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History of developments of natto

gSoybeansh Were gMedicineh for Everything

In order to maintain your health, you should not rely on medicine only. It should be the gMealh you have three times every day - in the morning, at noon, and at night.

Japanese people have the longest time for their life in the world. In other words, Japanese people live longest in the world. However, few people wish to live long if they lose the human dignity by becoming senile or confined to bed.

The most important thing in this regard is the meal. In particular, we have regarded most highly of gsoybeans.h For Japanese, the soybean was the total nutrition containing calcium and vitamins, and the food with the magic-like gpowerh to protect our health from all kinds of diseases.

At least we can see very well that ancient Japanese had such thinking by looking at the gIshinboh a famous medical text in the Heian era.
It explains the effects of the soybean as follows (itemized for the sake of clarity):

It will have more effects than rice if eaten steamed or boiled.
Eating boiled beans for the first time makes you feel heavy with your body movements, but after one year or so, you will feel lighter and have better sex.
Roasted and ground (kinako soybean flour), it tastes sweet and improves your stomach conditions, takes away the swelling, and eliminates paralysis.
Drinking sake - with roasted hot soybeans in it - is helpful in curing apoplexy.
All the poisonous things will get out of your body if you eat boiled soybeans with the cooking water.
It makes the passage of excrements smooth and is useful in preventing the lump in the belly.

There remains a letter of a priest in the Nara era - who became beriberi and had difficulties in daily life - requesting the government office to give him one sho (about 1.8 litters) of soybeans so that he could take them as gmedicine.h

It was an apparent case of beriberi, as the letter described gsick legs, difficult to lead daily life.h Soybeans must have been effective for recovering physical strength as well because it is rich in not only vitamin B1, which is very effective for beriberi, but also other vitamins, minerals, lecithin and saponin.