Japanese Sour Plum & Bancha Twig Tea

Japanese Sour Plum:

Japanese Sour Plum is known as Umeboshi Plum (and also called ‘Ume’ or ‘Wu Mei’ 烏梅) has antibiotic effects against various bacteria including Staphylococcus, E. coli, Salmonella and Mycobacterium.  Ume plum provides natural minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, iron and calcium. Ume plum is useful for diseases of the digestive system (stomachache, acid reflux, heartburn, H. pylorus bacillus, stomach ulcer and irritable bowel syndrome).

Plum Candy

Plum Candy

Many medical studies have shown that ume plum markedly improves the fluidity of human blood, which is part of why is it so helpful at cleaning the body of toxins, improving the immunity and increasing metabolism. Because it improves the quality of the blood and its circulation, Ume can also strengthen a weak pulse or slow the heart beat. It also contains anti-oxidants which help protect the body against free radical damage, aiding the skin and hair and slowing down the aging process.  This accounts for why ume plum is helpful for various cancers and fatigue.

Sometimes I take Umeboshi as more of a candy.

Tea Leaf (Camellia sinensis):

In class we made a home-remedy that is a mixture of the pickled Japanese ume plum along with a certain type of green tea called bancha or kukicha (from the tea plant Camellia sinensis).  A little soy sauce and ginger can be added for flavor and warmth.

Umesho bancha tea can be taken if there is discomfort after fasting or long-term illness.  It is often given to a mother at the time her baby is delivered.

The following is for 1 serving.  The preparation time is about 3-5 minutes, and the cooking time is about 7-10 minutes.

Recipe for Umesho Bancha Tea


Bancha Green Tea

  • 2/3 cup Bancha Tea
  • 1/2 umeboshi plum (Wu Mei)
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger juice (Sheng Jiang)


1.     Combine Bancha Tea and umeboshi plum

2.     Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes

3.     Remove from heat

4.     Add soy sauce and ginger juice

5.     Serve hot


1. With Grated Daikon

This variation is useful for gallstones or kidney stones. Make thick Umesho Bancha Tea and mix 1 cup with 1 tablespoon grated daikon. For sharp pain, use 2 tablespoons grated daikon.

2. Here is another version from the book “Macrobiotic Home Remedies” by Michio Kushi, edited by Mark Van Cauwenberghe, M.D.

Ume-Sho-Ban:    Crush the meat of one umeboshi plum.  Add 1/2 teaspoon tamari soy sauce to it. Add boiling Bancha Tea (1/2 – 1 cup, according to individual taste). You may also add several drops of ginger juice. Stir well and drink. This preparation is not so suitable for babies or children: better give them umeboshi-kuzu, or ume-sho-ban without ginger and with less tamari soy sauce.

Michio Kushi’s book discuss the use of this drink in cases of:

  • Headache caused by excessive consumption of yin foods
  • Stomach troubles (nausea, lack of appetite)
  • Tiredness
  • Anemia, weak blood and weak circulation
  • Exposure to toxic air

3.  My student, Dennis Kempel, has his own personal version which is described here.

Crush the meat of 1 umeboshi plum, or the equivalent amount of ume paste, into 1 teaspoon of tamari soy sauce and add 1 cup of Bancha Tea, stir well and drink warm. It is a very easy tea to make and it is very versatile.  He has used it successfully for food poisoning, or stomach discomfort of any kind, colds, influenza.  He has given it to people who were just upset and couldn’t sleep.  It is best not to eat or drink anything, except a little water if thirsty, and go to bed.

This tea quickly balances and normalizes the pH of the body.  Many people eat an abundance of acidic and acid-forming foods. This puts their bodies into an overly acidic state. Nothing works optimally in that condition, and certainly not the immune system.  The bacteria and viruses that humans are most susceptible to, culture best in a slightly acidic environment, but not so well in one that is more alkaline. The same thing is true inside our bodies. If we take the Ume-sho-ban Tea, as soon as we feel like we’ve contracted something, we put our bodies into its proper pH so that neither the bacteria nor virus has a chance to proliferate out of control and, in that state, our immune systems are in their top fighting form. For the next several days, we need to watch our diets and avoid acidic and acid-forming foods while our immune systems are ramping up to fight off the microbe, so that the pathogen doesn’t out run the immune systems ability to deal with it.


Natural Healing from Head to Toe by Cornellia and Herman Aihara

Healing with Whole Foods, Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford

Macrobiotic Home Remedies by Michio Kushi, edited by Mark Van Cauwenberghe, M.D.

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  1. Hi there! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you’ve got right here on this post. I’ll be
    returning to your site for more soon.

    Comment by zfh — June 2, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

  2. Bancha is a miracle cure as far as I have experienced it! I can not remember how many times I have utilized it to clear up sore throats and swollen glands. And the addition of ume makes it even better!
    I really wish we had the opportunity to study some japanese cooking at this school as it is miraculous in its balancing effects on the body. jodi

    Comment by Jodi Host — July 12, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

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    Comment by vegan essentials — August 6, 2013 @ 9:00 am

  4. I can get behind anything that slows the aging process. But, as far as the antibiotic effects of the Umboshi Plum, can it be potent enough on it’s own to treat E. coli after someone is already sick?

    Comment by Kim O'Berry — August 7, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

  5. If someone is already sick with E. coli, I would go for stronger anti-biotic herbs…. possibly ‘Huang Lian’ along with other herbs, depending on the case.

    Comment by Lana — August 8, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

  6. i had a fresh umoboshi the other day, it was quit good fresh, very cooling. would like to grow them

    Comment by jonathan — August 14, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

  7. Thanks for finally talking about > Umesho Bancha Tea Lana
    Farson Classes < Loved it!

    Comment by known natural remedies — November 6, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

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