Ume-Sho-Kuzu is the principal medicinal drink for enhancing natural immunity, strengthening the blood, and preventing or relieving infectious conditions, including Ebola. It is made with umeboshi plums, natural soy sauce (shoyu), and kuzu root powder simmered in hot water.

Ume-Sho-Kuzu Recipe:

  • 1 tblsp of kuzu
  • 1/4-1/2 an umeboshi plum
  • few drops of shoyu
  • water

Dissolve the kuzu in about 3 tblsps of cold water in a small sauce pan. Add another cup of water and the umeboshi plum and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Stirring prevents the kuzu from clumping. When it comes to a boil, simmer the flame and add a few drops of shoyu. Drink while hot.

The energies of nature and the infinite universe are absorbed through the foods we eat and are transmuted into the thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds that spring from them.

Article by Michio Kushi

with Alex Jack, Edward Esko, and Midori H. Kushi

and the Kushi Institute Research and Faculty Committee

1. Introduction

As the 21st century unfolds, there is a growing sense of impending collapse. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, and other degeneration and infectious diseases are multiplying, The spread of nuclear weapons and energy, regional conflicts, and terrorism have resulted in widespread fear and uncertainty. Global warming, climate change, and the destruction of the natural environment pose serious threats to the continued survival of many species, including our own. New technologies have given us marvelous computers, cells phones, and other devices that have transformed our lives. But artificial electromagnetic radiation, the mining of rare earth metals and conflict minerals, and the rise of biotechnology entail unrecognized social and environmental costs that imperil personal and planetary health, and in the long run are unsustainable.

Macrobiotics—the way of health and peace through biological and spiritual change and evolution—does not require special foods, supplements, drugs, vaccines, scans, or genetic engineering. Health and peace do not originate from any political party, religious movement, cultural tradition, or social platform. It begins in kitchens and pantries, gardens and backyards, where the primary physical source and vitality of our daily life—whole cereal grains, the staff of life, our daily bread—is produced and developed. From individual hearts and homes, peace radiates out to friends and neighbors, communities, nations, and eventually the world as a whole.

Whoever takes charge of the farming, cooking, and food production is our general, our pilot. We need no weapons, no shields, no offensive and defensive powers, just will and self-reflection. Brown rice, whole wheat, millet, and other whole grains; miso soup; vegetables from land and sea; beans and bean products; fruits, seeds and nuts; and other predominantly plant-based foods are our “weapons” to turn around the entire world. The energies of nature and the infinite universe are absorbed through the foods we eat and are transmuted into the thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds that spring from them. By becoming one with the infinite universe and nature and observing the universal laws of change and harmony—or what can be called the will of God—we are quite capable of restoring balance and order to our planet. Age old problems of war and peace, sickness and health, poverty and wealth, and all other polarities that divide people can be resolved through a balanced, natural way of eating; calm, peaceful mind; and grateful spirit.

Over the years, modern macrobiotics has spearheaded the organic, natural foods movement. It has pioneered dietary research with Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, and other health care institutions into the cause and prevention of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. We have also successfully worked with HIV/AIDS patients and medical workers in Africa, the United States, and Europe. Following the atomic bombing of Japan, Dr. Tatsuchiro Akizuki, medical director of St. Francis’s Hospital in Nagasaki, saved the lives of his entire staff and patients with a strict macrobiotic diet while throughout the city thousands perished of radiation sickness. In Chelyabinsk, site of Soviet nuclear weapons production, and Chernobyl, site of the nuclear reactor explosion, Russian physicians used macrobiotic quality foods donated by the Kushi Institute, including brown rice and other whole grains, miso soup, sea vegetables, and special condiments such as umeboshi plums, to successfully treat people with leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, and other malignancies that resulted from exposure to nuclear radiation.

Since the end of World War II, the planet has been beset with a series of grave crises, including the nuclear arms race, chronic and degenerative disease, and climate change. The macrobiotic approach has offered a healthy, peaceful way to resolve each of these challenges. The most recent crisis—the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa—has now started to spread to the United States and Europe and threatens to become a global pandemic. At the present time, there is no effective medical treatment for Ebola, and no comprehensive dietary guidelines by WHO, CDC, governments, or other bodies.

We offer the following macrobiotic guidelines as a simple, practical, safe, and inexpensive way to treat people suffering from Ebola in Africa or at high risk for the disease in other parts of the world. Together with the medical profession, international relief agencies, and governments, we can join together and eventually stop Ebola from spreading, save many lives, and create a bright, healthy, peaceful future.

