What is peach gum?
Peach gum (also called Peach Resin / Peasant’s Bird Nest or 桃胶 in Chinese) is the resin from Chinese wild peach trees which naturally hardens into a gummy crystalline form on the tree bark. Also known as the serum, it is widely considered the most valuable part of the peach tree.
Peach gum has multiple health benefits such as lowering fat, improving blood pressure, reducing high blood fat, and decreasing blood sugar. Also, peach gum is rich in antioxidants and has been known for improving eyesight and relieving stress.
Peach gum is a natural and healthy food ingredient rich in amino acids, which promotes the production of collagen for younger and healthier-looking skin. This natural resin is beneficial to both our skin and our body. Many recipes featuring peach gum have been devised since people start noticing the benefits of peach gum and believing that a dose of peach gum goes a long way in helping us stay young and beautiful. From soups and cooked dishes to desserts, this gemstone-lookalike ingredient is always one of the best choices.
Peach gum Nutrition information
A serving size of 100g peach gum contains 175 calories, with 0.25g of total fats, 35.7g of total carbohydrate, and 7.42g of protein.
Note: Different quality/types of peach gum have slightly different nutritional values. Please refer to the Nutrition Facts Panel of the product.
How to distinguish the quality of peach gum?
The quality of peach gum is normally graded by the sizes, shapes, and amount of impurities, which affect the texture of the ingredient when being cooked into soup or dessert. High quality or premium quality peach gum, also labeled as “Grade AAA” in the market is often semi-translucent with yellowish or orangish color, contains less dirt and impurities. They are picked and selected manually from a bigger pile of peach gum collected based on specific shapes, color, and cleanliness, these premium peach gums are often known as “pearl” gum because of their appearance that looks like a pearl. As the quality degrades from “Grade A” to “Grade C”, you will find that the lower quality peach gum has more irregular shapes, with more dirt and impurities. They are often darker in color, and thus they are harder to be softened in water and have a harder texture after boiling and cooking.
Impurities in peach gum
Due to the nature of peach gum where they are picked from peach tree’s bark, it is common to notice that there are some impurities in the peach gum like tree bark and dust. Most sellers will manually remove pieces of peach gum that contain a large number of impurities before selling. In addition to that, peach gum that falls on the ground will collect dirt and therefore looks dirty in appearance. Depending on the selection process, high-quality seller ensures that there are no obvious impurities in their peach gum product.
Peach gum color
The color of peach gum depends on the age (newly formed or older) and sunshine time that it has been exposed to. The older the peach gum, the darker the color. Newly formed gum normally has a lighter color and presents a pure amber texture under the light. New gum is easier to dissolve in water while old gum is more resistant to cooking. This will affect the texture of the peach gum. Most people choose newer gum to mimic the softer texture of bird nests. Try to avoid burnt black peach gum as they are harder and probably not suitable for your dessert recipe.
Size of peach gum
Natural peach gum does not have a fixed shape or size. It will be very suspicious if every single piece of peach gum having a similar size and they are likely to be dissolved and solidified industrial peach gum. However, some sellers would trim the peach gum before selling them, thus they can still have a very similar size. It is recommended to choose moderate size peach gum for the best texture of your dessert later.
Does peach gum contain collagen?
Yes, peach gum is rich in collagen and contains galactose, rhamnose, and amino acids.
Collagen is one of the most wanted components by far and it is commonly included in skincare and beauty commercials as a source of skin suppleness. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, accounting for about one-third of its protein composition. It’s one of the major building blocks of bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen is also found in many other body parts, including blood vessels, corneas, and teeth. Collagen acts as the “glue” that holds all these things together. As we age, our body produces less and lower-quality collagen. One of the visible signs of this is when our skin becomes less firm and supple. Cartilage also weakens with age. It is not surprising that people try their best to preserve and replenish collagen in the body.
Peach gum Benefits
So, what are the benefits of peach gum?
