Yuzu, aka Citrus junos, is a citrus fruit native to China that made its way to, and became a well-loved ingredient in Japan and Korea. A hardy evergreen, Yuzu is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and ichang papeda (another evergreen Chinese citrus).
Yuzu is usually not eaten as a fruit but is commonly used as a culinary ingredient due to its distinct aroma. But its main value is an amazing set of vitamins that contribute to our health and beauty.
Yuzu Fruit Benefits for Health
In TCM, Citrus junos are listed as “Herbs that regulate Qi.” This fruit prevents Qi stagnation, which in turn is dangerous both for our physical health (pain in the liver, stomach and lungs) and for mental health (depression, irritability, mood swings). These benefits of yuzu for our body and spirit are also scientifically proven.
Yuzu fruit is high in antioxidants. They in turn prevent cell damage from free radicals and fight oxidative stress, thus protecting our body from a variety of diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and brain damage.
Heart Health Protection
Yuzu fruit benefits our hearts due to its anti-platelet activity. In particular, it contains flavonoids that prevent blood clotting, reduce inflammation in blood vessels, and support overall heart health. Thus, yuzu citrus may be an adjuvant medicine for patients most affected by cardiovascular disease.
Mental Health Improvement
Some of the yuzu oil benefits are anxiety reduction and mind relaxation. So in one study, a 10-minute inhalation of this oil improved the functioning of the nervous system. Besides, scientists noted a decrease in depression and anger, as well as an improvement in the mood of the participants. In another experiment, researchers filled a room with yuzu oil and invited 60 mothers who were in the hospital with sick children. The result was a significant reduction in maternal anxiety.
Yuzu Skin Care Benefits
Yuzu fruits have a rough and uneven skin. This is probably because it left all skin-care properties for us.
Yuzu extract is credited with a strong anti-aging effect. First, yuzu peels are rich in ethanolic extracts that actively fight the enzyme that breaks down elastin in our skin. Second, the flavonoids in this citrus promote collagen synthesis and therefore prevent the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Finally, yuzu anti-oxidants, as we already know, fight oxidative stress, which is one of the main causes of skin aging.
The book Nutritional Cosmetics: Beauty from Within states that yuzu seed extract is able to thicken the outer layers of the skin and strengthen the skin barrier. This not only softens your skin but also protects it from environmental aggressors such as UV rays and pollution. As a result, after applying yuzu-based cosmetics, your skin gets rid of such problems as irritation, acne, and tightness.
Special compounds in the yuzu fruit significantly reduce the amount of melanin in the skin. Due to this, yuzu skin care products brighten your skin, which is especially true for problems such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots. In addition, yuzu is rich in vitamin C. One study found that applying it to the skin also lightened postoperative scars and made them less noticeable.
How to Use Yuzu Fruit?
If you are ready to yuzu, here are some 5 simple ways to enjoy this fragrant citrus:
Make yuzu tea. Cut yuzu into thin slices and remove the seeds. Add yuzu slices to green tea or just steep in hot water for an incredibly uplifting tisane.
Infuse yuzu in honey. This is one of our favorite ways to consume yuzu. You can buy ready-made ones from Asian markets or make your own yuzu honey.
Enjoy a Japanese yuzu bath. Slice up the yuzu, add it to warm water, and soak in the bath for about 30 minutes.
Add it to Ponzu sauce. This versatile citrus sauce can be used as a marinade or dipping sauce to liven up any dish.
Prepare the salad dressing. Yuzu juice adds freshness and acidity to salads with a delicate floral twist.
Yuzu citrus has been cultivated in Asian medicine for about 1500 years for its medicinal properties and diverse uses. With this in mind, let's make yuzu a part of our daily beauty and health rituals.