Indigestion Remedies Coos Bay OR
Coos Bay, OR
Oregon City, OR
Oregon City, OR
By Emily Yin
The next time your stomach aches, take a lesson from the samurai: Eat some umeboshi, a Japanese plum that has been sun dried and pickled in brine. From the 17th to the 19th century, Japanese warriors ate umeboshi to combat stomach complaints and fatigue—and for good reason. With its intensely tart and salty flavor, it helps alleviate indigestion by reducing acidity in the stomach and by restoring the acid-base balance of the body.
“As the panacea of Japanese food cures, umeboshi is beneficial for imbalances in the body, because it’s a potent alkalizing food,” says Esther Cohen, director of the Seven Bowls School of Nutrition, Nourishment, and Healing in Boulder, Colorado. “It removes stagnation in the body and encourages digestion.”
Normally, when you eat a meal, the stomach releases hydrochloric acid to start digestion. A while later the pancreas secretes bicarbonate, a base, to neutralize the acid. Without that neutralization, pancreatic enzymes can’t function, and the body doesn’t digest food efficiently. The excess acid also irritates your stomach.
Eating too many acid-forming foods, like sugar, refined carbohydrates, and meat can throw the acid-bicarbonate balance out of whack, leading to indigestion. Called the king of alkaline foods, umeboshi offers a zesty way to restore balance. “By taking 10 grams of umeboshi plums, we can neutralize the acidity created by consuming 100 grams of sugar,” Cohen says.
Umeboshi contains high levels of alkaline-forming minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which help reduce acidity. The plums’ organic acids—primarily citric and phosphoric acid—also help alkalize the body by bonding to the minerals and increasing absorption of them in the gut.
Umeboshi remains a popular Japanese remedy for acidic stomachs and indigestion, especially after eating rich foods. Aficionados usually add umeboshi—found in health food stores and Asian groceries—to rice, tea, or onigiri (rice-balls wrapped in dried seaweed). It also adds zest to broccoli, cabbage, and, when pureed, to cucumber slices and ears of corn. When seasoning sauces or salad dressings, skip the salt in favor of sliced or pureed umeboshi.
Taste it, and if umeboshi’s vibrant pink color—which comes from the shiso herb it’s pickled with—doesn’t grab your attention, the pungent flavor will.
Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...