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More Health Benefits 
Health Benefits of Twig Tea 

Although there has been very little, if any, medical research into the health benefits of drinking kukicha or twig tea, traditional folklore suggests that this beverage has a soothing, beneficial effect on digestion, blood quality, and the mind. Several macrobiotic healing tonics made from combinations of kukicha, soy sauce, and umeboshi or ume extract have many medicinal uses, ranging from alkalizing the blood to relieving hangovers. Chemical analysis of the kukicha twigs has shown that the tea may be a good source of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C, and because it has very little caffeine, it is safe for children and infants to drink.


Several folk medicines for specific medical conditions are made by combining twig tea, or kukicha, with other medicinal foods such as gomashio (sesame seeds and sea salt), shoyu and umeboshi. Although there is no scientific research confirming the effectiveness of these tonics, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, and many of these remedies have roots in the ancient traditional medicines of Japan and China. Mitoku does not recommend these teas as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of the conditions listed below, check with your personal health care provider before using the suggestions below.

Ume-Sho-Ban: Mitoku offers a prepared Umesho concentrate that can be added to tea. However, if you wish to prepare your own, follow these simple instructions. Crush the meat of one umeboshi and add 1/2 teaspoon shoyu to it. Add boiling kukicha tea (1/2 -1 cup, according to individual taste). You may also add several drops of ginger juice. Stir well and drink. For children use without ginger and with less shoyu.

This drink can be useful for the following conditions:

o headache caused by excessive consumption of foods high in sugar or oil
o stomach trouble (nausea, lack of appetite)
o tiredness
o anemia, weak blood and weak circulation
o intoxication by carbon monoxide

Sho-Ban or Soy-Bancha: Put one or two teaspoons of shoyu in a cup. Add hot kukicha to fill the cup. This tea will have a strengthening and refreshing effect on healthy people. Shoyu as well as kukicha have an alkalinizing effect on acidic blood, which can be caused by over-activity or eating lots of sugary foods or animal foods. This tonic is known to activate the circulation.

Take 1 to 2 cups a day until relief is obtained, but do not continue for more than 3 to 4 days in a row. If you add a little grated ginger to this drink, it is particularly effective in cases of stomach trouble such as nausea and flatulence.

This drink can be useful for the following conditions:

o stomach troubles (in particular stomach acidity and indigestion)
o menstrual cramps, flatulence
o carbon monoxide intoxication
o rheumatism

Gomashio-Bancha: Add a cup of hot kukicha to a teaspoon of gomashio, and stir well. Use this drink the same way as Sho-ban above. It has been found to be particularly useful for stomach or intestinal cramps. It also helps relieve tiredness in the summer.

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Natural Import Company

170 Chilly Bowl Road

Rutherfordton,  NC 28139