Angelica Keiskei Koidzmi, commonly called Ashitaba, is a resilient perennial plant that belongs to the Angelica genus. It is native to Hachijō-jima in Japan. Ashitaba means “earth growth,” referring to its strong regenerative capabilities.
Ashitaba's Explained Health Benefits:
High in Antioxidants/Anti-Ageing - Ashitaba contains vitamin A, E, K, B2, B6, B12, C, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, manganese, and copper. It's rich in antioxidants that protect from oxidizing the blood that can cause diseases.
Rejuvenates Brain Neurons - Ashitaba helps improve the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) level which is important in keeping your neurons fit, promoting the development of new neurons, and maintaining the health of the mature ones. It improves NGF levels through two methods. First, by stimulating the production of the NGF itself. Second, by supplying your body with vitamin B that can multiply the effects of the NGF. People who regularly consume Ashitaba usually have better, sharper, and more detailed memories. Because it is good for the survival and maintenance of neurons, NGF helps alleviate the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, and dementia. According to studies, NGF raises acetylcholine by selectively protecting neurons that are activated by acetylcholine. This gives positive effects for patients that are in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Patients who have undergone NGF gene therapy experienced function improvement, tissue growth, and a better neuron functionality. In addition, due its high content of B complexes vitamins (especially B12), it improves our cognitive ability.
Improves Heart Health/Blood Pressure - The existence of chalcones in Ashitaba is incredibly beneficial for blood pressure regulation. Chalcones have many health impacts to our body, including its ability to prevent blood clotting. Blood clotting increases pressure to the arteries leading to hypertension.
The antithrombotic properties of Ashitaba stabilizes the pressure. Besides, it can also reduce the level of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol and increase the level of HDL or good cholesterol. When the cholesterol level is regulated, the risk for stroke and heart attack is significantly reduced. Lastly, Ashitaba also contains potassium which is able to support the function of heart muscle.
Prevents and Treats Cancer/Lowers Cholesterol - Ashitaba has lots of Chalcones. Chalcone is a unique natural phenol that is found at the central core of many important biological compounds. Chalcone has a lot of important properties, including antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor properties. Chalcone also has an incredible healing effect. It can purify the blood from bad cholesterol so it keeps blood pressure well-regulated. Besides, it is also good for weight loss because it can break down the fat better in your digestive system.
Anti-Inflammatory/Heals Wounds/Infections - Ashitaba also strengthens your body’s immune system by acting as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal agent. The anti-inflammatory properties make people safe from joint pain, arthritis, and muscular pain. Meanwhile, the antibacterial and antifungal properties make people have better immunity against viral diseases like common cold, flu, and diseases caused by fungi.
Balances Blood Sugar - Chalcones that are present in Ashitaba in huge amounts also stabilize the level of blood sugar. It prevents glucose spikes and increases insulin sensitivity. In addition, niacin in Ashitaba also reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. As a result, it also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis or the hardening of arteries. The blood will flow better and the risks to suffer from hypertension and stroke are reduced.
Anti-Anemia - Ashitaba contains a large concentration of iron which makes the food ideal for an alternative anemia treatment.
Besides, Ashitaba is also rich in niacin, a vitamin that can improve blood circulation. By consuming foods that contain enough niacin, your blood will flow healthily.
Weight Loss - Because of its ability to promote healthier and faster metabolism, Ashitaba is a great aid in any weight loss programs. Combining the consumption of Ashitaba with a regular exercise and an overall healthy diet will be able to eliminate unwanted excess weight.
Ashitaba also has an alkaline pH which reduces appetite. It also contains some protein that can build muscle and promote satiety, an important factor if you want to have a better self-control when on a weight loss program.