Last Modified on Mar 21, 2014
Considered by many as the ultimate superfood, umeboshi plums are a food native to Japan, China, and Korea. The unique fruit has gained more widespread popularity in recent years, however, as its incredible health-promoting properties have been revealed. Umeboshi possesses a wide range of nutritional sources and offers an array of health benefits.
What is Umeboshi?
Umeboshi is one of the few foods that completely embody the concept of using food as medicine. This unique food source is considered a salty, sour plum from Japan; however, it actually belongs to the apricot family. In any case, the fruit is highly alkaline and contains a number of nutrients.
The fruit’s variations are just as varied as its uses. The fruit can be eaten as a whole plum or boiled and drank in tea; however, many individuals find this option a bit intense for the palate. The plum can also be made into vinegar and used in soups, stews, and casseroles or splashed on veggies, meat, or salad. The fruit is also often made into a paste that is used in sauces or as a condiment. In any of its forms, umeboshi offers the same health benefits as well as an interesting flavor.
Health Benefits of Umeboshi Plums
The health benefits of umeboshi are many. The unique fruit actually possesses natural antibiotics, making it an effective treatment for a variety of conditions. Likewise, with its alkalizing effect, it is considered the Japanese form of “Alka-Seltzer.”
With these properties and others, the fruit is capable of treating a wide variety of conditions. The fruit is often used to treat fatigue, vomiting, general nausea, diarrhea, dysentery, infection, runny nose, and liver toxicity. Eaten after alcohol consumption, umeboshi can even be used to prevent or treat hangovers. The fruit also helps eliminate toxins from the body, naturally boosting health.
It can be said that “an umeboshi plum a day keeps the doctor away,” as the fruit is such a beneficial dietary addition. Serving as an antibiotic and delivering a number of nutritional benefits, umeboshi is one of the most nutritionally potent fruits available today.
[YEA] 03/30/2009: Roxan from Epsom, NH USA: "PH : I use 1 Umeboshi plum and 1 cup of Bancha Tea morning and night. after the radiation implants that caused my intestine to bleed and kept me in the bathroom all day long i found this to totally stop the bleeding and keep my ph level right."
04/07/2011: Ellamo from Trinidad, California: "i would like to start using umboeshi plum paste, because my body seems to be craving it and it seems to have tons of health benefits. I am concerned because ive read that it is alkalzing in the body which I know is a good thing but I already have a hard time digesting because I dont have enough hcl ie acid.... Will the plum paste alkalize my digestive tract?? thanks to anyone who might know!"Replies
06/09/2011: Christina from San Francisco, Ca replies: "It will alkalize! The vinegar is also great, with olive oil, dill and cabbage. Or you can get a reduction of the skin of the plum, which can be diluted in hot water and easier to ingest than a salty plum!"
[YEA] 02/15/2009: Rick from Montreal, Quebec, Canada: "Umeboshi 1000 years of healing: There are texts relating the medicinal uses of these pickled plums that date to over 1000 yrs. ago. It neutralizes fatique and detoxes the body.
If you can find dried plum ( ume) extract, that is even better. These plums have been used for years for healing and to enhance health. Many japanese take a pickled plum with some tea to start their day. When available, Japanese samurai treasured it and consumed it daily also using it to purify water.
I use less than one eighth of a tsp. of the paste ( which I can find in health food stores and, wow, I have even seen it in some food markets) to enhance my morning tea.
It has an agressive flavor. It can jolt your eyes open so please be careful and dilute it before tasting it. It tastes acidic, tart, but it alkalizes the body."
[YEA] 02/17/2009: Christy from France replies: "On my continuous quest for the right alkaline acid balance I chanced upon Umenoshi, although I didn't know how to pronounce it I bought it. I must admit it stayed in the cupboard for a while before becoming one of those products I uses everyday. I just wasn't sure. The label said Umeboshi seasoning and I was looking for Umeboshi vinegar. It wasn't till a few months ago that I went into another organic food shop and found the Umeboshi Vinegar. In small leters underneath it was writen Umeboshi seasoning. I bought it tasted it and now I have two bottles of the same thing.
I use it almost everyday in my vegetable smoothie. I just tip out an unmeasured amount. Enough to taste. I couldn't imagine drinking my vegetable blends without it! I love the taste and the fact that it is alkalizing me.
Totally recommend it!"
02/19/2009: Kelly from Huntington Beach, CA replies: "I grew up in Hawaii, and we just call them "ume" (oo-may). Be warned if you're going to try umes...they have a pit (small seed) inside, and they are VERRRRY salty/sour. I happen to love them. However, they are loaded with salt and will give you a mild case of diarrhea if you eat more than a few a day. Same effect as prunes. Nothing dangerous, just a little on the loose side, ya know??"
03/02/2009: Rick from Montreal, Quebec, Canada replies: "More on Umeboshi.. This food is anti-aging and known as the << King of Alkaline Foods >>: it helps dispel toxins and excess acids from our blood and tissues. According to ancient texts, it was the number one <
> of the samurai, and today, tests are proving its numerous health benefits.
It has protected me from << tourista >>. When I feel a little tired I turn to the food that the samurai used to cure battle fatigue. I take a half tsp of the paste with a tsp of buckwheat honey. ( The honey is my idea.. I think it's a great mix though.. the bw honey is high in minerals and umeboshi assists mineral absorption. Tastes great !). It assists the liver. I get a good feedback from my body when I consume it: I feel energized !
It has an impressive nutritional profile and contains picric acid, catechin acid and citric acid.
The macrobiotic experts say that it is very balancing and strengthening.
Some sites for further details.