With over 2,000 years of traditional use, Kombucha is a fermented drink that is thought to have originated in Manchuria, Northeast China. It has been traditionally consumed in Asia for its health benefitting properties and is thought to have arrived in Europe along the "Silk Road". Scientific records of Kombucha first appeared in Russia in 1913 when the earliest known research was published by AA Bachinskaya. In Russian, the kombucha culture is called čajnyj grib (literally “tea mushroom”), while the beverage itself is known as grib (“mushroom” or affectionately gribok – “little mushroom”) or “tea kvass.” In the early 20th century, Bachinskaya collected samples of Kombucha cultures from across Russia to study the yeast and bacteria that comprise the “mushroom.”
After witnessing a Russian peasant use Kombucha to help injured soldiers in WWI, Dr. Rudolf Sklenar, brought the culture back to his native Germany where Kombucha was used in a specific protocol for a number of maladies. Hundreds of studies on Kombucha went on to be conducted in Russia and Germany between the 1920's - 1930's.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from bacteria and yeast mixed with green tea and sugar. The sugary tea turns into kombucha with the help of a SCOBY (a "symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast" which is made of live bacteria).