The word umeboshi means hydrated plum. It is a species of apricot and has been used as food and medicine in China, Korea and Japan. Selected fresh plums are dried on mats and rice, and exposed to the sun. Also left out overnight. The next day the sun hardens it again and the next night soften again. This process is repeated for several days. As a result plum becomes smaller and get wrinkles. That's when the plums are packed in barrels, along with raw salt, and are put on weight. Through the action of salt and pressure plums shrink, and its juice is formed at the bottom of the barrel. The Ume contains twice as much protein, fat and minerals than other fruits. Calcium, iron and phosphorus are particularly abundant.
It is also much richer in organic acids that any other fruit (especially citrus and phosphoric acid). These acids do not decompose in the process of fermentation.
The effect of alkaline with umeboshi
We maintain regular a weak alkaline condition with pH (approximately 7.35) in our blood when consuming umeboshi. Without exaggeration this plum has been named "the queen of alkaline food." Consuming 10 grams of umeboshi can neutralize the acidity created by consuming 100 grams of sugar.
This is due to three factors:
- The abundance of citric acid makes much easier the absorption of other foods in the small intestine alkaline minerals such as iron, magnesium, etc. Citric acid is combined with minerals from other foods, creating a mineral salt that is easy to absorb.
- The umeboshi itself contains high amounts of alkaline minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, etc. As these minerals are digested in the presence of citric acid, ensures their absorption.
- The citric acid breaks down lactic acid in our blood and tissues.
Other components of umeboshi
The various acids that are in the umeboshi help to:
- Stimulate liver function. The umeboshi also helps clean the artificial chemicals in our body.
- Accelerate peristaltic movement of intestines, it has an antiseptic effect and promotes the digestion of proteins.
- The acid that is found in the skin of the umeboshi also has a laxative effect.
General physiological effects of umeboshi
- Preventing fatigue: Fatigue is often a result of the accumulation of acids, which are not broken down fast enough for our metabolism. Our blood becomes acidic when consuming food or too much yin yang (such as sugar, refined flour, and animal products), also by a lack of oxygen (due to lack of movement or exercise). When blood becomes more acidic we become more susceptible to infectious diseases, liver, and diseases associated with aging. As mentioned earlier, umeboshi helps to break down quickly excess acids in the body.
- Aging prevention: Aging is simply a process of oxidation. The umeboshi and Tamari has an effect of anti-oxidation in the blood.
- Stimulation of detoxification: The umeboshi powering continuously active cells such as cells in the kidneys and liver. In this way, these organs can function at a level of detoxification more efficient.
The combination of these three physiological traits of umeboshi serves to rejuvenate the body and increase vitality.
How to use it?
You can take an umeboshi as it is, or mix it with hot water or tea or kukicha Bancha, or you can mix with brown rice and make rice balls.
Umeboshi can be used for:
Lack of appetite
Lack of appetite can have many causes: problems in the stomach, liver, concern, warmth, etc. The umeboshi stimulates the secretion of gastric juices. (These are general remedies for adult, for children, it is better to ask).
If you suffer from constipation, every morning take one of umeboshi plum or kukicha Bancha tea. Immediately get up or take it with breakfast.
Bad breath can have many causes dental problems of the gums, stomach problems, intestinal fermentation, lung problems, etc.. Any condition accompanied by a process of degeneration will result in an intense odor. The umeboshi has an anti – smell effect.
The hangover is the result of alcohol poisoning and can manifest as nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo, etc. Soak the umeboshi for 5 minutes in hot water or tea or kukicha Bancha, drink liquid and eat plum.
Pregnant women often feel acidic with products such as lemon or grapefruit. This whim may even be the first sign of pregnancy. During pregnancy the blood has a tendency to be more acidic. Vomiting in the mornings is often seen as a symptom control or compulsory pregnancy. It is not, and is even harmful. Means that the blood of pregnant women is consistently acidic, and this will affect several organs and structures, such as the liver, bones and teeth, and finally produce the fatigue. A good way to prevent morning sickness is to take an umeboshi at each meal, and to balance the daily diet.
When umeboshi plums also have added purple leaves in the barrels, these are known as Shiseido. These leaves are rich in chlorophyll, vitamin A, B2, C, calcium, iron and phosphorus. They also contain an acid that helps dissolve cholesterol.
They can also calm the nervous system, activate the digestive system, used in cases of common colds, coughs, and so on.
(Source: Michio Kushi)