Article by Marra Marasigan
In Japan, Ashitaba means “Leaves of Tomorrow”. This translation perfectly describes the benefits that a person can gain from this wonder plant. It is actually the thick and sticky yellowish juice extracted from the leaves that produces various beneficial healing results. Ashitaba growing in the right environment will deliver the best results. Some say the soil of Hachi Jo Island in Japan produces the best ashitaba plants there is. It takes slow maturity of about 4 years before these leaves can produce the healing benefits that the plant is noted for. Plants that are grown in different places, such as Korea, Philippines and Taiwan, which reach maturity from 8 to 16 months, suffer from loss of precious nutrients in soil that is less-than-ideal for the proper development of their healing powers.
Most of the research on this plant has been performed on animals, not people. Natural chemicals found in Ashitaba work as antioxidants. Other chemical compounds found in this plant block secretion of stomach acid. This is why the ashitaba plant is used to treat heartburn and stomach ulcers. People who take this plant have successfully used it to treat their high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gout, constipation, liver disease and even cancer. Lactating mothers experience an increase in milk flow when eating the leaves of this plant. Ashitaba is also effective in treating allergies, asthma and other skin diseases.
Normally the body shrinks when we age. Loss of height happens as a result of osteoporosis (loss of bone density). This condition does not happen overnight, like some might think. It is a slow process that takes place over several years. A person will only notice the difference after he loses some inches. Ashitaba works by nourishing the bone. It detoxifies the liver and kidneys. It can even strengthen the cartilage and tendons, as well as the ligaments of the body. This herb is indeed a healing plant, since it can piece the body together, bone, muscles, and all, to make it healthy.
Its fresh leaves, dried powder and capsules are used as a super alkaline rich food. When eaten raw, the leaves taste like guava. When people eat alkaline food, the pH level of the stomach naturally increases. The stomach secretes hydrocholoric acid to normalize the pH level to 4. Our body needs the right amount of stomach acid level for proper digestion. It protects our immune system, and helps the body absorb nutrients. Food lovers have learned how to use this plant to create meals even children will like, such as Ashitaba Donuts. Those who love tea will simply enjoy their cup of Ashitaba tea, knowing that they are nourishing their body by doing so. People who appreciate its healing properties think about creating more dishes using this wonder herb. No wonder even kids can appreciate its taste.
Marra comes from the beautiful tropical island of the Philippines. She started writing at a young age for her school newspaper. Other interest took over and she hibernated as a writer. It was not until 2010 when she tried her hand at online writing. She ghost writes for different people on any topic imaginable. She lives with her daughter Precious, who equally shares her interest about food and traveling.