a cheese cloth to allow air circulation and store in a cool place with the ambient temperature of 70-75 deg F. After 7 days, the fungus has self propagated itself by forming another fungus right under the original one. Separate the disc, and start making your brew again. Give the other disc to someone .
The tea where the fungus stayed in for 7 days is what you drink . Strain the tea using a fine sieve. Store in a a glass pitcher or jar or plastic and keep it refrigerated. Take 4oz of the brew daily.
Adverse reaction to drinking the tea had been publisized but none of the magazines and newletters that recommends the tea notified users of such ill effects.
1. Because the procedure does not include aseptic procedure (home made) the cultures are largely contaminated with anthrax and aspergillus,a fungus dangerous to people with lowered immune system.
2. Lead poisoning has been associated with kombucha tea brewed in glazed ceramic pot.
3. Kombucha tea is acidic, this may cause gut toxicity,allergic reaction,jaundice,head and neck pain and vomiting.
4. Do not take kombucha tea if you are diabetic, when taking blood thinners,blood pressure medications,hupertensive medication, taking antibiotics and cortocosteroids or have kidney disorders
in 1995 a report of 2 incidents in Northwest Iowa was publisized related to drinking kombucha tea. Both took the tea for 2 months and the source of the tea is from the same culture.The decision made by IDPH (Iowa Department of Public Health) an,CDC (center for Disease Control) and Food and Drug Administration was unanimous. A news release notified the residents to stop drinking the tea until the cause of the 2 cases had been evaluated. Both of the patients had cardiac arrest, metabolic acidosis,respiratory distress and elevated lactic acid . Both were resusitated, one recovered but the other did not recover and died after 3 days.
Another incident reported was that of a 22 year old male newly diagnosed with HIV who took kombucha tea and had shortness of breath and afebrile at 103 deg F within 12 hours of ingesting the tea.
If you are compelled to take the tea , do your homework. Take sanitary precautions, make sure you are not on prescribed or over the counter medication or taking any herb supplement that may interfere or interact with the substances present in kombucha. It is very critical that you spend time researching on the adverse reaction that it may cause in your situation. Talk to your doctor. Listen to your body .You and you alone can tell the difference. The health benefits touted are mostly based on personal experience and not a documented scientific facts, nor is it based on human research.