Certain herbal medicines are best extracted by both water and alcohol, because they contain active compounds with different solubilities. Usually this is done with hot water maceration, steeping a while, then alcohol maceration of the same menstruum, steeping, and combining the extractions if I recall correctly.
Any thoughts on shortcutting this method with kombucha? Could it possibly effect so complete an extraction as the tedious double-extraction of menstruum? I already use it to extract from cinnamon, black cumin, turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cayenne and schisandra berries. Because kombucha contains both alcohol and water and is an active ferment, I wonder at its extractive capabilities.
If so, at what stage would you introduce medicinal compounds? I'm considering experimenting with extracting reishi and chaga (I think chaga is a double-extractive?) via kombucha, introduced at the secondary ferment stage: remove the scoby, rack the kombucha, introduce medicinals and ferment at least 2 more days. But given the recommended weeks of steeping for reishi, I might leave the kombucha until it's practically vinegar. I'm curious whether something in medicinals will arrest fermentation too. Clearly I am way out of my biochemical depth! Good times.
That is exactly how you should do it! I brew 5 gallons of sweet tea and sugar and just when it gets a bit tart, (3 to 5 days in our tropical climate) i combine a super-concentrate of the herbs and shelf fungi (extracted with just enough hot water to cover) and kombucha in a food grade 5 gallon bucket with lid and let the herbs steep in the acid elixir for 24 more hours. I then strain and bottle... GOOD LUCK! send pictures!