2. Origin and Cause of Ebola

The primary cause of Ebola is the modern way of farming and eating, especially chemical agriculture and a diet high in sugar, dairy food, heavy animal protein, and other highly processed foods. These create both an external and an internal environment in which the potentially deadly virus thrives.

Both the soil and the blood became too acidic as a result of major agriculture and food consumption patterns that took place following World War II. The macrobiotic approach is to balance this over acidity through natural and organic farming methods and by a balanced natural foods diet that alkalinizes the bloodstream, strengthens the lymph and other bodily fluids, and increases natural immunity to disease.

In the 1980s, I visited Central Africa and made a presentation on the macrobiotic approach to HIV/AIDS to 200 medical doctors, including many traditional folk healers, at a conference convened by the World Health Organization (WHO). I stayed two and a half weeks in the Republic of the Congo and near Brazzaville visited a village for one week and observed what ordinary people ate. The macrobiotic dietary approach helped many people in Africa, the United States, and around the world prevent, relieve, or control HIV/AIDs. As a viral disease originating in Central Africa, Ebola follows a pattern akin to AIDS, but it is much more virulent, acute, and deadly.

3. Dietary Guidelines for Ebola in Africa and Elsewhere during the recovery period, 1-2 weeks, average 10 days.

For Ebola patients or those at high risk for this disease, the following guidelines are suggested:

A. Basic food, including whole grains, miso soup, condiments, seasonings, and liquids. These may be given daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  1. Whole grain, especially brown rice, is to be consumed as principle food daily. It may be softly prepared, with porridge like consistency, especially if the person is weak and has trouble eating or digesting. The grain should be eaten together with one of the following condiments: umeboshi plum (1/2 to 1 plum), gomashio (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), shiso leaf powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), or sea vegetable powder (1/2 to 1 teaspoon).
  2. Millet may be used instead of brown rice (if unavailable) or eaten in addition to brown rice. Other whole grains may be substituted if rice or millet is not available, but these two grains are the strongest for healing.
  3. Miso soup, 1-2 cups daily, using miso that is at least 6 to 12 months aged and ideally aged 2-years or more. Barley miso is standard, though brown rice or all soybean (hatch) miso may also be used. If none of these misos are available, other misos (such as red, yellow, or white) or instant miso soup may be taken.
  4. If the person can eat solid food, a small volume of beans, vegetables, and sea vegetables may also be eaten in addition to the above, especially a one-pot or one-skillet meal made with a variety of vegetables, a strip of kombu or other seaweed or riverweed, and other plant-quality ingredients such as bean products (e.g. tofu or tempeh), roots, and tubers.
  5. Kombu powder or other sea vegetable powder also may be used as a condiment. Traditionally, Africans ate river moss and riverweed that gives strength and vitality. It was customarily dried, ground into a powder, and used as a condiment, garnish, or put in soups and other dishes.
  6. Organic shoyu, or natural soy sauce, may be used in cooking as a seasoning for vegetable, bean, or sea vegetable dishes instead of sea salt. All soybean products such as shoyu should be organic, as many soy and soy products are genetically modified.
  7. Sea Salt should be used in cooking. Rock salt is used in Africa, but there is acid in rock salt and it should be avoided or minimized. Plain white sea salt is best. Avoid grey, yellow, pink, and other sea salts that are high in minerals.
  8. For a sweet taste, stewed apples or other cooked fruit may be taken. For an even more concentrated sweet taste, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice syrup or barley malt.
  9. Spring, well, or filtered water should be used for cooking or drinking. To avoid dehydration, more liquid than usual may need to be taken. Kukicha (also known as bancha twig tea) may be taken as a regular beverage. Roasted barley tea, other grain tea, or non-aromatic, non-stimulant tea may be taken occasionally.

