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Subject: Identification of fungus?
To: bionet-mycolocy at
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 94 12:04:37 CST
From: John O'Brien <john at>
Cc: sci-bio at
X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.3 PL6]
Message-Id: <940618120439.AA02508 at para.UUCP>

Could anyone give an assessment of the below description of a 'fungus' I've
been given, with claims it can 'de-tox' the body.  I have MS, and of course
want to feel better, but I like to  at least know if this is a known 
substance to the biologic community.  I have already prepared the tea and
the 'fungus' did reproduce; it seemed to grow to cover the available surface
area of the container it was in, which was several times larger than its 
parent.    *see below

This is a *much* edited version of a 32K story; I tried to get rid of all
the anecdotal 'evidence'.
     The Central Bacteriological Institute in Moscow determined they were
dealing with "the little known Kombucha, or Japanese tea sponge." The
scientists further determined that the sponge-like mushroom culture was
actually a jelly-like mass formed by symbiotic growths of bacterium xylinum
and nestlike deposits of yeast cells of the genus Saccharomyces. To this
symbiosis, Frank writes, "also belong: Saccharomyces ludwigii, Saccharomyces
of the apiculatus types; Bacterium xylinoides, Bacterium gluconicum,
Schizosaccharomycespombe, Acetobacter ketogenum, Torula types, Pichia
fermentans and other yeasts."
     The Soviet microbiologists decided that the "tea fungus" was not a
"fungus, but a lichen." Even though one of the products of the fermentation
is a "lichen-like antibiotic," Frank disagrees and states as follows:
 "A lichen is a symbiosis of algae and fungi, and requires light as a source
of energy in order to build up chlorophyll by photosynthesis, a typical
feature of algae.  Kombucha, on the other hand, flourishes even in the dark,
precisely because it contains no algae components."

      The kombucha fungus is built in membrane-form  and  is  a  symbiosis of
      yeast cells and different bacteria.  Among these bacteria are:
      Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Acetobacter ketogenum, and
      Pichia fermentans.  The kombucha fungus needs to live in a solution of
      black tea and sugar.  In the right temperature they multiply
      constantly. They don't build spores as yeast normally does, but
      instead multiply by a process glucuronic acid, lactic acid, acetic
      acid and several vitamins.  The yeast culture transfoms the sugar and
      black tea into enzymes useful for the body.  The fermented mixture
      later contains not only these products, but also 0.5% alcohol.
      Glucaronic acid is used in the-body to build the important
      polysacchrides such as: Hyaluronic acid which is vital for the
      connective tissue; Chondroitinsulfat acid which is the basic
      substance in our cartilage;Mukoitinsulfat acid which is for the
      mucous and for the vitreous(eye), and also Heparin and lactic acid
      which is especially for our colon.  Kombucha works like a natural

~  John O'Brien ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
~~~~  john at     O'B-wan Computer Services  (816)229-7648   ~

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