Goheung Yuja, the Best Gift of Heaven and a Source of Vitamins known as the Scent of Asia
Grown under the warm sunlight and the gentle southern sea breeze, yuja from Goheung is recognized for its aroma, sweetness and taste that exceeds those from other regions. Goheung yuja is rich in citric acid with three times the vitamin C compared to tangerine, and is effective for recovering from fatigue and stimulating the secretion of digestive fluid. It is particularly great for relieving influenza.
Its origin is in the areas that surround the Yangtze River, China. It was however not discovered until its cultivation began in Korea. Stories tell that it was brought by Jang Bogo of the Unified Silla as a gift from a merchant from Tang. In [The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty], yuja appears in each province’s list of gifts offered to the King as well as reports mentioning that yuja was offered to ambassadors by eunuch, or that an order was given to cultivate yuja in Jeolla-do and Gyeongsang-do Province and research the quality according to good and bad harvests to send the best quality fruit to the King.
Goheung features the ideal conditions to grow yuja. Yuja is particularly sensitive to climatic change, and requires an annual temperature of 13-15℃ with the lowest kept over -9℃. Other important conditions include over 2,400 hours of annual sunshine and an annual average of over 1,500mm for rainfall. An adequate level of wind is also needed to stimulate the transpiration and photosynthesis of the yuja tree. This is why yuja farms are largely situated along the southern coast including Goheung, Wando and Jindo of Jeollanam-do Province, and Namhae and Geoje of Gyeongsangnam-do Province.
3 Times the Vitamin C Compared to Lemon
Yuja has a cool sensation with a sweet and sour flavor. It is great for preventing influenza, and according to [Donguibogam], it “relieves alcohol poisoning and removes bad breath of the drinker.” Its cold quality cools the chest and detoxes after drinking. In [Compendium of Materia Medica], yuja is “effective for treating stroke induced by cerebrovascular diseases.” This is possible because this fruit contains a higher level of vitamin B, sugar and protein compared to other citrus fruits, and hesperidin, which protects capillaries to prevent cerebrovascular disease and stroke. Hesperidin also features an antioxidant effect which helps delay skin aging.
Yuja is effective for influenza and skin beauty as it has three times more vitamin C than lemon, and is also high in organic acid, which relieves fatigue. It is also involved in the release of waste matter that has accumulated in the body.