Yuzuyu: Yuzu Citrus Bath on the Winter Solstice
When it comes to Japanese winter traditions, annually on the winter solstice, we have a custom of soaking in a bath floating lots of citrus fruit in the warm water.
On the winter solstice, we traditionally take “Yuzuyu (柚子湯)”, a bath where the citrus fruit native to East Asia called “Yuzu (柚子)” is added and set afloat.
The winter tradition has continued since the Edo period (1603 to 1868) when it was believed that plants with a strong smell, such as Yuzu, “Yomogi (蓬: mugwort), and “Shobu (菖蒲: sweet grass)“, drove away evil spirits.
On the winter solstice, the sun becomes the weakest in light intensity, and thus Japanese people believe that they have the worst luck on the day.
And for that reason, on the winter solstice, we have the tradition of soaking in the bath with lots of Yuzu fruit bobbing.
In Japan, it is said that after soaking in a Yuzu bath, the person doesn’t catch a cold, which has been scientifically proven.
The body of those who took the citrus bath produces about 4 times noradrenaline compared to those who soaked in a tub of warm water as usual.
Because noradrenaline is secreted to make blood vessels narrow, the fact proves that soak in the citrus bath expands blood vessels.
So Yuzuyu has the effect of promoting blood circulation. In other words, by soaking in the citrus bath, in addition to preventing a cold, you can improve your back pain, neuralgia, and poor circulation.
The citrus bath is also effective in healing chapped hands and beautifying the skin since the peel of Yuzu contains plenty of vitamin C and citric acid.
What is more, the scent of the fruit will fully relax you.
How to Prepare
Image: Ameblo Sukinamono Blog
The basic way to prepare Yuzuyu is quite simple: You just put several to a dozen unpeeled whole Yuzu fruit in a bathtub of warm water.
But if you want to enjoy the scent of Yuzu more and enhance the effect of the Yuzu bath, cut the fruit into half or round slices and add to the tub.
If you have delicate skin: After doing the above, additionally soak the slices of Yuzu in a bowl of hot water for a while, then put them into a net bag.
(Reference Page : Wikipedia 柚子湯 )