Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Donald Trump Threatens to Bring Bill Clinton's Former Mistress Gennifer Flowers to Presidential Debate
- Read the Cover Story: Brad & Angelina Split After 12 Years: It's Over
- FBI Unlikely to Proceed with Brad Pitt Child Abuse Investigation, Source Says
- Charlotte Police Announce They Will Release Footage from Keith Lamont Scott's Death After Days of Protests
- WATCH: Duck Dynasty Star Sadie Robertson Inspires Teens with Her LIVE Original Tour!
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- February 13, 1995
- Vol. 43
- No. 6
Yeast Meets West
There's a Humongous Fungus Among Us, and Its Advocates Call It the Cure for Almost Everything
Tea made from the kombucha mushroom, as it's called—although technically it's not a mushroom but a combination of yeast, bacteria and lichen—is the panacea du jour among alternative medicine's true believers. Although the Federal Drug Administration hasn't ruled on its brew's virtues and mainstream medical experts urge caution, kombucha's proponents, who claim it is a 2,000-year-old folk medicine that originated in Manchuria, or maybe Egypt, have no doubt where they stand.
Betsy Pryor, who has shipped 4,000 fungi from her Los Angeles-based Laurel Farms company, says, "This has reached out and touched people's hearts. Buddhist monks, sisters and priests, even Orthodox rabbis—they're all drinking it." She found out about kombucha in August of 1993, after a meditation session at her guru's ashram in West Hollywood. "I'd been asking God that since the planet was so sick, wasn't there something out there I could do to help heal people," she says. A fellow believer invited Pryor to quaff a tealike drink with a "gelatinous thing" sitting in it. "Within a few days," says Pryor, "my energy started to lift, and my skin started to clear up."
Pryor had found her mission: selling $50 kombucha home-brew starter kits—plastic bags containing a lily pad-shaped kombucha and some tea. After about 10 days, in which the kombucha ferments in water, with sugar and tea added, the vinegar-tasting beverage—also available from health food stores—is ready for sipping. Devotees advocate drinking four ounces of kombucha three times a day. As yet there have been no reports of unwanted side effects, except for a syndrome that initiates call the kombucha retch factor, caused by drinking too much of it. So far there's no cure for that.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!