Watch out coriander, move aside spinach, there’s a new super-herb in town that’s set to rival the greens scene. Meet Ashitaba—the native Japanese herb that’s said to behold serious anti-ageing powers. Also known as ‘Kenso, ‘Angelica keiskei koidzumi or ‘Leaves of Tomorrow,’ the plant is part of the carrot family and has long been used in Japanese culture as a herbal medicine to support longevity but only now has science been able to prove it’s potent powers.
A new study from the University of Grazin Austria has found the naturally occurring compound—4,4-dimenthoxychalcone (DMC)—in Ashitaba is able to induce a process known as autophagy.
Autophagy works to cleanse and recycle, removing materials and cellular garbage, hence it’santi-ageing and detoxifying skinbenefits!
By cleaning the cells, this helps the body maintain health over time, as it’s when cells aren’t able to remove damage and waste that they build up and disease (such as cancer) occurs. In the study, researchers tested the DMC compound in both animals and human cells and found in worms and fruit flies, it increased lifespan by 20 per cent, in mice it protected their heart during blood flow blockage and in humans, it was able to slow a process called ‘senescence’ which is known to slow cell ageing.
Talk about a plant that packs a potent punch! While the research into the long term effect on humans is still in its infancy, researchers determined this hero herb can slow down cell ageing (hello youthful glow!) and potentially help individuals potentially live longer and with fewer chronic health conditions. And this is on top of it’s cancer-fighting properties (thanks to key nutrient xanthoangelol), it’s ability to lower blood sugar and thin blood as well as it’s ultra high nutrient profile which includes B vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. A herb that can make you look good, live longer, help ward off cancer and top up your nutrients without needing to bulk-buy supplements? Bring on all of the ashitaba salads and juices (sorry celery)!