Yuzuyu (Japanese citron hot water) (柚子湯)
Yuzuyu refers to the drink made by boiling yuzu (citrus fruit) in sugared water and diluting the sugared water seasoned with the yuzu flavor with hot water (yuzu tea).
Yuzuyu refers to the bath in which yuzus are put and set afloat. We explain the yuzu-bath in this section.
In Japan, there is a traditional custom to take a yuzuyu (yuzu-bath) on the winter solstice. It has a significant effect to facilitate the flow of blood and is traditionally said to cure chapped skin and to prevent colds. Even now, in many "sento" (public bath house), yuzuyu is prepared on the winter solstice.
Yuzuyu has an effect to alleviate the feeling of cold, neurosis, backache and so on. According to a survey, when comparing the noradrenalin level after bath between normal hot water and yuzuyu, the level of the former was four times higher than that of the latter. As noradrenalin is an ingredient to constrict the veins effectively, so in the case of yuzuyu, the veins were all the more dilated. Citric acid and vitamin C included in the fruit skin has the effect of making the skin beautiful.
To prepare yuzuyu, they cut 5 to 6 fruits of yuzu into round slices and set them afloat in a bath. Those who have sensitive skin should put the sliced fruits of yuzu in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes and after that, put them in a cloth sack and set it afloat in a bath.
And yuzuyu is a seasonal word of winter.
The relation between the winter solstice and yuzu is not necessarily clear, but the practice of yuzuyu appeared after the birth of sento and according to one theory, it is related with the play on words linking "湯治, toji" (hot spring cure) and "冬至, toji" (winter solstice) and the idea that if the body is healthy, it is "yuzu-ga-kiku" (malleable, adaptable). The charm 'ichiyoraifuku' (return of spring) delivered in the Anahachiman-gu Shrine in Shinjuku ward in Tokyo prefecture from the winter solstice is effective for economic fortune.