Suan Mei Tang : Sour Drink : Sydney Chinese Herbal

Suan Mei Tang 酸梅汤 – Sour plum drink

If you have been in the clinic in the past month or so, you may have tried the sour drink, which we have been cooking recently. Not only is it tasty but it is fabulous to stimulate your digestive juices. This sour plum drink (Suan Mei Tang)  is great for breaking down fats, lowering cholesterol and enjoying with any meal .


Below is the simple ingredients and process to make your own at home. The herbs can be purchased from the Sydney Acupuncture clinic

Ingredients for Suan Mei Tang 

3 or 4 sour dried black plums (wumei)

Small handful sliced dried hawthorn fruits (shanzha)

Small handful sliced dried licorice root (gancao)

4 cups filtered water

2 hunks of rock sugar (the size of walnuts)

2 tablespoons dried osmanthus blossoms (guihua)


  1. Place the plums, hawthorn fruits, licorice root, in a sieve and rinse them well under running water. Shake them dry and place them in a clay pot. Pour 4 cups filtered water over the dry ingredients and let them soak for at least an hour to plump them up.


  1. Bring the pot to a full boil, and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer for about 1 hour. Add the rock sugar and optional salt, and simmer the infusion until the sugar melts; taste and add more if you want. Add either the osmanthus blossoms then let the infusion come to room temperature.


  1. Chill it overnight to allow the flavours to develop. Strain and add enough ice water to make 4 cups, or to taste. Serve icy cold without any ice.


Individual Herb Property and Action

Wu Mei : Property> Sour, astringent, neutral; liver, spleen, lung, and large intestine meridians entered.  

Actions> Astringe intestines to check diarrhea, astringe lung to check cough, promote the generation of fluid.

Shan Zha : Property> Sour, sweet, slightly warm; spleen, stomach and liver meridian entered.

Actions>Promote digestion and dissipate food stagnation, activate blood and resolve stasis.

Gan Cao: Property> Sweet, slightly cold; heart, lung and spleen meridians entered.

Actions> Tonify qi of heart and spleen, dispel phlegm, relieve cough and dyspnoea, relieve spasm and pain, clear heat and relieve toxicity, and harmonize property of medicine.




The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care.

Thanks and graduate for reading this blog if you would like to discuss your individual needs, please feel free to email or 02 8213 2888. 

Rodd Sanchez Sydney acupuncture and Chinese medicine