Just as orange fruit is popular in Nigeria and many African countries, so is yuzu fruit commonly found in China, Japan, and many Asian countries. At first, yuzu plant was found in the wild in China and Tibet region. Later on, the fruiting plant was introduced to Japan and South Korea where it is domesticated and grown in commercial scale.
Like plants of the citrus family, yuzu fruit is greenish in color when it is not mature, but turns yellow-orange when it is fully ripe. If you have tasted orange, lime and
fruit, You probably would love to have a taste of yuzu fruit juice.
Yuzu tastes like lime
Yuzu fruit juice has a sharp taste that is often hard to distinguish from that of lime, lemon and grapefruit. It is a sweet tangy taste.
Yuzu fruit is not the same as lemon
Yuzu fruits resembles lemon in that when it is ripe it turns yellow like lemon. However, it resembles orange in shape, and grapefruit in the skin. Yuzu is not lemon, and it is not an orange either.
Yuzu juice is a popular brand in Asian continent, especially in places like South Korea, China and Japan. In South Korea, yuzu is known as Yuja. You can easily get a bottle of yuzu juice across the various super markets, or online grocery stores. If however you cannot afford yuzu juice from the market, you can buy the fruits and prepare the juice at home and to your taste.
How to make yuzu juice at home
Yuzu juice is prepared in the way other citrus fruit juices are made. You can cut each fruit and press out the juice into a cup. You can also peal off the back and blend the fruit with an electric blender. You may add other fruits such as pine apple, or mango to the yuzu fruits before blending them.
Yuzu tea is also known as Korean citron tea. This uncommon tea is also made from the fruits of yuzu fruits, but unlike the yuzu juice takes a much longer time to prepare. In fact, it is easier to buy a yuzu tea from reputable brand than to wait for six month to get your tea ready for use.
One amazing thing about yuzu tea is that, unlike other herbal tea which comes as dry products, yuzu tea is a syrup. In Korea, it is well known and common as yuja tea.
How to prepare yuzu tea
Like made mention of earlier, although yuzu tea is made from the plant fruits, it takes a much longer time to get your yuzu tea ready for use. Yuzu tea is made from yuzu syrup which takes several months to form.
Yuzu syrup recipe
To make yuzu syrup, first wash the fruits thoroughly, then cut the fruits into thin slices. Ensure that you removed the seeds from the slices. After that, put all the yuzu slices into a clean bowl and add in a cup or two of honey and two spoons of sugar and mix well (You can use blender to homogenize the mixture, as well as blend the yuja fruits well).
Having mixed your yuzu fruits, honey and sugar, put the whole content into a clean container and store in a cool, dark place and leave it there until the syrup is made, which usually takes up to six months to form.
Yuzu tea recipe
Having made you yuzu syrup, or purchased a commercial product from the market, it is now time to get to make your yuzu tea. In Korea, yuzu tea was first invented to treat common cold. So you see, if you constantly fall to cold, yuzu tea may be your one tea to take care of that.
- Yuzu syrup
- Ginger powder (Optional)
- Clean water
- Pour in boiling water in a cup
- Add a spoon of ginger powder and stir well
- Add two spoons of yuzu syrup and continue stirring till the mixture is uniform
- Serve your tea hot, warm, or chilled.
Uses of yuzu syrup
Apart from using the syrup to make tea, there are other great recipes you can make with the syrup. Yuzu syrup can be added to a cocktail, spread for toast, or add to your favorite ice cream.
What are the benefits of yuzu fruit juice and tea?
In Korea, yuzu tea is taken as yuja tea for common cold. Aside that, yuzu tea has strong antioxidants, including vitamins and minerals. It is not just a beverage, but also a herbal tea that you would be happy you have in your house.
Yuzu fruit improves blood flow
It may well interest you to know that yuzu contains more bioactive phytochemical compounds than most bitters and roots of herbs can contain. Some of the highly active compounds are chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, rutin, rutin hydrate, narirutin, naringin, apigen-7-glucoside, hesperidin, quercetin and tangeretin. These compounds possess antiplatelet activities.
