It is said the name ASHITABA literally means “tomorrow’s leaf”, came from its strength of making new leaves tomorrow, if picked up today, indicating the living vitality and strength of ASHITABA. It has remarkable propagation, especially from spring to summer, and has full of energy.
ASHITABA is a perennial plant in the family of Japanese parsley with roots like dong quai. It grows naturally in the Pacific side of Japan, but mostly found in the IZU Group of Islands. The place of Origin is thought to be Hachi Jo Island and can also be found on the surrounding Islands. The climate there seems suitable for the growth of ASHITABA. Cool in summer, warm (not too cold) during the winter and lots of rain through out the year. ASHITABA is a rare plant and survives on such limited areas around the world.
ASHITABA has been used since the EDO period (17th–19th Century), as health food and traditional medicine on those Islands. It is said people on these Islands, comparing to those of Edo Town are far more healthy and youthful looking.
It was believed to be effective to cure the smallpox, widely spread in Japan at that period of time. Studies showed that people from the Main Island of Japan brought ASHITABA from the Island and planted in their garden for use as medicine.
Some of the Beliefs of the people of HACHI JO Island
- You will not get smallpox if you take ASHITABA.
- ASHITABA stimulates more milk in mothers but also animals.
- ASHITABA can heal the skin suppuration.
- ASHITABA can relief pain/soothes itchiness when bitten by some insects.
- ASHITABA can make the wounds/suppuration better even when bitten by some poisonous ants.
- ASHITABA can work as stomach medicine.
- It is good to spread ASHITABA over foot fingers when you have water eczema.
- It is good to treat skin allergy (to be mixed in the bath water).
The Characteristic Components of ASHITABA
When you cut the stalk or the root of ASHITABA, sticky yellow liquid can be seen. This is not found in other plants of the same Japanese Parsley specie. This yellow coloured component of ASHITABA is not Antocianin or Carotene, but 2 types of CHALCONE conductors known as XANTHOANGELOL and 4-HYDROXYDERRICIN. Both kinds of CHALCONES are abundantly found in ASHITABA, but not in other plants. This is the main unique characteristic of ASHITABA.
Like many other common parsley specie, ASHITABA contains abundant COUMARIN. This is also an important component to explain the function of ASHITABA. What are the other components of ASHITABA, then?
Rich Nutrition Contained in ASHITABA
Results of the analysis conducted by Japan Centre for Food Analysis, confirmed that ASHITABA contains a lots of PLANT DERIVED MINERAL and Essential VITAMINS, Other Proteins and Amino Acid. It is remarkable that ASHITABA contains much more Potassium that many other vegetables.
The Importance of Potassium to our body, as mentioned earlier, is very related to diuretic function. Many people’s testimonials confirmed that the quantity of urine if better because they consumed ASHITABA.