Consuming collagen-rich peach gum could help to:
- Improve skin elasticity
- Diminish the signs of aging
- Reduce wrinkles and dry skin appearance
- Boost metabolism and muscle growth
- Nourish joints and bones
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Relieve stress and enhance sleep quality
- Improve eyesight
Disadvantages of peach gum
What are the side effects of peach gum?
There are no side effects of consuming peach gum. Although it is commonly used as an ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine practice, peach gum is not the same as traditional Chinese medicine. It has no toxic and side effects. It can also be taken with other supplements, so we can eat it at ease at ordinary times.
Can I eat peach gum every day?
No. Although peach gum has a lot of benefits, you should not consume peach gum every day. Peach gum is a colloidal substance that is hard to digest in the stomach. If you take peach gum every day, it will increase the burden of the spleen and stomach, leading to the dysfunction of the spleen and stomach, and lead to gastrointestinal diseases.
Who cannot eat peach gum?
Is peach gum safe to eat? Well, it depends on the person.
Peach gum is not recommended for people with “cold” body types, pregnant women, toddlers or children below 8 years old, and people with a poor digestive system. This is because peach gum belongs to a cool nature and it is harder to be digested for certain groups of people.
People with “cold” body type
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, every individual has a unique body constitution, or body type, which changes over time. Your body constitution affects how you feel and behave, and how your body responds to causes of illness. Undesirable health conditions and illnesses arise when the body becomes imbalanced.
Peach gum belongs to cool nature. People who are afraid of cold are not suitable for consuming peach gum. You should adjust your body before taking it.
The common symptoms of a body with Yang deficient constitution, a “cold” body type, would consist of the following: cold limbs, inability to tolerate cold weather, discomfort after eating cold food, and vulnerability to diseases related to cold & dampness.
Is peach gum safe for pregnancy? Though peach gum is a healthy ingredient from nature, it is best not to eat peach gum when you are pregnant. It is believed that if a pregnant woman consumes too much peach gum during pregnancy, it will affect the baby’s development in the womb.
Toddler and children below 8 years old
During early childhood, the children’s organs are not fully developed, thus, the body’s digestion and absorption capacity of food is limited. Having peach gum in the diet is not recommended for toddlers and children below 8 years old because it is not suitable for their digestion and absorption.
People with poor digestive system
Peach gum is not recommended for people who suffer from indigestion, nutrients in peach gum that cannot be digested may aggravate malnutrition. People with poor digestive systems will have stomach distension and stomach discomfort after eating peach gum.
Can peach gum be eaten without cooking?
No one should consume raw peach gum as it is just like hardened resin. Peach gum soaked overnight or up to 18 hours is soft in texture, however, it will just taste like plain gummy bears. Before further cooking or consuming the peach gum, you should also remove any dirt or impurities in it. It is recommended to eat peach gum which has been softened by soaking overnight, impurities removed and slowly brought to a boil and cooked down.
How to clean peach gum?
To clean peach gum, soak the hardened gum overnight (about 12 hours) for the peach gum to expand and soften. After that, you will be able to easily remove the dirt and dark impurities from the softened peach gum. Rinse the gummy-bear like peach gum with water until it is clean.
How big can peach gum expand?
Peach gum is usually soaked overnight or up to 18 hours before cooking or consuming to soften its texture from the hardened resin. Peach gum will typically absorb the water that it is soaked into and expand 8 to 10 times of its initial size. Thus, make sure that you select a bigger bowl or container that could fit the expanded size of the peach gum after soaked in water. For a bigger piece of peach gum, it will require to soak in water for a longer time as the center of the resin could be still hard.
Peach gum recipe
Here are some of the most popular and best peach gum recipes:
- Papaya, snow fungus with peach gum
- Peach gum white fungus sweet soup dessert
- Sweet potato, snow fungus with peach gum
- Peach gum dessert with milk
- Steamed peach gum milk pudding
- Peach gum dessert with coconut milk
Check out our recipe on peach gum dessert sweet soup with red dates, dried lily petals, and lotus seeds! Hope you like it.