that unbelievable fungus tea?!?

Ralph D. Arnold rarnold at
Wed Sep 7 02:49:03 EST 1994

Could you provide me with scientific info, such as the edibility of the
mushroom itself (besides the yeasty broth) and price of cultures:

The following is an extremely exerpted copy of posting by maschue at

But ~Pichia fermentans~, mentioned in the article, sounds like
a reasonable guess. ~Pichia~, Hansen (1904), is one of 30 genera
in the Saccharomycetaceae, the 4th family in the Endomycetales,
a group of teleomorphic yeasts in the Ascomycotina.
See Von Arx et al (Stud.mycol.14:1977) and others...
We are talking about a "Panacea" Manchurian Mushroom that takes
seven days to reproduce itself; it looks like a 6" diameter hot
cake but is grayish in color...
(Lists everything possible that could be good)...
It was called by several different names: "Fungus japonicus",
"Fungo-japon Kombucha", ~Pichia fermentans~, "Cembuya orientalis",
"Combuchu", "Tschambucco", "Volga Spring", "mo-Gu", "Champignon
de longue vie", "Teekwass", "Kwassan", and "Kargasok Tea".
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 latter is _not_ a bacterium!. Ed.)
The kombucha fungus needs to live in a solution composed 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 producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid,
acetic acid and several vitamins. The yeast culture transforms
the  sugar and black tea into enzymesuseful for the body.
The fermented mixture later contains not only these products,
but also 0.5% alcohol.
_Glucuronic acid_ is used in the body to build the improtant
polyscharides such as: Hyaluronic acid which is vital for the
connective tissues; Chondroitinsulfat acid which is the basic
substance in our cartilage; Mykoitinsulfat acid which is for
the mucous and for the virtreous (eye) and also Heparin and
Lactic acid which is especially for our colon.
How to prepare kombucha tea
 1) One kombucha mushroom of about 3 inches in diameter.
 2) Two litres (3 1/2 quarts) of fresh water (preferably 
    natural mineral).
 3) 15 grams (two tablespoons) biological green tea
    (Chinese or Japanese)
 4) 200 grams (7 ozs.) refined white sugar
    (Some alternate recipe I've seen recommends light brown sugar.Ed.)
 5) A stainless steel saucepan (do _not_ use aluminum)
 6) A clean glass container with a wide mouth which will
    hold a 3" diameter mushroom and 2 litres of water
 7) A piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band to close the jar
A - The initial process - How to start the culture
 1) Boil the water, remove the saucepan from the heat
 2) Let it cool down for about 5 minutes
 3) Add the tea and let it steep for about 15 minutes,
    then remove the tea bag.
 4) Add the sugar and stir thoroughly
 5) Let the tea cool down to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit
 6) When making the first culture: Add two tablespoons of 
    natural vinegar (which you omit when you already have 
    mombucha batch made)
 7) Pour the tea into the glass container and add the kombucha
 8) Close the top with the cloth and rubber band.
 9) Place the jar in a spot at a temperature of 80 degrees F.
10) After 10 to 14 days a new kombucha mushroom will have grown
    on the whole surface of the tea.
11) This kombucha tea should be strained, bottled, sealed with
    a clean lid and kept in the refrigerator.
B - the subsequent process
You make the new batch of tea with the new mushroom (which has
grown on top of the old mushroom in the previous batch). The
old mushroom can be used to fertilize plants, applied to wounds
or used as cosmetic.
When the new tea has cooled and been poured into the jar it
should be mixed with  about 8 oz. per quart of the previous
(This sounds unreasonable, probably 'per litre'. Ed.)
batch of kombucha tea. This favors the fermentationas a result
of which the new kombucha tea will be ready in 8 to 10 days.
Of course you have to put the kombucha mushroom in the cool tea
and proceed as in step A above.
Recommended dosage: 4 oz. every morning, on an empty stomach.

Ralph D. Arnold
P.O. Box 889
Oregon City, OR   97045
rarnold at

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