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Umeboshi Plum for A Hang-Over Cure!
by Lidia Kuleshnyk, B.Sc.,M.E.S.


Have you ever over-indulged, despite your best intentions to just "dabble" in life's little pleasures? Don't despair, nature has provided a wonderful, safe remedy for hang-overs, sugar-blues, food poisoning, constipation and the common cold. The name of this mysterious cure-all is the Umeboshi Plum.

Umeboshi Plum is a traditional, naturally processed, pickled plum used throughout Japan, China and Korea for its incredible health-promoting properties. The word "umeboshi" literally means "dried ume." "Ume" has been translated as "plum," but is actually a species of apricot.

The plums are pickled, left outside to be exposed to the elements of the sun and evening dew, packed in barrels with crude sea salt and shiso leaves, and then pressed by a weight. The combination of these elements, pressed over a period of at least six months, creates the natural bacteria, enzymes, organic acids and powerful alkaline qualities of the Umeboshi Plum. In fact, Umeboshi Plum has been called "The King of Alkaline Foods."

Alkalinity is an important factor for health. We want our blood to be just slightly alkaline (about 7.35). If the blood is too acidic, then harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, fats and mucous thrive and grow, contributing to degenerative blood and disease. Our blood can become too acidic from consuming an excessive amount of sugar, refined flour products, alcohol, toxins and animal foods.

This condition worsens with an inadequate intake of oxygen, often caused by sedentary lifestyles.
Umeboshi is rich in organic acids, especially citric acid and phosphoric acid. Organic acids help ensure a rapid breakdown of an excess of acids (such as lactic acid and pyruvic acid) in the body. Such an effect helps to balance, or often eliminate, the symptoms of excessively acidic conditions, including a hang-over, fatigue, morning sickness, car/sea sickness, some headaches, stomach troubles and anemia. In fact, an Umeboshi Plum that has been aged 6 to 7 years has been known to stop diarrhea.

In the past 40 years, scientific evidence for the health benefits of Umeboshi has been uncovered. In the 1950s Japanese scientists extracted a powerful antibiotic substance from Umeboshi, and in 1968, a component in Umeboshi was found to have germicidal effects on the tuberculosis bacteria. And let's not forget to mention that this natural antibiotic, antiseptic and digestive aid is also known to be beneficial for water contamination, liver function, prevention of ageing (anti-oxidizing effects), general detoxification, carbon monoxide poisoning, skin diseases such as eczema, lack of appetite, bad breath and dysentery, typhoid, and paratyphoid.

So how does one take an Umeboshi Plum? If you thrive on a salty/sour taste, you may be one of the few courageous souls that prefer to eat it straight from the jar. Most of us, myself included, prefer a more gentle, balanced approach. For a hang-over, nausea, vomiting, vertigo etc., soak an Umeboshi plum for 5 minutes in hot water or in Kukicha/Bancha tea. Then, drink the liquid and eat the plum together.

This is the most common method. One Umeboshi Plum is known to Cure a hang-over. Umeboshi Plum is also excellent mixed in with brown rice as a morning porridge or eaten as part of your main meal of the day.

For basic health, the general recommendation is about 2-3 Umeboshi Plums per week, but if you have a specific health concern, please consult a Macrobiotic Consultant for personalized dietary recommendations. Umeboshi Plums can be bought at major health food stores. Always choose those of the highest quality, such as Mitoku Macrobiotic or Koyo.

So why suffer? Recover with Umeboshi Plums!

Lidia Kuleshnyk, B.Sc.,M.E.S.

Posted Febuary-2008



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