An Amazing Super Food with a Broad Range of Benefits
The Broad Range of Benefits of Ashitaba
- Promotes blood cleansing and circulation
- Supports digestive and intestinal health
- Enhances nerve cell growth (both central and peripheral nervous systems)
- Regulates blood sugar levels (anti-diabetic action)
- Regulates cholesterol levels (anti-LDL action, the “bad” cholesterol)
- Relieves smooth muscle spasms in arteries and bronchial tubes
- Proven anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
- Removes toxic wastes from the body
- Anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties
- Improves visual acuity
- Enhances liver and kidney functions
- Peri-menopausal relief
- Reduces joint and muscle pain and stiffness
- Aids natural sleep cycles
- Strengthens the immune system
- Promotes healthier, smoother skin
- Reduces high blood pressure
What is Ashitaba?
Ashitaba is a lush green plant that has its origins
on the Island of Hachijo where the warm tropical
currents pass by on their way North to meet the cold Arctic waters of the Pacific. Its name means
“tomorrow’s leaf,” aptly termed due to its ability to reproduce its green stem and leaf almost on a daily basis.
Extending Your Life Span
Ashitaba’s scientific name, Angelica keiskei Koidzumi, comes from the Latin name for “angel,” most likely due to its “heavenly”, well known health benefits that have given it such notoriety. The inhabitants of Hachijo Island are well known for their longevity, having some of the longest life spans on earth (i.e. many commonly live well into their 90’s in good health). Ashitaba has been an integral part of their diet for hundreds of years.
When all aspects of their life style were analyzed, the researchers found that the consumption of ashitaba was a heavy contribution to their healthy, extended lives. Even the local residents of the island refer to ashitaba as the “longevity herb”. As more research has been conducted on this special strain of angelica, ashitaba has
been attracting more and more attention from the scientific community.
A Well Guarded Secret
The oldest written record of the benefits of ashitaba appear to be more than 2,000 yearsold. Of the many thousands of known plants,
ashitaba belongs to the elite 1% category called “medicinal plants.” In China, ashitaba has had a long history of use to purify the blood, detoxify the liver, cleanse the colon, improve lung function, enhance blood circulation, improve nerve dysfunction, and relieve muscle and joint pain.
From the Ming Dynasty to the Shogun warriors, the ashitaba plant traveled from China to Japan and was a well guarded secret of strength and longevity for hundreds of years among the elite classes of society.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ashitaba is considered a superior, strengthening yin tonic. It has a wide range of known, health-promoting benefits. It provides immune system stimulation, promotes healthy function of the stomach and intestines, demonstrates specific anti-viral and anti-bacterial activity and reduces inflammation.
Other studies show it helps cleanse the blood, regulate blood sugar levels (anti-diabetic action), promote healthy cholesterol levels (decreasing unhealthy LDL cholesterol), stimulates the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) for excellent nerve function, suppresses cell growth abnormalities such as tumors (as seen in cancer), helps decrease high blood pressure, remove toxic wastes from the body, aids natural sleep cycles, improves visual acuity and rovides peri-menopausal relief. An interesting side benefit many users of ashitaba have reported their skin feels smoother and much healthier.
Ashitaba’s Benefits in Chronic Disease
Ashitaba has been successfully used in the following conditions:
- Chronic hepatitis
- Poor blood cell reproduction and anemia
- Blood cleansing and purification
- High blood pressure
- Poor circulation
- Asthma and other breathing problems
- Common colds and flu
- Infertility (poor production of sperm)
- Shoulder pain and stiffness and other muscle problems
- Diabetes and blood sugar imbalances
- Constipation (has laxative effects)
- Edema (acts as a natural diuretic)
- Neurosis (nerve problems including nerve damage)
- Gl tract disorders, including acute gastritis, chronic gastritis
- Chronic Fatigue achlorhydria,stomach cancer, duodenal ulcer, gastric atonia, chronic enteritis
- Aging of skin
Why is ashitaba such a giant Super Star among plants? New research showed the astonishing results that ashitaba out-performed all other herbs that were tested for their antioxidant potential based on the ORAC guide (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) (in Nutraceuticals World, Sept, 2002). Ashitaba’s phenolic compounds possess various key properties: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic (i.e. stops tumors from growing), anti-carcinogenic (i.e. stops cancer), antimicrobial (i.e. stops infection), nerve cell growth enhancer and a detoxifier. What an amazing list of benefits!
A Unique Super Food
Ashitaba is a true functional Super Food, containing a vast spectrum of beneficial properties and a unique array of phytonutrients, including 11 vitamins, 13 minerals, chlorophyll, enzymes, carotene, germanium, saponins, proteins, plant fibers, glycosides, courmarins, and a potent, rare class of flavonoids called chalcones.
