Kombucha Tea Mushroom

YTF ytf at aol.com
Sat Dec 31 07:34:14 EST 1994

No access to the New York Times?  (shudder)
Unfortunately, that section of the times wasn't posted in the online
services.  I think I can
summerise the points that  haven't been covered in other postings,

1.)  It is not a mushroom, it is a fungus.
2.)  Both sceptics and promoters agree that in the fermentation process
the culture is easily
contaminated by spores in the air.  If the fermentation is not done
safely, the results can be
dangerous, even deadly, thereby far outweighing its usefulness.
3.)  It has been researched by professionals for a number of years and
found to be chock full of
"good stuff", however, as was pointed out in an earlier posting, not much
is known about side
effects, longterm complications, etc.
4.)  Rather than being a curative elixer, it may simply be an aid to other
process' that benefit the
body; helping the body absorb Vitamins B and C more easily, for instance.
5.)  Though high in a number of antibiotics,  it may be far less effective
as an anti-carcinogenic
than many other natural products such as Garlic and Yogurt.
6.)  Fermentation Kits, (along with a starter culture) have found their
way into some health food
7.)  Perhaps more beneficial than the medicinal effects of the fungus is
the sense of community
that its users feel.

My opinion?   I, like the author of a previous posting, have nothing to do
with the scientific,
medical, pharmaceudical, or any other related industries.  My educational
background is in the
Arts and Literature, and my profession is in Television. (Technical: I
assume no responsibility for
Kombucha has been around for a long time.  Its recent popularity is due to
good marketing,
rather than its health benefits.  It probably is not going to cure you of
all you ills, but it may help
some of them, perhaps the mental ones.  It probably won't hurt you unless
your fermentation
techniques are less than sanitary, or if you over do your consumption. 
Some people may, due to
their particular body chemistry, may have really bad reactions to some of
the bacteria.  Users
who embrace it with zeal are probably people looking for something to
embrace zealosly.  And
lastly, in keeping with my basic philosophy in life, just because you read
it, doesn't mean it's true,
even when it's in the New York Times.

An added note: The term Kombucha Tea has been trademarked.

Tim Farrell
Katonah, NY

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