History Of Kombucha

The first recorded use of a fermented yeast enzyme tea was during the Chinese Tsin dynasty in 212 BC. It was referred to as the "The Divine Tsche". According to a story difficult to verify, in the year 414 a Dr. Kombu from Korea is said to have brought it to Japan to treat the ailing Emperor Inkyo. The success of the treatment led to a surge in popularity throughout China, Japan and Korea. It later spread to India and Russia and is now known through the world.

Kombucha resurfaced in Japan after a Japanese visitor to Kargasok (Russia) found many people there to be not only unusually healthy but over a hundred years old. The women were virtually unwrinkled, with few other signs of ageing. She was told that Kargasoks, young and old, drank a yeast enzyme tea daily and had done so for generations. It was claimed the tea was (along with stress free lives) responsible for their health and longevity. She was given a culture, with instructions, to take home. She shared its use with friends who reported after some weeks astonishing differences in physical wellbeing.

Kombucha was a popular  health drink in Europe until the World War II sugar shortages. Summing up then current medical opinion. Dr. E.Arauna (1929) said it had proved itself to be an excellent prophylactic for diabetes, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, gout, haemorrhoids, was a pleasant laxative, and it had been used for hundreds of years as a natural folk remedy, also for faigue, lassitude, nervous tension, rheumatism and incipient signs of old age. Kombucha was used with striking success for senility and arteriosclerosis at Prof. Jakschs Clinic for Internal Medicine in Prague. Irion (a leading German pharmacologist) wrote in 1994 of striking improvement in the whole glandular system and the stimulation of the metabolism by Kombucha and of it being highly recommend for gout, high blood pressure, nervous tension, furunculosis (boils), constipation and signs of age; also for those involved in sport or strenuous mental activity. Harmful deposits (e.g. uric acid and cholestern) were transferred to soluble form and excreted; dysenteric bacteria were suppressed.

A Russian doctor wrote of detailed epidemiological studies in the USSR (1951-53) and accidental findings by twenty scientists in two areas of the Perm region in the Urals where the population drank Kombucha-which were in marked contrast to the rest of the USSR, The Perm region was highly polluted (trees and fish dying) from asbestos, lead, mercury, etc. Nicotine and alcohol use was higher but cancer almost no-existent. Measurements of illness, alcohol offences, work attendace and morale of the people were far better than the rest of the nation. This led to research by Prof. Vinogradov (Stalin's personal physician) into the Kombucha culture and tea. Research their decision to give him KOmbucha to allay this terror cancer. The doctors were later released as victims of a political plot to undermine the KGB's Beria for sanctioning a mere nature cure and thus diminishing the scientific status of Soviet medicine. The tea was said (by the same doctor) to have been given to Ronald Reagan (at 1 litre a day) for cancer after American doctors recalled Alexander Solzenitzyn's description of his own Kombucha cure for cancer while in Soviet labour camps (see Cancer Ward, The Right Hand Autobiographies). Living in the USA at the time, he was interviewed and culture the flown Japan to the US.

The tea was tested by the German Army (1967) and found to increase stamina and reduce muscle pain and fatigue (200ml x 3 times daily). It's Dr. G. Simon found it a biological strengthening product increasing high performance sporting achievements. Dr. R. Weisner (1987) reported a trial of 246 patients with various conditions, comparing Kombucha with Interferon. Asthmatics did better on Kombucha, and other diseases responded only marginally less than to the Interferon product.