Platelet aggregation leads to blood clotting in wounded skin areas. These mechanisms is also utilized when there is an internal bleeding. Although blood clotting is beneficial, it can lead to serious health complications, especially with regard to your cardiovascular functioning.
Blood clotting can lead to the blockage of the blood vessels, thereby leading into an increased blood pressure . Subsequently, it may lead to death due to cardiac arrest.
Help you maintain your weight
You know what it is said about dietary fiber right? It does make you feel full and suppresses appetites. This way, yuzu fruits, tea or juice reduces the frequency of snacking.
Snacks increase your blood calories and thus increased body weight. If unchecked, snack intake can lead to obesity. That’s why you should eat foods fortified with dietary fiber. These would reduce your rate of food consumption and maintain an excellent body figure.
Yuzu fruit improves your brain functions
Of course, yuzu fruits possess enough vitamins and antioxidants that prevent the harmful effects of free radicals and oxidative stress on your brain cells. According a study, the B vitamins play major roles in the functions of the brain, which include energy metabolism of glucose to release energy, synthesis of DNA/RNA and repair, genomic and non-genomic methylation, and the synthesis of numerous neurochemicals and signaling molecules.
It may interest you to know that B vitamins are in involved in the metabolism of homocysteine. Several studies have shown that homocysteine is a risk factor for dementia, impairment of brain functions, and cardiovascular health. Because the B vitamins, especially folate and vitamin B6 play very important roles in the metabolism of cysteine, their deficiency usually pose those risks on your health.
Aside the presence of B vitamins, yuzu fruits also possess dietary iron in a good quantity. Iron is involved in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are the conveyors of oxygenated red blood cells. This way, your brain is supplied with adequate oxygen for its metabolic functions.
Yuzu fruit may be good for pregnant women
During the early development of pregnancy, the neural tubes begins to form, and subsequently leads to the formation of the spinal chord and brain cells. This development of neural tubes begins even before a woman is aware she’s pregnancy.
Any defect of the neural tubes’ development will definitely affect the child’s brain or spinal chord development. When it affects the spinal chord it is called spina bifida. This defect affects the child’s central nervous system and may lead to paralysis. On the other hand, if the defect affects the brain, it is termed anencephaly.
One cause of this defects is the deficiency of folate on the during early pregnancy. Thankfully, yuzu fruits is well packed with folate and other B vitamins. Another benefit of yuzu fruits to a pregnant woman is the presence of the mineral, iron. Iron presence prevents pregnancy induced anemia.
Yuzu fruits has a great fragrance that has an aromatherapeutic effect on your mood. It gives you a calm feeling, and prevents anxiety and depression.
Yuzu fruits also give you that feelings of positivity, and happiness through out the day. It makes your day blissful and positively affects your workplaces.
Yuzu fruit peel has antidiabetic effect
Studies have shown that the peel of yuzu fruits have strong antidiabetic properties. This beneficial effect is due to the presence of several bioactive compounds including rutin and quercetin.
Also, yuzu possess enough fiber that reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin production.
Another study has also shown that the antidiabetic properties of yuzu fruits may be through AMPK and PPAR-γ in both cell culture and mouse models.
Yuzu improves bone health
Each yuzu fruit contains calcium, iron, and vitamins, which are vital for a healthy bone development. Also, yuzu fruit peel contains flavones which support development of osteoclasts.
Osteoclasts are cells that degrade bone to initiate normal bone remodeling and mediate bone loss in pathologic conditions by increasing their resorptive activity.
Thus by drinking yuzu tea, which is made from both the fruit pulp and peel, you may improve your bone health. This also makes yuzu tea a good tonic for children.
Yuzu tea reduces cancer risks
Aside rutin, quercetin, various flavones and phenolic compounds, yuzu fruit contains other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and carotenoids.
