By Dr. Kevin Lance [ones, L.Ac., O.M.D.]
Little is known about the world of Herbal Medicine. Of all the plant species in the world, only five percent (5%) have been catalogued. Of that five percent that have been catalogued, a full one quarter (1/4) or twenty – five percent (25%) have medicinal qualities. There is the example of Taxol, an anti-uterine cancer drug that is derived from the bark of the Yu tree.
Another shinning example of a newly discovered herbal medicine is ASHITABA. Its name literally translates to Japanese as "Early Growth" or "Tomorrow’s Leaf". It was named so because of its ability to grow very fast and exhibit a strong Qi or energetic life force.
Kidney Yin and Yang with Qi and Xue
In this section I will endeavor to explain the therapeutic actions of Angelica Keiskei Koidzumi or ASHITABA in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine as practiced currently in the People's Republic of China. One of the fundamental actions of ASHITABA is that it is great at activating Qi and Xue (Blood). The application for this is apparent in the treatment in the menstrual problems. It removes stagnation in the uterus, which will help with many menstrual difficulties. It also increases blood flow (activates Qi and Blood). ASHITABA which can be used by it self alone, increases Kidney Yin and Yang Qi.
Kidney Yang Qi and Yang Xu
The increase of the Kidney Yang Qi will act as a diuretic and increase the urine output. In Japan, ASHITABA is used to treat hypertension. As a diuretic it has no side effects such as western medicines frequently have. It increases the libido (sex drive) for those persons with Kidney Yang Xu (deficiency).
Kidney Yin Xu
In terms of the increase in Kidney Yin Xu (deficiency), this herb is wonderful in treating the problem of Peri – menopause. With a Kidney Yin Xu (deficiency) one of the cardinal symptoms in women is related to their irregular or no menstruation. The usual four to six years of peri – menopause that women in their middle forties to early fifties in age experience could be made much more comfortable with the use of ASHITABA. Since this herb warms the uterus, it is very useful in treating menstrual cramps and pain, regardless of the age of the patient.
ASHITABA Good for Lactagogue
ASHITABA is a useful Lactagogue, that is, an agent which induces the secretion of mother's milk. There is an anecdotal evidence from Japan concerning a cow that was fed with ASHITABA and it recorded high milk production. By analogy, ASHITABA could be used with mastitis or low milk production after delivery.
ASHITABA harmonizes the Spleen and Stomach.
ASHITABA harmonizes the Spleen and Stomach. It helps to balance the Earth element. There is a patient in Texas that has Insulin- Dependent Diabetes that is currently taking the herb. He says that he now has to use less Insulin because his blood sugar no longer spikes with attacks of Hyperglycemia. Another Diabetes patient in Japan took ASHITABA for six months and his blood sugar level dropped from 400 mg./dL to 150 mg./dL.
Dr. Kimie Baba
Dr. Kimi Baba at Osaka University School of Pharmacy has published a paper showing the decrease of the rate of acid production in the stomach with ASHITABA. In her paper she also showed a decrease in the severity of stress related to stomach ulcers. The extract of Hachi Jo Island’s ASHITABA also exhibited an anti-bacterial action.
CHALCONEs are the active factors in Angelica Keiskei Koidzumi. The two that are in ASHITABA are known as Xanthoangelol, Xanthoangelol-E and 4- Hydrooxyderricin. These were discovered by Dr. Kimie Baba. These factors are found only in this strain of ASHITABA from the Island of Hachi Jo and are derived from the yellowish liquid extract of the leaves and stems. This differentiates it from any other strain of ASHITABA from China, Taiwan, Korea.
Research in Japan has shown that ASHITABA has anti- viral properties. At a 1993 Pharmacology Forum in Japan, it was reported that ASHITABA demonstrated anti-HIV activity.
CHALCONE Anti-Cancer InductorsASHITABA contains a special kind of yellow sap which called CHALCONEs that are unique to this strain of Angelica specie. It is these CHALCONEs that are considered as the active ingredients that gives rise to ASHITABA's use as a diuretic, laxative, and aid to good metabolism.
ASHITABA also contains B 12, which is normally produced in animals and not plants. It is this uniqueness that places ASHITABA in the same category as marine products such as marine algae instead of other land based green plants. Vitamin B12 has been recognized for its ability to promote the production of blood cells, increase attention span and concentration, increase the production of growth hormone, and promote the immune system so that it can fight off serious disorder; such as cancer.
ASHITABA is recommended for all men and women of all ages, especially has been used for treating the following disorders:
Anaemia and PMS Symptoms Research in China
Famous Researchers discussed dong quai, a traditional medicine root popular among women in Chinese women. Very significant amounts of Vitamin B12 found in the root, and are beneficial for anaemia and PMS symptoms which can include breast tenderness, bloating, sleep disturbances and irritability.
|Cancer Research and ASHITABA
Dr. Toru Okuyama, Meiji University, College of Pharmacy
Dr. Toru Okuyama tested Hachi Jo ASHITABA on mice with tobacco- induced lung cancer and skin melanomas. In this six month study the skin cancer mice were given an external application of the ASHITABA extract. The article stated that the cancer was controled-with this therapy. In the tobacco- induced lung cancer the mice were given the extract of ASHITABA in fluid and food form. The article stated that the lung cancer progression stopped with the oral ASHITABA therapy. The Active Factors in ASHITABA
Types of Angelica
The Angelica Family has a history as a medicinal herb and health food since ancient times in both China and Japan. In Mainland China and Taiwan the root of the Angelica Senesis has been popular for thousands of years and is frequently called the "Woman's Ginseng." Japanese ASHITABA, has an anti- viral property that is not present in Dang Gui (Tang Kuei). The Japanese ASHITABA extract is a gentler medicine that can be taken frequently and at bed time without the stimulating effect that Dang Quei has, especially on women. Because it is gentler, it can be tolerated better by peri- menopausal women.