Japanese Ume Plums – The Blue Diamond of Fruits

The “Blue Diamond” of Fruits

Japanese Ume, a type of plum that contains more citric acid, calcium, iron, phosphorus and twice as much protein than any other fruit. It is also rich in organic acids and minerals. Originating in China where it was consumed for over 4,000 years, it was introduced to Japan 1,300 years ago as a medicinal herb. Unlike the Chinese and Taiwanese plums, the Japanese Ume is bigger, rounder and richer in nutrients.

Citric acid-rich plum balls break down lactic acid, the major metabolic waste in our cells. Lactic acid contributes to neck pain, shoulder stiffness, fatigue and cramping. The neutralizing action of plums helps to maintain the acid-alkaline balance of the digestive system to efficiently break down food and generate energy. As a natural antibiotic, plum balls are also helpful for general weakness, indigestion, bloatedness, mild vomiting, cough, cold, mild diarrhea and stomach discomfort. They also help protect the liver and reduce the negative effects of alcohol consumption.

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Ume : Traditional Japanese Cure-All Remedy

Ume has been used throughout the centuries since the Heian Era (794-1192). During the feudal wars in the Kamakura Era (1192 – 1333), samurai warriors consumed Ume to counter fatigue. Before the invention of penicillin in 1928, Ume was used as a natural antibiotic. In the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, where the Japanese emerged victorious, the Imperial Japanese Army was given a ration of Ume to prevent water-borne food poisoning and hasten recovery from battle wounds. In fact, Ume was so highly regarded that there is an old Japanese saying that goes “Plant two plum trees whenever a child is born” (in preparation to preserve the child’s health throughout his or her growth).

Benefits of Japanese Plum, Ume

1. Neutralizes Acidic Body
Illness, medication, poor eating habits, food additives, strenuous exercise and excessive consumption of meat, sugar, refined carbohydrates, coffee and tea cause a build-up of lactic acid. Excessive lactic acid causes the body to become increasingly acidic, leading to frequent tiredness, irritability, headaches, muscle aches, joint pains, premature aging, poor metabolism and unhealthy weight gain. Ume, fondly referred to as “The King of Alkaline Foods”, breaks down and neutralizes lactic acid to prevent its build-up in the body. This normalizes the pH of the blood to help promote health and vitality, and prevent premature aging.

2. Improves Digestive System
Ume’s catechin protects the digestive tract from disease-causing germs, and improves intestinal peristalsis for better digestion and bowel functions. It eases digestive discomforts such as gastric and abdominal pain, indigestion and excessive gas. Ume is touted to help alleviate constipation and relieve effects of mild food poisoning like diarrhea and vomiting.

3. Strengthens Immune System
Other traditional uses for this unique fruit with potent natural antibiotic properties include strengthening the body’s resistance against cough, flu, cold, fever and sore throat without any adverse effects on the body. Ume stimulates the liver in getting rid of toxins and supports healthy liver function.

4. Aids Weight Control
A congested, overworked liver cannot regulate fat metabolism efficiently, resulting in accumulation of fat that then causes abdominal bulges. Ume also accelerates the burning of excess body fat and reduces water retention to optimize body weight and improve sluggish metabolism.

5. Increases The Absorption of Calcium & Iron
Ume aids the absorption of iron, making it ideal for menstruating and pregnant women. It also increases calcium absorption in the body for stronger bones and teeth.