Kombucha is a fermented food, much like cultured yogurt, cheese, kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut. Traditionally a carbonated drink with live microorganisms, kombucha is made by brewing together sugar, black or green tea, liquid from a previous batch and the Scoby, short for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (though its more popular nickname is "mother," since it reproduces during fermentation).

The "tea of immortality" has come a long way from its reported beginning in China more than 2,000 years ago. It has evolved into a US$475 million industry in the United States, nearly quadrupling in the previous four years, according

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