“Little Plum Blossom of Hill Garden” by Lin Bu

Image“Little Plum Blossom of Hill Garden”

Lin Bu (林逋) (Song Dynasty 960–1279)

When everything has faded they alone shine forth,
encroaching on the charms of smaller gardens.
Their scattered shadows fall lightly on clear water,
their subtle scent pervades the moonlit dusk.
Snowbirds look again before they land,
butterflies would faint if they but knew.
Thankfully I can flirt in whispered verse,
I don’t need a sounding board or winecup.


Prunus mume (pinyin wu mei) is not only a beautiful ornamental tree (that can live more than 1600 years!), but the fruit/plum has many medicinal and culinary uses. It is the Chinese herb Wu Mei and is used traditionally to strengthen the Lungs; Strengthen the Intestines; Promote generation of Body Fluids; Calm roundworms; calms pain of the abdomen. Modern use includes treating H. pylori infection which can be the cause of gastric ulcers and gastric hyper-acidity.

It is also used to make plum wine (delicious!) and ume boshi paste and vinegar (so delicious!) among other Asian culinary delights. Ume boshi vinegar is especially yummy on rice dishes and mixed into salad dressing and sauces. Ume boshi plum paste is AMAZING on corn on the cob (I figured that out waaaay back when I was a little hippy kid!).

I highly recommend adding some Ume boshi to the diet if one is having any pesky acid reflux or digestive issues. You never know, it might be just the remedy one needs!


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