The Ashitaba plant has long been used as a herbal home remedy by people in Japan for hundreds of years. Also known as Angelica keiskei, and known as ‘morning leaves’, the plant grows naturally along the coast of southern Japan. The people of the country have traditionally used the benefits of Ashitaba leaves to make tea or eat it directly. Many health benefits are obtained by people who regularly consume ashitaba tea. However, not many people know these benefits and, therefore, do not consume ashitaba tea. The leaves have been extensively researched since the mid-1990s. So far, scientists have confirmed multiple fantastic benefits for plant health.
The registration of ashitaba leaves used for their medicinal properties dates back hundreds of years. The oldest use record was written in a book of Chinese medicine written by Dr. Lee around the year 1518 – 1593 AD. The book has been translated into different languages, such as German, English, Russian and Latin. However, it was thought that the use of the leaves has actually been longer than that, even thousands of years before the book was written. The nutritional value in superfood is what makes it beneficial for our health in many ways. Ashitaba leaves contain vitamin A, E, K, B2, B6, B12, C, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and copper.
Benefits of Ashitaba Leaves:
Here are some of the most prominent and recognized health benefits that have been confirmed by scientists and hundreds of years of popular history.
1. The Best Source of Antioxidants:
The relationship between antioxidants and longevity is a subject that has been explored a lot. Antioxidants perform multiple functions by supporting the human body and allowing humans to functionally live. Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation. They exist in abundance in plant-based foods, such as vegetables and fruits. These ingredients work by reducing inflammation, which is the cause of many health problems. Antioxidants not only increase health, but also extend the lives of human beings. The benefits of Ashitaba leaves contain powerful antioxidants, making plants popular as ‘longevity herb’.
2. Slow Down Aging:
Antioxidants inhibit the aging process at the cellular and physical level. It prevents unhealthy cell division, stimulates healthy division and accelerates the renewal of dead or damaged cells. As a result, the effects of aging, including age-related diseases that occur due to inflammation, are greatly reduced. Ashitaba leaves, whether eaten raw or when consumed in the form of tea, may be one of the best sources of antioxidants. It is even considered to be one of the plants with the highest level of antioxidants in the world. The plant even has a higher ORAC value (Radical Oxygen Absorption Capacity) compared to green tea. As a result, incorporating the benefits of ashitaba leaves in your diet will prevent aging and prolong your life. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are the main cause of the acceleration of the aging process. These free radicals are unstable molecules that are produced as a result of the oxidation process. These molecules are prone to reactions and this is where degenerative diseases and aging become possible effects. Drinking ashitaba tea or eating ashitaba leaves regularly will reduce the risk of chronic and life-threatening diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, brain disorders and immune dysfunction. It will also maintain energy and health. Because the benefits of ashitaba leaves contain a high concentration of antioxidants, it is very effective in curbing aging by fighting free radicals. Free radicals disrupt cells by weakening the walls of living cells. Antioxidants destroy free radicals and protect cells.
3. Improves the Immune System:
Regular consumption of food sources rich in antioxidants such as ashitaba leaves has a significant impact on your immunity. Ashitaba leaves also strengthen your body’s immune system by acting as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal agents. The anti-inflammatory property makes people who consume ashitaba leaves regularly safe from joint pain, arthritis and muscle pain. Meanwhile, antibacterial and antifungal properties make people have better immunity against viral diseases such as common cold, flu and fungal diseases. A strong immune system is definitely beneficial because prevention is always better than cure.
4. Help Repair the DNA:
Every second of your life, your body is constantly decomposing and rebuilding. Internal and environmental factors always make war on your body. Your cells die constantly and are renewed with new cells. Your body uses a DNA map to rebuild cells and maintain your health. Unfortunately, as we get older, its DNA that serves as a roadmap for this construction is slowly damaged. This is when you are under the threat of some degenerative and autoimmune diseases. The good news is that it can help your body by protecting and strengthening your DNA. Ashitaba leaves not only prevent free radicals from damaging your DNA, but also repair it and, therefore, restore balance. Your body will then function normally.
5. Improves the Level of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF):
NGF or nerve growth factor is a protein that is commonly found in all vertebrate tissues. NGF is an important protein because it plays a massive role in ensuring a healthy nervous system and a lot of other functions. NGF maintains the functional connection between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. It also contributes to the differentiation of nerve cells in the central nervous system. NGF keeps your neuron in shape, promotes the development of new neurons and maintains the health of mature women. Because it is good for the survival and maintenance of neurons, NGF helps relieve the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia. According to studies, NGF increases acetylcholine by selectively protecting neurons that are activated with acetylcholine. This gives positive effects for patients who are in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Patients who have undergone gene therapy with NGF experienced functional improvement, tissue growth and better neuronal functionality. In addition, low levels of NGF are also associated with many common modern diseases, which include obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis.
The benefits of Ashitaba leaves help improve the level of NGF in your body through two methods. First, stimulating the production of the NGF itself. Second, by giving your body vitamin B that can multiply the effects of NGF. This is why people who regularly consume ashitaba leaves generally have better, sharper and more detailed memories.
6. Improves Cognitive Function:
In addition to protecting your brain from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease due to its ability to improve the level of NGF, ashitaba leaves also help your cognitive functions by providing your body with important B12 vitamins. Ashitaba leaves also contain many B complexes, including, and especially vitamin B12. This vitamin is very beneficial for humans. According to many studies, the lack of vitamin B12 is one of the main deficiencies of vitamins worldwide. The deficiency brings many negative effects, including disruption of central nervous system function. Vitamin B12 keeps nerve cells healthy, including cells that are vital for sending neurotransmitter signals. It does this by protecting the myelin sheath or the protective layer that covers the nerves. Therefore, when vitamin B12 deficiency occurs, cognitive functions are affected.
