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What is Ashitaba?

Ashitaba is a lush green plant that has its origins on the island of island of Hachijo Japan where the warm tropical currents pass by on their way North to meet the cold Arctic waters of the Pacific. Its name means "tomorrow' leaf". aptly termed due to its ability to reproduce its green stem and leaf almost on a daily basis. Ashitaba's scientific name, Angelica Keiskei Koidzme, 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 god 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. The oldest written record of the benefits of Ashitaba appear to be more than 2,000 years old. Of the many thousands of known plants, Ashitaba belongs to the elite 1% category called "medicinal plant". 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 classes of society. 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, chlorophyII, enzymes, carotene, germanium, saponins, proteins, plant fiber, glycosides, coumarins, and a potent, rare class of flavonoids called CHALCONE. CHALCONE is the most characteristic element that we found from Hachi Jo Island Ashitaba. 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 Chalcone, a class of potent flavonoid compounds. Ashitaba contains a thick, sticky yellow juice, which is not found in other celery plants. This yellowish element in Ashitaba is neither a flower pigment nor a carotene, but rather two kinds of "CHALCONE" conductors, named "Xanthoangelol" and "4-Hydroxyderricin". Rich, Complete Balanced Nutrition Besides the unique substance - Chalcone, Hachi Jo Island Ashitaba also contains protein, amino acid , vitamins and minerals. Compared to other vegetables, it contains more potassium, a mineral with diuretic effect.

How to Use Ashitaba Plants

By Victoria Weinblatt, eHow Contributor Ahitaba (scientifica name: Angelica keiskei), was discovered in Japan in the Longevity Islands. This Asian herb is a type of Angelica and belongs to the celery family. It is also known as Chinese Angelica, or Dong Quai. The use of the Ashitaba plant dates back to the Ming Dynasty (circa 1518-1593). It is easy to identify the Ashitaba plant by its yellow sap. Things You'll Need Ashitaba plant String Hook Instructions 1 Dry your Ashitaba plants to make tea and capsules. Pull the entire plant from the soil or take clippings and allow the plant to continue growing. Hold the Ashitaba upside down and tie the stems together with any kind of string. Use a foot of string or more so you can hang the bunch up to dry. Hang the Ashitaba upside down on a nail or hook away from the sunlight. The time it takes to dry is dependent on humidity conditions. One week or less is usually sufficient 2 Use the stems and leaves of your dried Ashitaba plant to make a tea. Break up the Ashitaba into pieces suitable for tea. Put the dry leaves and stems in a plastic bag suitable for food, place a thin dish towel over the bag and roll a rolling pin back and forth about 10 times. You want the consistency to be like loose green tea, not a powder but pieces that are small enough that you can easily measure them with a scoop. You may need to cut the stems with a scissors. Measure out approximately one teaspoon and put it into eight to 12 ounces of freshly boiled water. Allow the Ashitaba to steep for three minutes or more. You can eat the Ashtitaba or make the tea using a tea ball. 3 Use your Ashitaba plants as a healthy ingredient in soups. Add one fresh Ashitaba leaf or shoot for every two cups of soup. Remove the leaves from the plant by pinching them with your fingernails or using scissors. Wash the leaves thoroughly in cold water and then dry them by laying them out on a towel for about five minutes. Using a knife or scissors, dice the leaves into small pieces. Stir the Ashitaba leaves into the soup at the end of the cooking process so they do not impart a bitter taste to your dish. Another idea is to add them as garnish before the soup goes to the table. 4 If your Ashitaba plant is small, you can harvest the leaves individually rather than clipping an entire stalk. To harvest your Ashitaba plant leaf by leaf, choose mature leaves from the base of the stem or shoot. The mature leaves contain more of the active ingredients than the new shoots. Tips & Warnings You can eat Ashitabe raw or steamed if you like the taste. Before beginning a daily regimen of Ashitaba, consult with your health care professional.