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Have you ever tried Umeboshi?

By April 26, 2014Nutrition Information

umiboshi plum

What are Umeboshi Plums?

 Umeboshi plums are a raw, fermented food. Umeboshi plums have been traditionally grown in Japan and China, and are now being grown in the U.S. as well. The word “umeboshi”  is translated from Japanese as “salt plums” The plums are pickled with salt and shiso leaves while they are still green.  They have have been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of health conditions.  Umeboshi plums are highly alkaline and antibiotic. Their taste may be a bit strong at first but once you start using them you will find it quite enjoyable. It stimulates your tongue with sour, sweet, salty and bitter, all of the flavors except sweet.

The vinegar is the by product of making umeboshi plums. The ume fruits are pressed and the liquid that leaks out of them is bottled up for use as a condiment.

Umeboshi vinegar is a delicious seasoning with a salty, sour, bitter fruit flavor. It can be used in salad dressing, sprinkled over sautéed greens or to flavor grains.

 Beneficial for the Digestive System

The umeboshi plums and the vinegar are very beneficial for the digestive system.  The sour, salty taste stimulates the digestive juices to better breakdown your food. They also help with diarrhea, and constipation. They can be used to stimulate your appetite and therefore good for elderly people who just don’t feel hungry.

 Good for A Hangover

Umiboshi is highly alkaline and is used for treating hangovers. It neutralize the acidity and levels out the blood’s pH levels.  It is best to use the whole plum or plum paste here.


Their high alkalinity helps relieve dizziness and nausea. They are inflammatory, cooling, good for people with stomach ulcers.

Reduces Fatigue

Umeboshi plums and vinegar are beneficial for fatigue as they help to break down and remove the excess metabolic waste, lactic acid which may build up from eating acidic foods like sugar, processed oils, coffee, commercial meats and alcohol.

 Detox the Liver

Umiboshi stimulates blood and body fluid circulation and helps loosen and dissolve stagnant toxic matter by regulating liver function and removing toxins from the body. Umeboshi helps the liver to metabolize fat

 Strengthens Bones

Helps promotes mineral absorption. It helps increase your ability to absorb calcium making it good for strengthening bones.

 Where to buy

You can find Umeboshi Vinegar and Umeboshi Paste in most natural food stores. It is usually in the section with the Nori seaweed and other Asian foods.

 How to use umeboshi vinegarumeboshi v

 I find the vinegar can enhance the flavor of many dishes.  I keep it in my pantry to use regularly.

  • Toss with steamed or sautéed vegetables, you will not need any salt.
  • Sprinkle on rice or other grains.   It is very nice on the Kitchari from last weeks newsletter.
  • Use in salad dressing in place of other vinegars.  Use less and leave out the salt.
  • Add a little to soups and stews to liven up the flavor

 How to use umeboshi pasteumeboshi paste

  • Spread on corn on the cob instead of butter.  The sweet flavor of the corn and the salty, sour bitter flavor of the umeboshi stimulates every part of your tongue.
  • Seal your sushi rolls with a layer of umeboshi paste on the end of the nori to hold them together and add additional flavor.
  • Use in place of vinegar and salt in dressings.
  • Spread a thin layer on cucumber slices for a snack.

Here is a recipe with umeboshi to use on salmon and spring greens.  Spring is here and I love the bitter greens.  Soon I will have some from my own garden.  This dressing provides a nice salty, sour contrast to the greens. The umeboshi vinegar will aid your digestion and provide all the benefits above.

Umeboshi Cucumber Dressing

1 Tb umeboshi plum vinegar

3 Tb extra virgin olive oil

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)

1 small clove garlic, chopped (about 1 tsp)

  • Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender and puree until smooth
  • Served over steamed vegetables or fish.

Click here to get directions for preparing the salmon.

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