Kombucha is a combination of two words. “cha” is a Chinese word, means “tea”. What’s the meaning of “Kombu”? Someone said that it was a korean physician named “Kombu”. I’m not in favor of it. Let us first look at this. In China, there are several kombucha names with same kombucha meaning. “HaiBao”, “WeiBao”, “HongChaJun”, “DongBei MoGu”. What’s kombucha definition in China? The first name”HaiBao”. “Hai” means sea. “Bao” means “a treasure”. Scoby looks like a jellyfish in the sea. Different names have different kombucha meaning. People got the kombucha healthy benefits from”HaiBao” and the shape”HaiBao” looked like something meaningful to a jellyfish. As jellyfish comes from the sea and these people lived near the sea, so they named it”HaiBao”, the treasure of the sea. Later, some people had stomach disease and also got kombucha benefits from “HaiBao”, so they also called it “WeiBao”, “Wei” means stomach. People also called it “HongChaJun”, “Hong Cha” means black tea, “Jun” means “fungus”. “DongBei MoGu”, here “MoGu” has definition of “kombucha mushroom”, “DongBei” is a northern region name of China. Let’s go back to the meaning of “Kombu”, I think that “Kombucha” is a name importing from either Korea or Japan. Korea and Japan are two countries around the sea. There is a famous seaweed in Japan called “Kombu”. It also exists in Korea. I tried to find the source of Korean name”Kombu”, no any trace. And “Kombu” does not look like a Korean name. Maybe the person who named “Kombucha” used “Kombu”（the name of a seaweed) and put it with “cha”. As the mushroom lives in the water with tea, sugar, it looks similar to a “Kombu” that lives in the sea. If we search the word “kombu” in http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kombu, same meaning.
There are also other Kombucha names with same significance, like Combucha(Japan), Tea Kvass(Russia), Olinka (Gypsies, Moravia), Kargasok tea (Japan), Manchurian Mushroom(same as “DongBei MoGu”) etc.
Learning kombucha meaning is a very interesting subject. We can understand better the health benefits.