For thousands of years, health-conscious Chinese drank kombucha, a fermented tea said to benefit drinkers with everything from better digestion to thicker hair.
Now the brew, which tastes like carbonated vinegar, is going mainstream. It's on the shelves at local health food stores and at Whole Foods, where you can find it near refrigerated juices.
Believed to have originated in China around 250 B.C., kombucha is called mushroom tea because the culture used to brew each batch is mushroom-shaped. You won't see mushrooms in your bottled tea, though those feathery solids are drinkable remnants.
The drink's supposed therapeutic benefits include better skin, weight loss, increased energy and detoxification.
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