Ashitaba’s rich chlorophyll content helps purify the blood, detoxify the organs and alkalinize the body. Chlorophyll is also called “green blood” because its structure is very similar to human blood. Ashitaba’s natural content of organic germanium promotes the body’s production of interferon, a key defense substance against harmful viruses and bacteria. Germanium also helps purify the blood by increasing oxygen, creating an alkaline pH and activating blood cell replacements.
As scientists began to analyze the reason for the unusual longevity of the Hachijo Island residents, they discovered that Ashitaba is the only plant known to contain chalcones, a class of potent flavonoid compounds.
The chalcones in ashitaba include xanthoangeol, xanthoangelol E and 4-hydroxyderricin. Clinical trials performed on chalcones confirm that they are potent antioxidants which help to protect the organs from destructive free radical damage and slow the aging process on a cellular level. Extensive research has shown chalcones are also antiinfective, working to prevent pathogens from entering the cells. Chalcones have been proven to work on the mucus membrane of the stomach and suppress excessive secretion of gastric juice. They give rise to ashitaba’s use as a natural diuretic, laxative and a superb aid to healthy metabolism. Chalcones were also found to inhibit general inflammatory processes in the body which is true of all flavonoids.
Other Compounds in Ashitaba
Ashitaba also contains numerous other health-boosting phytonutrients.
Nerve Growth Factor Stimulation. Researchers have found that the certain compounds in ashitaba can stimulate the production in vivo [inside the body] of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is an important biological substance that is essential for the development and survival of neurons in both the central and peripheral
In one study, those who took ashitaba had a 20% increase in NGF after only 4 days. The nerve growth support factors in ashitaba can mean critical maximum support for those with poor or damaged nerve development or nerve injuries.
Coumarins. Ashitaba also contains coumarins (including psoralen, imperatorin, columbianagin, isorhazelpitin, rhazelpiton, selinidin), a class of widely occurring phenolic compounds, such as found in citrus fruits. Coumarins are being studied for their potential anticarcinogenic properties and preclinical studies show promising effects against skin tumorigenesis.(Cai, Y, Kleiner H, Johnston D, Dubowski A, Bostic S, IVie W, DiGiovanni J. “Effect of naturally occurring coumarins on the formation of DNA adducts and tumors induced by benzo[a]pyrene and 7,12- dimethylbenz[a]anthracene in skin,” Carcinogenesis 18:1521-1527, 1997)
4-hydrodexydelisin glycosides: Ashitaba contains unique glycosides called isoquercitin, ruteorin, angelic acid and bergapten.
Melatonin. Ashitaba contains a significant amount of melatonin, a well known antioxidant with benefits of calming the body, stress reduction, anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Natural Vitamins & Minerals: Ashitaba contains a wealth of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Ashitaba also contains vitamin B12, not typically produced in plants. Vitamin B12 has been recognized for its ability to promote the production of blood cells, increase attention span and concentration, increase the production of growth hormone and promote the integrity of the immune system.
Beware of “Junk” Ashitaba
However, like all nutritional products, beware of your source of ashitaba. The original, full powered source of ashitaba is grown on the pristine Hachijo Island contains the complete range of phytonutrients in full ideal cellular resonance. Sources that were tested that were grown elsewhere (especially in the U.S., grown with polluted water in poor soil, etc.) have been like shadows of the real thing – with extremely deficient cellular resonance (often chaotic values). It is best to avoid these sources altogether.
The Ashitaba Super Star
Once a well guarded secret of the elite of ancient societies, now we can all benefit from this medicinal plant Super Star, grown from the original pristine source — Hachijo Island. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, once said: “Let your food be your medicine.”
And so, we may all envision a time when this incredible Super Food becomes a household word with every mother asking her children before they go off to school: “Have you had your ashitaba today?”
To regain and maintain our own ideal health, we must all return to grass roots of true nutrition – for real, sustaining nourishment of the body. And by the way, have you had YOUR ashitaba today?
Cai, Y, Kleiner H, Johnston D, Dubowski A, Bostic S, IVie W, DiGiovanni J. “effect of naturally occurring coumarins on the
formation of DNA adducts and tumors induced by benzo[a]pyrene and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene in skin. Carcinogenesis 18:1521-1527, 1997.
Inamor, Y, et al., Anti-bacterial activity of two chalcones, xanthoangelol and 4-hydroxyderiicin, isolated from Angelial
Keisei Koidzumi, Osaka University of Pharmacological Sciences, Japan, Pharmacological Therapy, 1991, Dec.
Okayama, et al., Anti-tumor promotion by principles obtained in Angelica Keiski, Department of Pharmacology and
Phytochemistry, Meji College of Pharmacy, Tokyo, Japan.
E, Hayashi A, Takahashi R, Aoyagi Y, Murakami T, Kimoto K. Effects of angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitor from
Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) on blood pressure of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (Tokyo). 1999;45(3):375-383.