B. Foods to Avoid

  1. Meals in Central and West Africa are often prepared in a single pot or skillet and eaten at the table. They generally include vegetables, cassava, and other plant-quality ingredients, as well as frogs, fish, wild birds, or other animal food. The animal products often originate in muddy or swampy environments that are extremely acidic. All animal food should be strictly avoided temporarily until the crisis has passed.
  2. Cassava (also know as tapioca and manioc) is a starchy root that was introduced to Africa several centuries ago from South America. It was traditionally an emergency crop eaten in times of poor grain harvests or famine. Today it has become the main staple in many parts of the region, even though rice, millet, sorghum, and other whole grains are available. A small amount of cassava is fine for people in usual good health as a complement to whole grains, but should be avoided or reduced in the case of Ebola.
  3. Sugar, white flour, milk and other dairy, canned foods, chemically grown foods, soft drinks, and other highly processed foods imported from abroad or donated by relief agencies should be avoided.
  4. Oil should be temporarily avoided, as it can spread the virus.
  5. All strong herbs and spices, especially peppers, curries, and other hot spices, should be avoided. These stimulants can spread the virus.

C. Medicinal Drinks

The following medicinal drinks may be taken:

  1. Ume-Sho-Bancha (made with 1/2 to 1 umeboshi plum and several drops to 1 teaspoon of shoyu added to 1 cup of bancha twig tea) or Ume-Sho-Kuzu (made with umeboshi plum and shoyu and dissolved in 1 cup of water with a heaping teaspoon of kudzu root thickener). These are traditional preparations to strengthen the blood, overcome fatigue, and prevent infection. Take 1 to 2 small cups of either drink every morning and evening for up to 10 days.
  2. Other medicinal drinks and applications may also be used depending on the individuals condition.

D. Recovery Period, average 2 weeks

After the virus has left the body, the patient should continue to eat very simply for two to four weeks, mostly whole grains, miso soup, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables, and condiments. Other foods may gradually be added, including:

  1. A small volume of sesame oil may be used in cooking, especially sautéed vegetables. If sesame is not available, other polyunsaturated or monosaturated oils such as corn or olive may be used. Avoid, even when healthy, palm oil and coconut oil, which are saturated and raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.
  2. A small volume of herbs or spices may be gradually introduced. But they should be mild and not too hot.
  3. A small volume of white-meat fish may be taken during the recovery period and served with lemon or grated radish to aid in digestion. The fish may be steamed, boil, pouched, or cooked in the form of soup or stew with vegetables.
  4. After full recovery, the person should follow the standard macrobiotic dietary guidelines for usual good health (Click here for Standard Macrobiotic Guidelines). The following charts illustrate the average type and proportion of food (by weight, not volume) for Central and West Africa:

© 2014 by Michio Kushi and Midori H. Kushi. Copyright and image right protected. This article may be reprinted by nonprofit educational, medical, or humanitarian organizations. For information on commercial reproduction, please contact Kushi Institute.

Recommended Reading

  • AIDS, Macrobiotics, and Natural Immunity by Michio Kushi with Martha Cottrell, M.D., Japan Publications, 1990. Out of print but available used from Amazon.com.
  • Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking by Aveline Kushi with Alex Jack, Warner Books, 1985. The principal macrobiotic cookbook.
  • The Book of Macrobiotics by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, Square One Publications, 2013. Newly revised edition of the classic book on macrobiotic principles, including dietary guidelines for 10 regions of the world including Africa, summary of scientific-medical research on macrobiotics, and nutrient tables.
  • The Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, St Martin’s Press, 2010. The macrobiotic approach to 25 major types of cancer, including menus, recipes, and home cares.
  • Diet for a Strong Heart by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, St. Martin’s Press, 1985. The macrobiotic approach to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions, including menus, recipes, and home cares.
  • Macrobiotic Home Remedies by Michio Kushi with Marc Van Cauwenberghe, M.D., Square One Publications, 2014. Newly revised edition of macrobiotic home cares, including special dishes, foods, and compresses that may be helpful for infectious conditions such as Ebola.
  • The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health by Michio Kushi with Alex Jack, Ballantine Books, 2003. A comprehensive guide to preventing and relieving more than 200 chronic and infectious conditions, including menus, recipes, and home cares.

Resources

Kushi Institute – www.kushiinstiute.org. The K.I. is the world center for macrobiotic learning and offers year-round residential programs to the general public on macrobiotic principles and practices, including cooking classes; teacher, counselor, and chef training; and the Way to Health Program, a 7-day residential program for preventing and relieving cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. Personal macrobiotic dietary and way of life counseling, shiatsu massage, and other individual services are also available. Located on 600 acres in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, K.I. is convenient to many artistic and cultural attractions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

The CDC is the U.S. government agency coordinating the response to Ebola and other public health issues and emergencies. It presents daily updates and the latest medical advice on the Ebola outbreak in Africa, America, and around the world.