Here is the umeboshi and kuzu drink. Simple and extraordinary remedies which, using the macrobiotic principles of yin and yang, are able to rebalance a number of ailments, in particular those related to the digestive system
Ever since I was little, my mother has always been clear: whatever your tummy problem is, I'll prepare you there drink of umeboshi and kuzu. And actually I must admit that these two ingredients, of oriental origin, really have miraculous effects, both for the stomach and for general well-being. This is why they are always also an excellent remedy to combat thehangover.
What is umeboshi
The word "ume" has always been translated with "plum", but in reality it is more than a 'dried apricot (boshi in fact means dry). Uum never reaches maturity on the tree: the fruits detach themselves from the plant when they are still green, usually in the month of May, but they cannot be eaten like this because they have a very acid taste, and could even be toxic. . Thus, in some countries such as Japan, China and Korea, they have found a system to recover these fruits, using ancient processing techniques. And in this way, they not only avoided wasting a product, but also transformed it into an effective remedy for the treatment of various ailments. The process that transforms these green apricots into “umeboshi” is the following: as soon as they are picked they are washed and dried on rice straw mats in the sun; then they are left out also at night, to make the dew soften them and so also the whole next day. This process is repeated for days, until the apricots shrink and take on a shriveled appearance. At this point the fruits are placed in barrels together with the red leaves of the shiso plant and the raw sea salt, with weights placed on top. The salt and the pressure cause the fruits, albeit already dry, to produce a liquid that collects at the bottom of the barrel (hence the juice), while the shiso leaves give the fruits their color and flavor. This marinade must last at least six months, but umeboshi are marinated for six or seven years.
The characteristics of umeboshi
This particular process determines the characteristics and healing effects of umeboshi, also recognized by scientists, doctors and nutritionists. Primarily it contains large amounts of alkaline mineral salts such as iron, magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium which can be absorbed thanks to the presence of citric acid, which breaks down the lactic acid present in our blood and tissues. Then he has thepicric acid, which stimulates and ensures the functioning of the liver and helps it to expel chemicals from the body (therefore perfect after an excess of alcohol), together with pectin (natural laxative) and to the catechin, which accelerates the peristaltic movements of the intestine and promotes the digestion of proteins. All these properties make umeboshi an extraordinary remedy for intestinal constipation, dysentery, food poisoning, hangover, morning sickness, lack of appetite, but also motion sickness or seasickness. It can be consumed directly as it is bought; or as a condiment, given its strong, savory and sour taste (there is also umeboshi sauce). Alternatively, for therapeutic purposes, there are various ways of taking. There is the umeboshi juice, which comes diluted with bancha tea, and is very useful in cases of indigestion, intoxication or dysentery; then there is theume-sho-ban, a drink of umeboshi, shoyu, bancha tea and ginger juice, excellent for stomach upset, nausea, loss of appetite and hangover headaches; or, again, the umeboshi broth, with nori and shoyu seaweed, also a valid antidote against fatigue. It can also be eaten in the oven, with a fairly complex process, especially in cases of more serious problems, such as gastric ulcer. And finally there is our umeboshi and kuzu drink.
What is kuzu
Kuzu is a kind of vine (pueraria lobata, pueraria irsuta) native to the mountains of Japan, but now also cultivated in other countries. In particular, it is starch that, through an elaborate process, is obtained from the root of the plant, which is very wild and has great strength, as it can grow in rocks. The kuzu looks like one very thin white powder (in small pieces), very useful in case of intestinal weakness, chronic disorders such as colitis, digestive problems; but also general fatigue, as it relieves tiredness and stimulates vitality. Moreover, it is absorbed very quickly, so it is extremely effective, in a short time. Kuzu can be prepared in various ways, alone or together with other ingredients, such as umeboshi. In this case the result is a real cure-all for the entire digestive system, but also for colds and fever because, as macrobiotic philosophy teaches us, man must be looked at holistically, as a whole, in his psychophysical entirety. For this, the influences depend much more often than we think also on other factors, such as a weakness of the stomach.
How to make umeboshi and kuzu drink
The kuzu and umeboshi drink is extremely simple to make and incredibly effective. Moreover, it is now also very easy to find the ingredients, since they are found in almost all the shops that are oriental products. Once found, proceed as follows: dissolve a teaspoon of kuzu powder in a glass of cold water, which you will continue to add until the pieces of kuzu have completely dissolved. In this way you will get a white liquid similar to milk. Add a little more water, a small piece of umeboshi and shiso leaf and, always continuing to mix, heat everything over low heat in a saucepan. When the water starts to heat up, add a teaspoon of soy sauce. Once the water is no longer white but transparent, before boiling, your kuzu and umeboshi drink will be ready.
Try not to consume this panacea only in an emergency, in case of discomfort, but periodically, in a preventive way: you will see how your digestive system will come out healthy, strengthened and completely regenerated!