Hi there! I have not been able to find the shoyu or the umeboshi plums... I did find the ume boshi vinegar. Is this tea still as beneficial with out the shoyu? AND would it make sense to sub the vinegar for the actual plum in the tea?
As Alicia mentions, it is the plum that has the actual beneficial properties. As someone who has used it when I've eaten a dessert with a load of cane sugar after eating really cleanly, it's the plum that's gonna make you feel better. Shoyu is soy sauce, but ideally you want a high quality soy sauce, and the best do not have alcohol. However, I personally find the tea on its own to be very balancing. A macrobiotic book I have also has the same twig tea recipe, but also has one that adds shoyu and scallions, recommended for flu or cold.
I found that the taste of the cure-all tea ws worse than the symptoms I was experiencing...holy salt, batman!! I could barely stand the saltiness, it actually hurt my tongue, and I rinsed the plum beforehand too. Maybe it's just me and I am extra sensitive to salt, I dunno....
So I have now had a $14 package of umeboshi plums sitting in my frig for 8 months...not sure what to do with them, as I couldn't stand them in the porridge either. :(
I could always send them to you, Stacey, if you really want them! :)