What are Umeboshi Plums? Nature's hangover cure? Or just an intensely salty treat?

What are Umeboshi Plums? Nature's hangover cure? Or just an intensely salty treat?
Image by kattebelletje
“If you feel a bit under the weather,
If you feel a little bit peeved,
Take granny’s stand-by potion
For any old cough or wheeze.
It’s a cure for hepatitis
it’s a cure for chronic insomnia,
It’s a cure for tonsilitis
and for water on the knee.”

- ‘Have a cuppa tea’ by the Kinks

I feel the same way about umeboshi plums – actually mini-apricots, pickled until they reach eye-watering levels of saltiness.

In Japan, these “seeringly tart“ treats are eaten regularly as an accompaniment to rice (even for breakfast.)

For the rest of us, they’re a great pick-me-up when you’re suffering from a hangover or mild stomach upsets.

Warning: they are intensely salty. And pricey (£7ish for 40 or so). But still worth it, I reckon – After all, you’ll only need one once in a blue moon. (Here’s hoping, at least.)

You can also get umeboshi paste, which is great on corn on the cob, and is the secret ingredient in my tahina recipe.

Since umbeboshi are said to have an ‘alkalising’ effect, I’m wondering if they might be a good indigestion remedy too (caused by acidity?) ... Anyone know?

And more to the point, have they been used to treat water on the knee…?

Image by kattebelletje