These compounds greatly reduces the chances of developing cancers. This may be through the suppression of gene expression of many degenerative diseases, including cancer cells.
Yuzu tea may also be giving to a cancer patient to support the chemotherapy treatment.
Yuzu fruit peel for your skin
The fruit peel of yuzu may help your skin maintain its youthful touch sbd glow, prevent wrinkles and delay the aging processes. This is because the fruit peel contains active compound that inhibit elastase activities but strongly promote the synthesis of procollagen.
The fruit peel extract can also suppress melanin production, thereby lightening your skin color and preventing early aging. Another anti-aging herb you that prevents the early aging of your skin is truffle oil. You can apply the oil topically, while taking yuzu tea of juice.
May boost your immunity
A regular consumption of yuzu fruit, yuzu juice, or yuzu tea will greatly improve your immune system, and protect you from infective organisms, including viral infections. This is not only due to its antioxidants, but also because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin is commonly known for its antiviral activities. Likewise rutin and other phytochemical compounds and mineral elements, like zinc.
How to grow and care for yuzu tree
Yuzu is like other Citrus family. It grows best in a sunny place, but requires partial shades to make a great harvest. The soil where you grow your yuzu is also a determining factor, as yuzu plant likes an acidic pH and a well drained soil to thrive.
If you’re planning to grow your yuzu in a pot, then you should ensure that the soil you use is cut out from a place where yuzu or other Citrus species are grown and doing well.
It takes yuzu two to ten years to produce fruits
The typical wild yuzu tree can take up to ten years to mature and produce fruits. Some may do so sooner than that. Also, there are improved varieties that can actually mature and produce fruits within two years. These varieties are usually dwarfish in nature.
The sad thing about the improved varieties is that they’re genetically reconstructed, and may at the long run affect your health in a negative way.
If you can exercise the patience, I’d advise you wait for your natural yuzu seedlings to grow and mature, even if it will take ten years to do so. This way, you would be eating organically produced yuzu juice or tea.
How to care for yuzu trees
If you have grown any of the citrus family plant, you probably have mastered the act of growing yuzu. This is because they all share similar pattern of growth and fruiting.
If you want your yuzu tree to grow well and produce huge harvest, make sure you plant you yuzu seeds in a location that receives adequate sunlight on a daily basis. This is because yuzu thrives well only on a location where there’s consistent sunlight.
Although the plant, like other Citrus family trees can survive different soil types, it is important you plant your yuzu seeds on a fertile soil with good water drainage.
Another thing to consider is the soil pH. This may not be critical, as yuzu can survive a wide pH range, but it is important you locate the place of planting on a slight acidic pH soil.
That yuzu does like a well draining area, doesn’t make it a hater of water. In fact, yuzu demands much watering, and especially if you live in an area with dry summer. You’d probably water your yuzu seedlings till they have grown and can withstand dry ground.
Yuzu is a thorny plant. This makes it hard to access and pluck the fruits when ripe. But by pruning it, you would make it easier to access the fruits.
The best way to keep the soil fertile is to always keep organic matters near the tree. You can add fertiliser, too. But where the soil is humus and very fertile, the fruit tree can grow well without the need of organic or chemical manure.
Yuzu is neither lime nor lemon. It may be said that it is a hybrid of both. But the fact is that yuzu was first a wild plant before domestication. This means that there was no genetic manipulation on it.
Yuzu fruits, juice, and tea are beneficial for your health. It can be given to children as well as pregnant women.
So far, there is no recorded side effect of the fruit.
Kim SH, Hur HJ, Yang HJ, Kim HJ, Kim MJ, Park JH, Sung MJ, Kim MS, Kwon DY, Hwang JT. Citrus junos Tanaka Peel Extract Exerts Antidiabetic Effects via AMPK and PPAR-γ both In Vitro and In Vivo in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:921012. doi: 10.1155/2013/921012. Epub 2013 May 22. PMID: 23762167; PMCID: PMC3674686.