What is Wu Mei?
(scientific name: FRUCTUS MUME
), also known as dark plum
, is the dried and near mature fruit of the Prunus mume (Sieh.) Sieb.et Zucc. plant in the Rosaceae family. The fruit is harvested when it is almost turning mellow in summer and is then low-temperature dried and stored until its color turns black.
The shape of dark plum is similar to that of a ring or a flattened sphere, with a diameter of 1.5-3cm. The surface is black or brownish-black, shriveled and uneven, and has a circular fruit stem mark at the base. The pit is hard, oval-shaped, brownish-yellow, and has a surface with small depressions. The seed is flat-oval shaped and pale yellow. The smell is weak and the taste is extremely sour. Wu Mei is known for its ability to generate body fluids, quench thirst, and to stop coughing.
Growth environment of Wu Mei
Wu Mei is widely cultivated throughout China, particularly in regions south of the Yangtze River. It is cold-resistant and prefers a warm, humid climate. It requires abundant sunlight.
Harvest and processing of Wu Mei
Harvested in summer when it is mear matured, and it is then low-temperature dried and stored until its color turns black.
Remove the impurities, sift out dust, wash clean, and sun-dry.
(2)Wu Mei meat
It is prepared by slightly wetting with a little water, making the meat soft, crushing, peeling, and sun-drying it. Alternatively, Wumei can be placed in a steamer until it is very soft, rubbed to remove the pit, and dried in the sun.
(3)Charred Wu Mei
It is made by roasting over high heat until the skin swells and dark spots appear on the surface, and then spraying it with water to let dry. The finished product has a sour taste with a slight bitterness.
Stored in a cool, dry, and damp-free environment.
Wu Mei TCM
Wu Mei, processed, is the immature fruit of the Rosaceae plant, Mei.
Sour, astringent in taste and neutral in nature.
Enter the Liver, Spleen, Lung, and Large Intestine meridians.
Wu Mei has the effects of stopping diarrhea and dysentery, suppressing cough, expelling roundworms, moistening dryness, stopping bleeding, astringing the Lung, and binding the intestines.
Wu Mei is used for treating chronic cough due to Lung deficiency, chronic dysentery and diarrhea, deficiency heat and thirst, roundworm blockage with vomiting and abdominal pain, and biliary roundworm disease.
5-15g, decocted and taken orally, or made into pills or powder.
(1)For toothache, scrub Wu Mei meat on the affected area.
(2)For ulcers, apply charred Wu Mei powder externally to the affected area.
Avoid taking Wu Mei under the following situations.
(1)If you have a cold with fever, cough with excessive phlegm, or chest stuffiness.
(2)If you have bacterial dysentery or enteritis.
(3)During menstruation or for pregnant women before or after childbirth.
It is not advisable to consume Wu Mei for extended periods of time.
(1)The Classic of Herbal Medicine, Wu Mei is used to adjust qi circulation, eliminate inner-heat and irritability, calm the mind, relieve limb pain, treat partial withering and numbness, remove dark moles.
(2)The Compendium of Materia Medica, Wu Mei has the benefits of consolidating the lungs and astringing the intestines, stopping chronic coughing, diarrhea, and dysentery. It is also used for expelling intestinal worms and treating vomiting and diarrhea.
(3)The Original Classic of Herbal Medicine, Wu Mei tastes sour and has the astringent functions, which helps increase body fluid and stimulate the appetite, consolidate the lungs and astringe the intestines, stop vomiting and sweating, regulate breathing, and relieve stomachache caused by intestinal worms.
(1)Used on chronic cough
Wu Mei has the effects of astringing the lungs and stopping coughing. It can be used in combination with poppy shells, pinellia ternata, and almonds for long-standing coughs with little phlegm.
(2)Used on chronic diarrhea or dysentery
Wu Mei also have the effects of astringing the intestines and stopping diarrhea. It can be used in combination with nutmeg, chebula fruit, rhizoma atractylodis, and poria cocos for the treatment of long-lasting diarrhea and dysentery.
(3)Used on thirst caused by deficiency-heat
Wu Mei has the function of generating body fluid and relieving thirst. It can be used for removing excessive inner-heat and quenching thirst caused by qi and yin deficiency. It is often used in combination with pollen typhae, kudzu root, ophiopogon japonicus, ginseng, and astragalus membranaceus.
(4)Used on vomiting and stomach pain caused by intestinal worms
Wu Mei are sour in taste, and worms are suppressed by sourness. Therefore, it can regulate the stomach functions and stop worms. It is often used in combination with coptis chinensis, cork tree bark, dried ginger, asarum, Sichuan pepper, and aconite for treating worm-induced stomachache.
