Also sometimes referred to as tomorrow’s leaf, ashitaba is a plant that’s native to Japan and it belongs to the carrot family. While its taproots, stalks and leaves are consumed as vegetables in Japan, ashitaba is more popular used as a medicinal herb. Commonly, traditional Japanese healers employ ashitaba for dealing with acid reflux, constipation, food poisoning, hay fever, smallpox, edema, gouty arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and even cancer.
Recently, clinical trials conducted on fruit flies and worms suggested that ashitaba could considerably slow down the process of aging. So in other words, it could be the fountain of youth mankind has long been searching for. But in order for you to understand very well how ashitaba is able to prolong youth as indicated by a recent scientific investigation, it’s very important to have yourself familiarized with what’s referred to as autophagia.
Simply put, autophagia is the ability of the cells to devour damaged or unused cell parts in order to get rid of them. It’s just like cannibalism, but autophagia is good for you. That’s because the ones consumed by the cells via autophagia can be regarded as cellular garbage.
Allowing garbage to collect in your home is a terrible idea. Well, the same is true if you allow cellular garbage to collect within your body. Without autophagia, those unwanted debris from cells will accumulate within you until such time that various diseases show up, many of which can be quite serious such as deadly cancer. And by the way, failure of the body to get rid of cellular damage can also lead to accelerated aging.
Now that you’re familiar with autophagia, there’s one more thing that you need to learn about in order for you to better understand why ashitaba could help keep you young for a long time, and that’s what’s referred to as DMC. Short for 4,4′-dimethoxychalcone, DMC is a flavonoid — a flavonoid is a compound naturally present in plants that’s admired for its antioxidant properties. One of the reasons why fruits and vegetables are good for you is the fact that they contain lots and lots of flavonoids.
According to scientists, there are approximately 6,000 types of flavonoids out there, and some are simply more potent than the rest. One of those that never fail to impress is DMC, and ashitaba has rich concentrations of this powerful flavonoid. It’s exactly for the presence of DMC in ashitaba why the Japanese medicinal plant could extend youth — DMC encourages autophagia, thus ensuring that cellular garbage is eliminated before it wreaks havoc on one’s health.
The amazing ability of DMC in ashitaba to optimize autophagia became evident when scientists supplied fruit flies and worms with DMC from ashitaba. The experiment showed that the lifespan of fruit flies and worms was extended by up to 20 percent. The effects of DMC on liver cells also proved to be staggering — it seemed to shield the liver cells from damage brought about by alcohol. Sadly, clinical trials on human beings have yet to be carried out.
Currently, a lot of health food and herbal stores online and offline are carrying ashitaba in the form of capsules, teas and elixir. If you’re planning on experiencing for yourself the potential ability of the said Japanese medicinal plant to slow down the aging process, go ahead. But first make sure that you first inform your primary health care provider about it especially if you have a known medical condition and/or taking prescription medications. Preparations containing ashitaba and other medicinal herbs may still have unfavorable side effects especially if they’re used in manners other than those prescribed by their manufacturers or experienced herbalists.