Black plum

Chinese Name: Wumei
Medical Name: Fructus mume
Latin Name: Prunus mume
Taste: Sour and tart

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

THE HERBAL CLASSIC OF SHEN NONG: "Expels pathogens; eliminates toxic heat and tightness in the chest, calms the mind, assuages pains of the limbs and trunk arising from hemiplegia and numbness of muscles. It clears the skin in cases where pores have been blocked because of nervousness, and clears sepsis from wounds."

THE COMPENDIUM OF MATERIA MEDICA: "Astringes the lungs to remove fire, prevents gastrointestinal fluid retention, arrests coughing, treats diarrhea arising from dysentery, gastric disorders causing nausea with dysphasia, ascariasis of the biliary tract, and vomiting."

SUPPLEMENT TO THE COMPENDIUM OF MATERIA MEDICA: "Sour in taste, promoting the secretion of sperm and appetitive, this herb astringes the lungs, arrests watery diarrhoea, arrests vomiting and astringes sweating. It allays asthma and ascariasis. Cold in nature, it can resolve pyogenic infections due to toxic heat. Astringent in property, it can relieve watery diarrhoea or dysentery." "Effective in cases of diabetes, night sweats, vomiting and loss of blood, prolonged dysentery and inflammation of the throat."

Western Research

Life Sci 2002 Dec 27;72(6):659-67
Fruit-juice concentrate of Asian plum inhibits growth signals of vascular smooth muscle cells induced by angiotensin II.
Utsunomiya H, Takekoshi S, Gato N, Utatsu H, Motley ED, Eguchi K, Fitzgerald TG, Mifune M, Frank GD, Eguchi S.
Department of Pathology, Wakayama Medical University, Japan.
Bainiku-ekisu, the fruit-juice concentrate of the Oriental plum (Prunus mume) has recently been shown to improve human blood fluidity. Bainiku-ekisu markedly inhibited AngII-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation.

Food Chem Toxicol 2002 Jul;40(7):949-57
Volatile N-nitrosamine inhibition after intake Korean green tea and Maesil (Prunus mume SIEB. et ZACC.) extracts with an amine-rich diet in subjects ingesting nitrate.
Choi SY, Chung MJ, Sung NJ.
Department of Food and Nutrition, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, South Korea.
The formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines under simulated gastric conditions was studied during the incubation of amine rich food and nitrate, and its possible inhibition by adding kumquat, sweet orange, strawberry, garlic, kale juices, Maesil (Prunus mume) and green tea extracts. The strawberry, kale juices, Maesil and green tea extracts were equally effective.

J Agric Food Chem 1999 Mar;47(3):828-31
Mumefural, citric acid derivative improving blood fluidity from fruit-juice concentrate of Japanese apricot (Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc).
Chuda Y, Ono H, Ohnishi-Kameyama M, Matsumoto K, Nagata T, Kikuchi Y.
National Food Research Institute, 2-1-2 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan.
The effects of food components on blood fluidity were studied by in vitro assay using a dedicated microchannel instrument for model capillaries. We found that the fruit-juice concentrate of the Japanese apricot (Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc), a traditional Japanese food, markedly improved the fluidity of human blood. The activity of P. mume is derived from not only artifacts produced during thermal processing, such as mumefural, but also from endogenous organic acids.

Yakugaku Zasshi 1992 Aug;112(8):577-84
[Antimutagenic activities of hexane extracts of the fruit extract and the kernels of Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc.] [Article in Japanese]
Dogasaki C, Murakami H, Nishijima M, Yamamoto K, Miyazaki T.
Faculty of Environmental Health, Azabu University, Kanagawa, Japan.
Antimutagenic activities of hexane extracts obtained from the fruit extract (UE) and the Kernels (KE) of P. mume were examined. These extracts showed inhibitory activities to known mutagens, 2-(2-furyl)-3-(5-nitro-2-furyl)acrylamide, benzo[alpha]pyrene and aflatoxin B1 in the Ames assay using Salmonella typhimurium TA100 and TA98 strains.