How to Take Care of Ashitaba Plant (Longevity Herb)

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A Bit of Intro

Sometimes referred to as the Japanese dong quai, ashitaba comes from a unique strain of celery-like vegetable family. It has been part of the local diet of indigenous people of China and Japan for thousands of years. Tomorrow leaves can be eaten as a vegetable in meals and/or drunk as tea. It provides many health benefits.

This medicinal herb is often sold singly in pots. It grows as a rosette plant with a height of 20 to 30 cm. Its large, much divided leaves confer a rather lush look to the entire plant. If you have bought one or have one yourself at home, here are tips that can be useful to you to take good care of your ashitaba baby:

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Grow ashitaba in a semi-shaded spot.

The tomorrow plant grows well when it is sheltered in a hot and humid tropical climate. This is why the Philippines is a good location to plant and harvest tomorrow plant. If there are torrential and heavy rains, you can always bring the pot indoors.

Keep the tomorrow plant moist at all time.

When the pot of ashitaba plant is placed outdoors, it will be exposed to the sun directly. When it receives excessive direct rays from the sun, it will wilt faster and dry out. The leaves’ color will turn a sickly shade of yellow—which is unhealthy for the ashitaba plant. Therefore, you must make sure to water it or sprinkle it with water at all times. Its soil must remain fertile and free-draining.

Avoid excessive wind.

Ashitaba is a good and attractive houseplant in your garden, patio or yard. It grows better when there’s not much wind that dries the plant out. A good suggestion is to place the plant on a bright windowsill indoors for about four hours daily. In this way, it still receives adequate sunshine either filtered or reflected.

Wait for leaves to mature.

If you don’t want to look into the calendar of how many days have passed since today, watch just how many leaves your tomorrow plant grows. One leaf is one day. But if you are growing a small plant, you may choose to harvest the leaves every other day or once a week. Patience is a good virtue practiced here. Mature leaves tend to have more active ingredients than the new shoots. So if you can patiently wait for some time, even if the tomorrow leaves are readily harvestable, wait.

Harvest properly.

If you are growing a small ashitaba plant, try harvesting leaf by leaf instead of clipping an entire stalk. This is to ensure that you are harvesting the leaf completely—from the base of the stem or shoot. This is where you can get more nutrients from chalcones, which contain potency six times than that of antioxidants found in citrus fruits, four times as potent as those in soy and two times more potent than those of green tea!

Photo taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Angelica_keiskei_leaves.jpg

26 comments:

  1. I have not seen that plant being sold hereabouts yet. Might take note of buying one when I see one :)

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    1. Yeah, it's quite uncommon in the Philippines. Better ring me a bell if you have really seen the real one.

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    2. http://www.sulit.com.ph/index.php/view+classifieds/id/26369303/Anti-Diabetic+Ashitaba+Angelica+Keiskei?referralKeywords=ashitaba&event=Search+Ranking,Position,1-10,10#advertisementDetails

      how about this one. but its too expensive i think

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  2. Oh dong quai is quite familiar with me I think I remembered my mom used to give me this before when I was having painful dysmenorrhea but due to scarcity of the herb it was discontinued and the production of the capsules that contains dong quai was also discontinued here in the Phils.

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    1. Oh yes supplies are very limited. But we can always import them from the US or Japan. :)

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    2. Hi i got ashitaba in Mahogany place tagaytay city for 35 pesos only!

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    3. Maybe it's not the real one because I know the real one is sold at PHp 1500-1800.

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  3. Thanks for these info. I bought yesterday an authentic ashitaba in manila, sampaloc area just before it rained hard. Just in the nick of time too, because there were 2 left, and one has been reserved but I haven't. It was also on sale so I'm really thankful I got one. I forgot to ask them how to take care of this plant, but you have answered one my questions here.

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    1. You're welcome! I hope you can grow the plants well.

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  4. First time Ive heard about this plant. Will read your articles about this. Interesting! :)

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    1. Thanks, Reich. Have fun reading and also at the same time get to know more about the human body.

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    2. Hello, I really wanted to have this plant. please can you help me where to buy it? I have gynura precumbens which everybody online claim it as Ahshitaba, but looking online I find it as only gynura precumbens, though it has health beneficial I still wanted to try the real or Japanese ashitaba, small plant or seeds will be ok for me. Hoping to your reply.thanks.

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    3. Hi Smple Amity, you can buy the seeds from Horizon Herbs or Amazon. Shipping from US to the Philippines can be done through Forex Cargo, Johnny Air or POBOX.ph. Just search for the keywords "Horizon Herbs ashitaba seeds" and you will land correctly at the selling page. Each pack contains 20 seeds enough to plant several. :)

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  5. You can get Ashitaba at EDSA Garden House & Green 2000 Garden Center, Manila Seedling. It's the real deal. You can get it for 1,500 Php.

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  6. Thanks for sharing it here, Lance. I know the readers will appreciate it.

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  7. I am fortunate to have bought 2 angelica gigas plants, reputed to be biannuals that grow 5-6 feet tall in sun or part shade in moist soil (in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA). Do you know if this is similar to angelica keiskei? Do the leaves of angelica gigas have health properties also? Wikipedia says that a chemical from the root of the plant, a coumarin derivative called decursin, may have anti-androgenic properties in vitro, but says nothing about the leaves.

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    1. Hi Annie. I have just read about angelica gigas now. The plants look purple and grow in summer. I don't think this plant has similar health benefits with the angelica keiskei, although both plants are found mostly in Japan. The leaves are far different.

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  8. dame ko sa bahay nyan.benta ko lang ng mura.mabilis lang tumubo at dumami

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  9. Ah that's good to hear that many Filipinos are now having the ashtiaba plant in their own homes. Please make sure what you get is the real ashitaba and not gynura procumbens though.

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    1. hello again Ms. Rochkirstin. i'm starting an urban Ashitaba Farming here in Quezon City, meaning i'll be having around 200 to 500 potted Ashitaba plants for production purposes of tea, powder and etc. You seem to be knowledgeable about this plant. Would you be interested to be my adviser as well maybe we can work out something for both our benefit. can u email me huangjinlai168@gmail.com or text me 0932-1883553 for more details if you are interested? thank you

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  10. i have encountered people selling gynura procumnbens and each time argued with them coz they insist that it is ashitaba. my advise to them is to look and search the internet to see the real ashitaba plants most importantly the shape of the leaves. i have plenty of gynura plants that i ususally give to friends who have high level of sugar and very effective in lowering it.

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    1. Pat yourself at the back for a job well done. It's good to spread the right info to everyone. Thanks.

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  11. SOMETHING IS EATING MY ASHITABA PLANTS . WHAT IS GOOD FOR THAT. THANK YOU !

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    1. You may trying mixing chili and water and putting the mixture to an atomizer then spray it to the plants. This is a natural pesticide that won't harm the plants but will keep away those pests.

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