Wu Mei contains citric acid, malic acid, oxalic acid, succinic acid, and fumaric acid, with a total acid content of about 4%-5.5%, with the first two organic acids having a higher proportion. It also contains 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde, which is a colorless oily substance. The volatile components primarily contain 62.40% of benzaldehyde, 3.97% of terpinen-4-ol, 3.97% of benzyl alcohol, and 4.55% of hexadecanoic acid. Wumei kernels contain 0.5% of amygdalin or so. Other studies on Wu Mei have showed that it also contain picric acid and SOD.
Wu Mei benefits
Wu Mei can stimulate the secretion of salivary hormones, which can prevent aging.
When the blood is purified, metabolism is enhanced, body energy is naturally restored. The citric acid in Wu Mei helps absorb vitamins and enzymes, prevent diseases, and eliminate fatigue.
(3)Protect the digestive system
Wu Mei has the function of purifying the blood and detoxifying, which can prevent the food eaten from becoming acidic and going rancid in the gastrointestinal tract.
The apple acid contained in Wu Mei guides appropriate amount of water to the large intestine, forming feces and excreting them from the body.
(5)Stops vomiting in pregnant women
During pregnancy, the blood becomes acidic, and the function and energy of the stomach and liver also weaken. When the body becomes acidic, calcium is easy to lose. Pregnant women are advised to eat one Wu Mei daily to balance their body functions.
(6) Wu Mei has a contracting effect on gallbladder, which can promote bile excretion, and its combination with other meds can be used to treat biliary ascariasis.
Wu Mei side effects
(1) Wu Mei is a delicious sweet and sour food, but it has certain side effects on the digestive and respiratory systems. Patients with enteritis cannot eat Wu Mei as it may worsen their conditions. For those with colds, especially those with cough and phlegm symptoms, Wu Mei should also be avoided.
(2) Due to the high acidity of Wu Mei, it is necessary to remember to brush teeth timely after consumption; otherwise, the acidic substances in it may corrode the teeth and affect dental health.
How to take Wu Mei?
Guìhuā Wūméi Tāng
The main ingredients of Guìhuā Wūméi Tāng are Wu Mei and sweet osmanthus. It is sour and sweet and refreshing, suitable for mid-summer consumption. It can whet the appetite, replenish water of the body, and as a kind of alkaline food, it helps balance the blood pH in the body. In addition, Wumei soup can lower liver fire and faciliate digestion.
Wu Mei, cardamom, hawthorn, licorice, sweet osmanthus, rock sugar.
(1) Wash the ingredients except the sweet osmanthus and rock sugar.
(2) Put the washed ingredients into a clay pot.
(3) Add an appropriate amount of water.
(4) Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn to low heat and simmer for 1 hour.
(5) Add sweet osmanthus and rock sugar, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes and turn off the heat.
(6) Let it cool and put it in the refrigerator to chill.
(1) It is recommended to use a clay pot. Do not use iron or stainless steel pots to cook. The acidity contained in Wu Mei may not corrode the pot, but it may produce harmful substances during heating, which are harmful to the human body.
(2) The freshly cooked Wu Mei soup is relatively sour. The sweetness will increase after cooling down, so do not add too much sugar right away. Add sugar according to personal taste afterwards.
Wu Mei Tea
5g of roses, 3 Wu Mei, 2 tablespoons of honey.
(1) Wash Wu Mei with cold water first, then put it into the teapot with rose.
(2) Pour boiling water into the teapot, cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes. When the water temperature drops below 50℃, add honey and stir evenly.
Wu Mei Juice
10 Wu Mei
(1) Wu Mei, washed with water, put into a soup pot with 3/4 of water, boiled over high heat.
(2) After boiling, turn to low heat and simmer mildly until the soup color turns dark brown and the Wu Mei meat is throughly cooked. Add water repeatedly if needed.
(3) Cook the broth into about 1 liter of concentrated juice, and add a little rock sugar for seasoning.
How to choose Wu Mei?
Medicine property distinguish
When choosing Wu Mei, the smoked dried plum is flat and round or irregularly shaped, with a diameter of 1.5 to 3 centimeters. Its surface is dark brown to black, rough and wrinkled, with some already cracked and exposing the hard core inside. One end of the fruit has an obvious depression where the stem falls off, and its meat is soft in texture. The core is hard and brownish-yellow, containing one light yellow almond-like kernel with a distinctive odor and extremely sour taste. The preferred Wu Mei is the one that is large, fleshy, with a small core and uncracked coal-black skin, tender and moisture in texture and extremely sour.
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