Thursday, January 26, 2023

Appetizing Umeboshi With Many Benefits

I believe i saw this particualar tree growing in Saskatchewan north of Regina.  That inspired me to think of growing them in fence rows  two or three combines wide in order to protect grain crops and also to optimize access to pollenation.

We are so used to growing large fruit for the hand fruit market, we forget that small fruit can also be important.  Recall wild apples were never large and were first used to produce cider.  Just why do you think Johnny Appleseed was so welcome out in the old Northwest. He literally planted seed stock a little ahead of settlement lands and protected them from deer somehow.

This may well be an important staple in our diet in the future.

Appetizing Umeboshi With Many Benefits Can Effectively Inhibit COVID-19 Infection and Reproduction


Jan 19 2023

Sour Japanese plum (umeboshi) (Shutterstock)

The Macrobiotic diet incorporates the health characteristics of the Japanese diet and aims to achieve overall balance in life. Macrobiotics emphasizes eating specific foods for optimum health as well as encouraging healthy eating and lifestyle habits such as eating at regular times, being mindful of chewing, listening to what the body has to say, physical activity, and cultivating a positive mental outlook on life.

Umeboshi, in addition to being a delicious fermented food, is also prized for its healing qualities and is a standard condiment in the macrobiotic diet. A study also found that umeboshi extract can effectively prevent COVID-19 infection and reproduction.

When I lived in Malaysia, my relatives came to visit and stayed in my house. One day, one of them said that her back was itchy. After giving her a check, I found that there was redness on the skin of her back. When I looked closer, I saw some small yellow pus rising from the reddened part.

I immediately thought of the organic umeboshi which I had at home, so I took a little umeboshi and applied it to her red and itchy skin. After a while, when I checked her back again, I found that all the pus was gone, only the reddish skin was left, and her itchiness had already disappeared!

Umeboshi–Many Health Benefits

I pickle the traditionally preserved organic umeboshi at home, made from organic plums and natural sea salt, which is sour and contains a range of vitamins and minerals.

Some people say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,”—it can also be said that”an umeboshi a day keeps the doctor away.”

Umeboshi (pickled ume fruit) has many health benefits—it has natural antibiotics, and because it has a sterilizing effect, it is considered to be a Japanese-style pain reliever, like aspirin.

Umeboshi’s skin contains a substance called “baniku-ekisu” that helps prevent the hardening of the arteries in the heart.

Umeboshi is rich in natural antioxidants called phytochemicals, which protect the body from free radical damage and slows the skin’s aging process. Its strong antibacterial properties can destroy many common oral bacteria, especially the microorganisms that cause periodontal disease and gingivitis, thus, also good for gum health.

Daily consumption of umeboshi can protect the functioning of the liver and reduce the chance of liver damage.

Widely Used as Medicine

Renowned Tang Dynasty medical doctor Sun Simiao (581–682) said in his “Essay on Preserving and Nourishing Life”. In April, the liver is diseased, and the heart is getting stronger. It is advisable to take in acidic food and reduce intake of bitter food, invigorate the kidney and help the liver, and nourish the stomach.” According to the “Compendium of Materia Medica,” umeboshi blooms in winter, matures in summer and obtains all the essence of wood, so its taste is most sour.

The umeboshi originated in China and was introduced to Japan at the end of the third century. After that, the Japanese began to use salted umeboshi as preserved food and edible medicine. It is also recorded that when Emperor Murakami (reigned 946-967) suffered from a plague, he drank tea mixed with umeboshi to help quell the disease and recovered afterward.

Umeboshi, which was found to have medicinal properties in ancient times, is also effective against the current COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2022, a joint study involving the USM in Japan confirmed that umeboshi’s extract can effectively inhibit the infection of cells with the new variant of COVID-19 and can also inhibit the reproduction of COVID-19.

In this study, laboratory-grown monkey cells were infected with COVID-19. The results showed that umeboshi extract could effectively inhibit the infection of cells by COVID-19, and the more concentrated the extract, the better the effect. In addition to experiments on the original virus strains of COVID-19, the study also conducted experiments on the three variants, Alpha, Delta, and Omicron and found that umeboshi extracts can significantly inhibit the infection of cells by these viruses.

In addition, umeboshi has the effect of purifying the blood. Healthy people’s body fluids (blood and cellular fluid) are lightly alkaline, with a pH value of about 7.4, but with overconsumption consumption of acidic foods, common to today’s standard diets, the body fluids become acidic, and the blood cloudy, leading to excretion disorders, decreased visceral function and chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In order to maintain optimum health, it is necessary to eat alkaline foods to neutralize acidity.

Tastes Sour, but it’s Alkaline

The citric acid contained in umeboshi can activate the “citric acid cycle,” a key metabolic pathway, to prevent the accumulation of lactic acid and fatigue. When the lactic acid disappears, the blood changes from acidic to slightly alkaline, and the blood becomes clear and clean.

The rich citric acid in umeboshi can also prevent elevated blood sugar levels, and if eaten slowly, is also effective for weight loss.

Umeboshi can effectively fight against osteoporosis because when calcium and citric acid come together they become water-soluble, which can increase the intestinal calcium absorption rate. It can also speed up metabolism, aid in bone formation, prevent bone aging, and strengthen against fractures.

As umeboshi aids in the digestion and absorption of food by stimulating gastrointestinal motility, thereby enhancing physical fitness and helping the body to maintain strong immunity. It can be used to prevent hay fever, help with atopic dermatitis, and improve an allergic constitution.

The health benefits of umeboshi are countless, so everyone should keep some traditional pickled umeboshi at home, to enjoy as a delicious food, and protect the health of the whole family!
Umeboshi Recipe


Kanjuku Ume: ripened, yellow, and blushed.

Fresh umeboshi. (Shutterstock)

Sea salt: 18 percent to 20 percent of the weight of the plums.
Red shiso (Akajiso): available between June and July

Umeboshi in salt. (Shutterstock)In a crock, alternately layer salt and ume alternately. Store in a dark, cool place for 7 days.

Use weights to help press down the ume plums, drawing the moisture out of the fruit and generating brine for umeboshi. This brine, ume plum vinegar, keeps the umeboshi from mold growth.

To speed up the process of brine making, use heavy weights. Remove the weights after the ume is completely covered by the brine. Note: If the weights are too heavy, they may smash the ume and tear the skin. So be careful.

Knead and massage the shiso leaves with salt.

Add red shiso to color the salted plums (approximately 2 weeks).

Sun dry the salted plums on a bamboo strainer called a “DoyŨboshi” for three days.
Eat right away or store them back in the container to mature for three more months to achieve a mellower taste.

Umeboshi drying in the Sun. (Shutterstock)

Important tips:Use ripe ume fruit.
Disinfect the ume with 35 percent alcohol liquor.
Sort ume and discard damaged ones.
Add a minimum of 18 percent salt to the ume plum, and press the ume fruit with a weight.
Dry the ume for 3 days in bright sunlight.

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