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Japanese umeboshi plum: properties, benefits, how to take it and contraindications

Are you looking for natural and very beneficial foods? And does the word umeboshi sound familiar to you? If this is not the case or you have heard very little about this term, pay attention to the following: umeboshi or Japanese plum is a natural food that provides us with great benefits to maintain good health.

If you like to opt for the natural, healthy food and learn about foods from other places, stay in this AgroCorrn article in which we reveal all about the umeboshi plum, its properties, benefits, how to take it and contraindications . Also pay attention to the quantity or dosage recommendations for this Japanese plum. You will be surprised by all the good it can offer you!

What is umeboshi or Japanese plum

Umeboshi means “dried plum” in Japanese and is the pickle of ume (the Japanese plum). It is a plum that is harvested before it is fully ripe and is left to dry in the sun. When the dried plum has already been obtained, it is then fermented with salt and leaves of shiso (Perilla frutescens), a plant that is named in Japanese but has different names in other places (in Korea it is called deulkkae, in India silam and in Spain and Latin America Japanese basil). These iron-rich leaves provide this and more minerals to the final dish and, in addition, they stain the plum, giving it its most characteristic color.

The fermentation of umeboshi can last a minimum of 6 months and up to 7 years. At the end of this process, there are some smaller, wrinkled, pink or brown plums with a very characteristic flavor: acid and salty.

In Japan and other areas of Asia, this dried Japanese plum is consumed as a medicinal food , both to prevent health problems and to improve some conditions. Therefore, umebsohi is consumed regularly in these eastern regions.

Properties of the Japanese plum or umeboshi

It contains more of some minerals than other fruits, such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium, as well as more protein and is an alkaline food. Thanks to this, these are the main properties of the umeboshi plum :

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Alkaline
  • Disinfectant
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Remineralizing
  • Moisturizing
  • Digestive
  • Soothing and analgesic
  • Immune system booster
  • Hypotensive

Umeboshi plum benefits

Taking into account the vision of health in these eastern regions, the umeboshi plum has two aspects that are very useful to balance the body, as it is composed of acid and salty. According to traditional medicine, on the one hand, the most acidic part of this food helps neutralize excess yang (which occurs from consuming excess eggs, meats and salt) and, on the other hand, the most salty part helps neutralize excess yin (which is produced by taking too much food such as coffee, alcohol, sugars and dairy), thus allowing the body to rebalance itself.

Main benefits of the Japanese plum

  • It breaks down excess lactic acid: During the fermentation of this fruit, more citric acid is produced as a result of the process. Citric acid helps the body to break down lactic acid, which when found in high levels in our body is responsible for fatigue.
  • Regulates intestinal disorders: like plums in general, it provides fibers and mucilage that help balance stomach and intestinal problems, such as constipation, mild diarrhea, heartburn, etc.
  • Opens the appetite: linked with its power to improve gastrointestinal conditions, we find that this fruit is also excellent for stimulating the appetite and facilitating digestion. This is mainly due to its citric acid content, which helps stimulate the production of gastric juices.
  • Prevents bad breath: thanks to citric acid and its properties as a natural disinfectant, it is also a food that facilitates oral hygiene and good stomach health, thus helping to avoid bad breath.
  • Helps stop infections: thanks to the fact that it is a natural disinfectant, with antibacterial and antifungal properties, this fruit helps fight bacterial and fungal infections and prevent them.
  • It facilitates the regulation of cholesterol: thanks to its composition in acids and minerals, it stimulates the functioning of important organs in this function, such as the liver.
  • Improves colds and relieves coughs: as it is a disinfectant, stimulates the immune system and is alkaline, among other good properties for the respiratory system, this fruit is used to recover before conditions such as colds, colds, flu and annoying symptoms such as coughs.
  • Prevents fatigue and eliminates hangovers: due to its remineralizing and moisturizing properties, this fruit helps the body recover sooner after great effort or even to avoid or reduce the appearance of fatigue, because among other aspects, as we have indicated, it breaks down lactic acid. However, in such a case, it must be remembered that it is vital to drink plenty of water.
  • Detoxifies the body: thanks to its alkaline effect, the Japanese plum helps to detoxify the body by facilitating the expulsion of toxins and other waste.
  • Prevents premature aging: this plum contains antioxidants that, by eliminating free radicals and their cellular oxidation effect, slow down accelerated or premature aging of cells throughout the body.
  • Lowers blood pressure: due to its high potassium content, it can help reduce hypertension, that is, lower blood pressure.

Of course, to notice these great health benefits you have to have a healthy lifestyle , as it is useless to eat foods with excellent properties from time to time but to eat poorly in general.

Umeboshi plum: recommended doses

The recommended dosage for the consumption of Japanese plum or umeboshi is not exact. The truth is that the appropriate amount depends on each person , that is, on the state of health of each one. Therefore, it is advisable both to discuss it with a doctor and to observe our own body when consuming it.

It is a very healthy food, but as with everything, excess is not beneficial. For this reason, there are those who take this plum up to 3 or 4 times a week , which may be considered a maximum dose to avoid consuming an excess, and those who take one a week.

How to take Japanese plum or umeboshi

Umeboshi plum can be taken in many different ways:

  • Mixed with kuzu: kuzu is the starch from the root of the plant of the same name ( Pueraria montana var. Lobata ). This mixture is widely used in traditional medicine and, sometimes, soy is also added. The result is a drink called Ume Sho Kuzu.
  • In dressings: this plum is left in a pot filled with vinegar or oil, as preferred, although it is more common in vinegar, to use the dressing in salads and vegetable dishes.
  • Umeboshi vinegar: as we have indicated, it is used in dressings and it is more common to prepare it with vinegar. But, in addition, this can be purchased already prepared with and without the plum inside. If you like vinegars for dressings that are very beneficial for your health, we recommend you also try apple cider vinegar. Here you can know the Properties of organic apple cider vinegar .
  • Dissolved in water: a little of this ground or powdered food, dissolved in warm water and taken in the morning is an excellent remedy for when we want to improve conditions, especially respiratory and digestive, or to take regularly as support to maintain good health.
  • Mixed in vegetables and cereals: it is very common to find it in dishes as part of the garnish. For example, it is sometimes included in the famous onigiri (triangle of rice with seaweed), in some types of sushi and in dishes such as salads and soups.
  • Whole: one of the most common ways to take this food is to directly consume the whole Japanese plum, as a snack, since it is shaped like a ball that fits well in the mouth.
  • Umeboshi tea: this fruit is also boiled in water for half an hour, to drink the resulting hot tea. If you like teas, we recommend you to know well theProperties of organic green tea, another healthy food from Asia.

Contraindications of umeboshi

Although umeboshi is a pickled fruit very rich in nutrients that provide great benefits and, therefore, widely used to improve health, like any other food, it is not exempt from contraindicated cases. The main contraindications of umeboshi are:

  • It is not advisable to offer it to children under 10 years of age.
  • It is not recommended to take it during pregnancy and lactation.
  • In case of taking medications to lower blood pressure due to hypertension, it is not advisable to take this fruit, since it has precisely the effect of lowering blood pressure and could be an excessive effect causing the opposite effect to the basic problem, that is, hypotension or a drop in voltage.
  • If you have a stomach ulcer.

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