To read about the Ashitaba plant and its beneficial values, go to: http://wellbody.net/2013/01/24/amazing-ashitaba-the-tomorrow-leaf-and-king-of-vegetables/
Our Science lessons in school taught us that green plants are the basis of our energy conversion life cycle; whereby these green plants contain chlorophyll which uses the energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and create a by-product, starch. Chlorophyll has shown an ability to be an anti-bacterial, aid in the production of blood, and an ability to help heal wounds.
Recent studies divulged that Ashitaba has out-performed other herbal supplements including green tea , for anti-oxidant potential according to the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) guide. Ashitaba is said to possess phenolic compounds active as an Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Tumorigenic, Anti-Carcinogenic, Anti-Microbial and Detoxifier.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ashitaba is considered a superior, strengthening yin tonic, with a a wide range of known, health-promoting benefits:
- provides immune system stimulation
- promotes healthy function of the stomach and intestines
- demonstrates specific anti-viral and anti-bacterial activity
- reduces inflammation
Now, how to use the ashitaba:
First thing to do is harvest tomorrow leaf from the plant by either taking the leaves individually or pulling the entire plant from the soil. You may also take clippings and allow the plant to continue growing. To harvest the ashitaba leaves from the plant, you can pinch them with your fingernails or you may use scissors. If your Ashitaba plant is quite small, you may harvest the leaves individually rather than clipping an entire stalk, but choose mature leaves from the base of the stem or shoot. The mature leaves contain more of the active ingredients than the new shoots.
For prevention of disorders, there are three options:
- Use 1 or 2 fresh leaves, wash with salt water (if available), rinse with clean water, chew the leaves and then drink water.
- Use 1 or 2 fresh leaves, wash with salt water (if available), rinse with clean water, cut in small pieces, add to fruit juice. Drink a cup of it once or two times a day.
- For dry leaves, boil in water, drink 1 cup size 3 times a day. Leaves can be eaten after boiling.
- Use 4 leaves and follow same procedures as above. (Note: “Do not drink any tea: after taking the leaf; allow four hours)
- Ashitaba plants can be dried to make tea and capsules. Hold the Ashitaba upside down and tie the stems together with any kind of string so you can hang the bunch up to dry, buthen you hang the Ashitaba upside down on a nail or hook, make sure it’s away from the sunlight. Drying period is dependent on humidity conditions; one week or less is usually sufficient
- Ashitaba leaves may be added into fruit juices (look at photo above). Use 2 to 4 fresh leaves, wash thoroughly with salt water (if available), rinse with clean water, cut in small pieces, then add to your fruit juice. Drink a glass of it once or two times a day.
- Use your Ashitaba plants as a healthy ingredient in soups. You may add some fresh Ashitaba leaves into your soup at the end of the cooking process so they do not impart a bitter taste to your dish. Another way is to add them as garnish before the soup goes to the table or add it on a bowl of salad as healthy toppings. For soups and salads, you don’t need to smash the leaves or cut it to smaller pieces. Instead, just add one fresh ashitaba leaf or shoot for every two cups of soup or salad. Treat it as any other vegetable. You can make ice cream and smoothie is you so desire. The list is actually endless.
You may be wanting to ask: “Is it okay to consume a lot of ashitaba leaves for health benefits?” For some people, ashitaba may provide side effects like itchiness, but so far, taking the ashitaba for weeks now, no sign of itchiness. Perhaps one has to know one’s allergies. ^_^
Presently, I learned from testimonies of ashitaba users that their health condition has improved a lot. A friend’s father had diabetes issues which made it impossible for him to work overseas; but after taking the ashitaba leaves for some months, he got cleared and was accepted at work. If you feel you need to be more sure of its benefits, ask around; google it. You might be amazed to know (like I was) that there are already a lot of ashitaba users out there.
Because it’s fairly easy to grow, my friend gave me some full grown ashitaba plants from her ashitaba garden. It’s not called ‘tomorrow leaves’ for nothing!
By the way, the ashitaba plant and hot-air dried powder of ashitaba leaves and stems are available for sale in some health and plant stores. But if you know someone who has, ask for a few branches and grow your own ashitaba garden. ^_^