7. An Amazing Fountain of Chalcones:
Chalcones are probably what is behind most of the health benefits of ashitaba leaves. Ashitaba leaves contain chalcona in the highest concentration compared to other dietary sources in the world. Chalcona is a unique natural phenol found in the central nucleus of many important biological compounds. Calcona has many important properties, which include antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties. Chalcone also has an incredible healing effect. It can purify blood from bad cholesterol to keep blood pressure well regulated. In addition, it is also good for losing weight because it can break down fat better in your digestive system.
8. Improves Mood:
Depression is a very common mental illness in teenagers and adults. Clinical depression is not just a type of negative emotional state that can be cured by talking with other people or dating. People who suffer from clinical depression that harm their daily lives and negatively affect other people around them need to receive medical and professional treatment. However, not all people have easy access to mental health professionals. Taking alternative medications, such as tea or ashitaba leaf extract, can be an effective method to relieve depression and improve overall mood. When depression hits you, there is a hormonal imbalance that dirties your mood. It further aggravates your depression and makes you feel helpless. Ashitaba leaves promote better mood in several ways, first, it improves NGF production and improves your brain function. In addition, leaf chalcones will improve metabolism and promote balanced hormone levels.
9. Provides Energy:
Many people need energy stimuli to start their day or continue their activities throughout the day effectively. Some people get the energy from coffee, but not everyone can take the benefits of caffeine. Caffeine is effective in improving energy levels, but causes shock and nervous behavior. Some people also experience difficulty concentrating when they drink caffeine. Fortunately, ashitaba leaves can be an alternative to caffeine with the same potent ability to boost energy but fewer side effects. The energy boost affects almost all people who eat the leaves directly or take them as tea. What makes it better than coffee is that energy is free of shocks and fluctuations. The increase in energy comes in a soothing and focused way. When you drink it, you will feel vibrant and fresh throughout the day. Scientists are still trying to discover the source of this ability to increase energy. It is believed that energy comes from combinations of different substances found in plants, including chalconas, various B vitamins and antioxidants.
10. Prevent Wrinkles:
Free radicals accelerate aging and become the main cause of damage to body organs, especially the skin. The visible symptoms of skin aging, such as wrinkles and age spots, are caused by the reaction of free radicals. A type of antioxidant called melatonin is also present in ashitaba leaves. Melatonin helps prolong youthful appearance in at least two ways. First, it promotes a restful sleep and gives your body the opportunity to rest and renew its cells. Second, it also slows the aging process by attacking free radicals. Because of this, it maintains the health and elasticity of the skin for longer. To have a smooth, firm and youthful skin free of wrinkles and lack of shine, you can incorporate the benefits of ashitaba leaves in your diet or apply it topically. It will exfoliate dead skin cells and leave you soft and silky skin.
11. Prevents Cancer:
Free radicals are also associated with cancers. At a high concentration, damage caused by free radicals to cells can also cause cancer to develop. A large amount of evidence has suggested that oxygen free radicals play a very important role in the expansion and growth of tumor clones.
“Antioxidants or free radical neutralizers interact and neutralize free radicals”.
Therefore, they reduce the damage caused by free radicals, including their cancer-stimulating properties. There are two sources of antioxidants: endogenous and exogenous. Endogenous antioxidants are produced by our body. However, we rely on the antioxidants we acquire from external sources, also called dietary or exogenous antioxidants. As the name implies, we can get it from food. Ashitaba leaves are one of the examples of food sources rich in antioxidants. Consuming enough will reduce the risk of cancer.
12. Support Cardiovascular Health:
The existence of chalconas in the benefits of ashitaba leaves is incredibly beneficial for the regulation of blood pressure. Chalcones have many effects on your body’s health, including its ability to prevent blood clotting. Blood clotting increases the pressure on the arteries that lead to hypertension. The antithrombotic properties of ashitaba leaves will stabilize the pressure. In addition, it can also reduce the level of bad cholesterol or LDL and increase the level of HDL or good cholesterol. When cholesterol level is regulated, the risk of stroke and heart attack is significantly reduced. Finally, ashitaba leaves also contain potassium that is capable of supporting heart muscle function. The consumption of ashitaba leaves every day will reduce the risk of heart problems in multiple ways.
13. Prevents Anemia:
Iron is an important nutritional element that our body needs. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, a physical condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells play the vital role of distributing oxygen to every inch of the body. Iron deficiency makes the body unable to produce enough hemoglobin, which is a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen. As a result, he suffers from anemia that manifests in some common symptoms, such as constant tiredness and difficulty breathing. IRO deficiency anemia can usually be treated by taking oral iron supplements. However, there are many foods that can naturally improve the iron content in your body. The Ashitaba plant is one of these foods. The leaves contain a large concentration of iron that makes the food ideal for an alternative treatment for anemia. In addition, the benefits of ashitaba leaves are also rich in niacin, a vitamin that can improve blood circulation. By eating foods that contain enough niacin, your blood will flow in a healthy way.
14. Treat Diabetes:
Chalcones that are present in ashitaba leaves in a large amount also stabilize the blood sugar level. Prevents glucose spikes and increases insulin sensitivity. In addition, the niacin in ashitaba leaves also reduces levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. As a result, it also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Blood will flow better and the risks of suffering from hypertension and stroke will be reduced.
15. Help to Lose Weight:
Due to its ability to promote a healthier and faster metabolism, the benefits of ashitaba leaves will be a great help in any weight loss program. By combining the consumption of ashitaba leaves with regular exercise and a healthy diet in general you will be able to eliminate unwanted excess weight. Ashitaba also has an alkaline pH that reduces appetite. It also contains some protein that can build muscle and promote satiety, an important factor if you want to have better self-control in a weight loss program.