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Friday, February 23, 2007


It is pronounced ‘MOO-may’ (synonyms: wumei, smoked plum) and it is the dried unripe fruit of the Prunus mume (Sieb.) Sieb. et Zucc., a deciduous tree up to 10 meters high. It is also known as Japanese apricot. The green, about-to-ripen fruit is collected in May and oven-dried at 40C for 2-3 days followed by leaving in the closed oven for 2-3 more days until it turns black. Mume is produced mostly in southern provinces, especially Sichuan which is the largest producer. Zhejiang produces the best wumei, which is large and jet black, with thick meat and a small pit, and tastes sour.

See also our full article on Mume posted earlier.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics, 2nd Edition presents technical information and traditional medicinal uses of Mume, as well as similar info for about 500 other herbs.

The encyclopedia entry for Mume appears on pp. 541-542.

For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

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