China food

Prunus mume- Chinese natural complement and meals for well being

The apricot Japan, mume, or ume Ume (Prunus mume (Sieb.) Sieb. And Zucc.) Is a stone fruit shrub of the genus Prunus, hooked up to the big household Rosaceae. It’s with apricot P. armeniaca and different apricot within the world1, the subgenus Prunus Armeniaca part of the genus Prunus2.

Its space of ​​origin is situated within the central areas of southern China (Sichuan and Yunnan) and its cultivation unfold all through the Far East. It’s deeply related to the artwork and literature of the nice civilizations of these areas.

In trendy Chinese, the widespread title of the species Prunus mume is méi 梅, the tree itself meishu 梅树 his meizi fruit 梅子 or Meiguo 核果, its Meihua 梅花 flowers and mét. decorative tree.

The species was launched to Japan with Buddhism within the seventh – eighth century. The pronunciation of the spelling 梅 in Japan and Korea is derived from that of the medieval Chinese (Tang Dynasty) rebuilt as muəi3. The pronunciation of the Nara interval was even (ん め?), Written mume (む め?). Mume latter pronunciation is totally out of date in Japan and has been changed by ume (う め?). In Korean, the pronunciation is maesil (hangul: 매실; Hanja: 梅 實)

The primary descriptions by European naturalists have been made in Japan within the nineteenth century. Specimens have been collected nicely in China by Abel Clark, the physician who accompanied the embassy of Lord Amherst in 1816 on this nation however the first botanical description publiée4 dates from 1830 and is the work of Bavarian doctor and naturalist Siebold, the European first to have taught drugs at Japan5. He then despatched in 1844 dwelling crops in Europe beneath the title of mume.

There’s some confusion within the designation by the European languages ​​of Prunus mume. For years, the illustration of its flowers (meihua 梅花) in conventional painting or porcelain, has been designated as “plum blossoms” (plum blossom or flowering plum). The authors of the late twentieth century, extra cautious, however very vagues6, spoke of “prunus blossoms.” 7 Within the Chinese cultural context, it appears troublesome certainly to talk of “apricot Japan” to basic Chinese tree and the extra normal time period of “apricot” will not be applicable both as a result of designates one other native species China, Prunus armeniaca, well-known in Europe; As to that of “apricot China” (adopted by Needham & Lu Huang8), it’s hardly extra passable since there are a number of indigenous apricot bushes within the nation. China has monosyllabic vernacular names to designate these native species mei 梅 Prunus mume and 杏 xing Prunus armeniaca and lǐ 李 for Prunus salicina. By cons when Prunus mume is grown as a decorative tree within the West, it’s designated as “Japanese apricot.”


Prunus mume is a tree with a rounded crown of 4 to six meters excessive, bark grey roughly verdâtre9.

The leaves alternate, deciduous, the blade elliptical, oboval long-acuminate, the margins finely toothed, are 5 to eight centimeters lengthy. They seem shortly after petal fall. The petiole of 1 to 2 cm lengthy door normally nectaries.

Flowers white or pink corolla, normally shaped of 5 petals, and quite a few stamens bloom in early spring, in March-April, typically as early janvier9. The flowers are solitary or in pairs and are carried by a stalk court10 (1-10 mm). There are double flowering varieties prized for his or her decorative look. The flowers exude a robust perfume.

The fruits are small globular drupes (2 to three cm in diameter) clingstone. They’re marked as apricots, a groove from the stem to the tip. They mature between late Could and late July. They maintain a variegated greenish yellow coloration and are fairly acidic and little or no candy, however give off a satisfying perfume.

Geographical distribution

Prunus mume is a species native to China (areas of Sichuan and Yunnan) that’s grown all over the place in China, particularly south of the Yangtze (Changjiang), Japan, Taiwan and Korea (from Flora of China11) . Subsequent GRIN12 it will be native to Sichuan and Yunnan in China, Taiwan, Laos and Vietnam; it will be naturalized in Japan and is cultivated in China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

In China, it’s grown in orchards within the Yangtze Valley and south of the river. Within the north, it’s grown as potted bonsai (pénzāi 盆栽) and should be returned within the greenhouse in winter.

In Japan, decorative kinds of ume are categorised Yabai (wild) hibai (purple) and bungo (province of Bungo). The bungo are additionally grown for his or her fruit and are hybrids of ume and apricot.

Prunus mume medicinal use

The primary Chinese ebook on medicinal crops, the Shennong bencao jing (first century AD) mentions apricots mei “The meishi 梅 实 are acidic and balanced. They let down the qi, get rid of warmth and vexations, calm the center … “To be saved in pharmacy, apricots should endure preparation for drying and salting (Baimei 白梅 salty white apricots) or smoking (Wumei 乌梅 apricots smoked black). Li Shizhen, the well-known doctor and naturalist of the sixteenth century recommends black Wumei apricots to consolidate qi Lung and soothe coughs.

At present a traditionnelle17 Chinese Pharmacopoeia reference ebook states that “the Wumei (乌梅), Fructus Mume, should be ready from unripe fruit, cooked at low temperature till the pores and skin crumples, then braised and blackened , pitted and used as is or charred. ” Its features could be to consolidate the lung-qi, calm coughs, being astringent intestines and cease diarrhea, to advertise the manufacturing of physique fluids and quench thirst and to be anthelmintic. Its indications are thus getting used towards continual cough, continual diarrhea and insatiable thirst, but additionally the tapeworm and the roundworm.

Present analysis are quite a few, particularly across the umeboshi.

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