Ashitaba has been around as a plant-based medicine in Japan going back through known history. In this article, I want to share some of the top benefits of ashitaba that are going to cause this plant to make waves in the alternative medicine world.
Commonly known as angelica keiskei, this plant naturally grows along the humid coastal line of southern Japan. It has been used medicinally as part of the Japanese diet in that region as ashitaba tea or leaves straight from the ashitaba plant. It is used to purify and build blood supporting a long and healthy life. Despite ashitaba havin incredible health benefits, most people in the world have never heard of the plant.
Doctors and scientist have started researching ashitaba pretty heavily beginning in the mid 1990’s and so far the health benefits they have found have been fantastic. It offers a wide range of effects but this recent research into the benefits of angelica keiskei have started to really highlight everything we already knew about the plant from traditional Japanese medicine passed down through the ages.
History of Ashitaba Use
The record of Ashitaba’s use for it’s medicinal value goes back hundreds of years. We are sure it was used far longer than this but the oldest available written record I could find about the medicinal use of Ashitaba appears in a book on Chinese medicine that focuses on medicinal grasses and weeds. The book by Dr. Lee was written in the years between 1518 to 1593 AD and was first published during the Ming Dynasty. This book has since been transcribed into many languages including English, Latin, Russian and German and has become one of the most famous publications on Chinese medicine worldwide. In 1606, the book was brought to Japan and was presented by Razan Hayashi to the Shogun.
We believe ashitaba has been used as medicine going maybe thousands of years before this publication but the knowledge of healing plants is traditionally transmitted from generation to generation verbally through apprenticeship and what books there are guarded closely by in Japan.
That being said, through extensive research that has only really just begun, angelica keiskei is already well on it’s way to proving itself as one of the most incredible healing plants on the planet. Many medicinal benefits have already been proven about the plant, but these are some of the one’s that are pretty awesome!
1. A Powerful Antioxidant
I am sure you have heard about the relationship that exists between health and longevity, and antioxidants? If you haven’t this is what the belief is: Antioxidants are vital to the optimal function of the human body, they are abundant in the natural world and are known to reduce inflammation and improve your overall immune function. They have been proven over and over again to prevent the physical process of aging and have an excessive amount of anecdotal evidence that shows that they extend overall lifespan. In other words, they are awesome!
Antioxidants prevent unhealthy cell division and aid in the replacement of damaged or dead cells. Antioxidants play a critical role in the body as it speeds up the processes of healthy cell division and cell replacement, which in turn slows down the overall effects of aging and prevent specific age-related diseases caused by inflammation.
Ashitaba is one of the most antioxidant-rich plants on the planet with a higher ORAC value than green tea, providing your body with an abundant source of anti-aging goodness. Consuming it whether in raw natural leaf form or as a tea will protect body cells from free radical damage. Indeed, free radical damage is the primary factor that accelerates the aging processes, as it makes the body more prone to degenerative diseases.
Besides that, Angelica Keiskei relaxes blood vessels as well as decreasing the oxidation of unhealthy cholesterol, thereby increasing lifespan. If you take ashitaba with almost every meal, then the risk of having life-threatening diseases, brain disorders, strokes, heart attack, and immune dysfunction will be massively reduced. Ashitaba will make your body’s cells rejuvenate and reproduce faster, giving you a boost in youthful energy and vigor while at the same time fighting off immune-based illnesses like common cold and flu viruses.
2. DNA Shield
At every moment of human life, your body is constantly rebuilding itself. While this constant process is happening, cells are dying and being replaced with new once. External and internal factors are constantly waging war on your body, and the map it uses to rebuild and maintain your health is your DNA map. The thing is over time as we age the DNA slowly becomes damaged, and this is when we often see strange self-damaging diseases arise. This is only possible because our body has forgotten it’s original plan or more specifically our DNA is damaged.
The good news is that ashitaba has been proven to not only protect the DNA from free radical damage it has been shown to repair your bodies DNA restoring balance and optimal function to your body. This effect can be almost magical at times, and the anecdotal evidence has shown this effect healing diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes. I do hope that scientists keep researching this because what they have found so far is just, wow!
3. Increased Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
Nerve Growth Factor, or NGF in short, is a protein common in all vertebrate tissues. It plays a vital role in the survival and differentiation of nerve cell foundations, found in the central nervous system. Also, it also plays an important part in maintaining a healthy connection between the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. This process, derived from it’s ability to keep your bodies neurons healthy, helps to alleviate signs and symptoms of dementia, Parkinsons, and Alzheimer’s disease, all of which are mainly caused by neuron degeneration.
Scientific studies show that ashitaba not only stimulates your bodies production of NGF but also active molecular structures and presence of concentrated levels of vitamin B in the ashitaba plant help to enhance the NGF effect. People who have been using it are known to have longer lasting and more accurate memory.
4. Rich In Vitamin B12
As I mentioned earlier, the ashitaba plant is rich in B vitamins, specifically B12. This vitamin is not only vital for nerve growth, but also has all of these following benefits.
- Increases the production of human growth hormones
- It accelerates the production of blood cells
- It strengthens the immune system
- It leads to greater concentration and attention
Ashitaba has the highest concentration of the natural compound chalcone in the known world. Chalcone is a unique compound that has incredible healing effects especially when it comes to purifying the blood. Medical research has proven that concentrated levels of chalcones (that are present in ashitaba) help to lower bad cholesterol, are a powerful blood pressure regulator, and promote a faster metabolism by breaking down fat in the digestive system. In fact, if you have been trying to lose weight with little success it is worth giving ashitaba a trial for that effect alone.
Furthermore, the chalcones in ashitaba are known to improve mood as well as reducing anxiety.
6. Caffeine Free Energy
Last but not the least; Ashitaba is known to increase energy levels. This effect does not come from caffeine, but it is noticed by almost everyone that takes it. The increase in energy it provides is jitter free, crash free and comes with an overall calm that is quite pleasant. Scientists have had trouble isolating the source of this energy boosting high, but it is believed to be derived from the combined factors of B vitamins, chalcones, and antioxidant effects. Whatever the cause it is a great caffeine-free source of energy that will keep you healthy and vibrant throughout your day.
Nutritional Content of Ashitaba
In addition to these great benefits and more ashitaba is true superfood packed with nutrients including.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
- Vitamin C
There are dozens of benefits of ashitaba that I could add to this article, but enough is enough this plant is awesome! It doesn’t have side effects and the benefits it brings not only prevent aging but keep you feeling better every day. It is one of only a few supplements that I keep in my daily routine for obvious reasons, and I can’t speak any more highly about it.
This is a personal note and endorsement of a brand. I personally take Kenko Ashitaba , I love the beautiful bamboo jar and in my experience, the efficacy and taste are the best of the ashitaba I have tried.