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Useful Temperate Plants

Angelica keiskei

(Miq.) Koidz.

Apiaceae

+ Synonyms

Angelica utilis Makino ex Y.Yabe

Archangelica keiskei Miq.

Common Name: Ashitaba

Angelica keiskei
Close-up of the leaves of a plant growing in Machida City, Tokyo, Japan
Photograph by: sphl
Creative Commons License
Angelica keiskei Angelica keiskei

General Information

Angelica keiskei is a herbaceous, biennial to perennial plant with a stout stem 80 - 120cm tall[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
].
The plant has long been used in Japan as a food that is a healthy addition to the diet and also as a medicine. Recent research (up to 2015) has confirmed many of the traditional uses of this plant and it is currently widely available over the Internet as a medicine, food supplement and as seeds for growing the plant.

Known Hazards

All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References

58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.

Range

E. Asia - central Japan

Habitat

Damp habitats by the sea coast[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
HabitBiennial/Perennial
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Species in this genus generally grow best in a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
116
Title
Oriental Herbs and Vegetables, Vol 39 No. 2.
Publication
 
Author
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Publisher
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
A small booklet packed with information.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. Often eaten in Japan, where they are seen as a food that has a range of health benefits whilst also having an acceptable flavour. The plant is said to be a source of vitamin B12. Both the fresh leaves and the dried and powdered leaves are used as a health food and supplement[
1071
Title
Anti-Inflammatory activity of Angelica keiskei through suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear
Publication
Journal of Mecicinal Food 2010 Jun;13(3):691-9.
Author
Lee H.J. Et al
Publisher
 
Year
2010
ISBN
 
Description
A research paper into the antiinflammatory effects of Angelica keiskei
].
The leaves are often used to make a tea[
1072
Title
Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) extract prevents adiposity in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice
Publication
Food and Function, 2015, 6, 135
Author
Tianshun Zhang et al
Website
http://www.rsc.org/foodfunction
Publisher
 
Year
2015
ISBN
 
Description
A research paper on the effect of Angelica keiskei on the metabolism of lipids in the body.
].

Root - cooked[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is often pickled[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. The root is short and thick[
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.
].

Medicinal

Angelica keiskei is a popular herbal medicine in Japan and China, that is becoming more widely known in the West. It is said to have a range of health benefits. It is said to improve the body’s natural immunity, and to treat a range of ailments including gastro-intestinal tract disorders; acute and chronic gastritis; stomach cancer; duodenal ulcers; gastric atonia; chronic enteritis; carcinomas and melanomas; chronic hepatitis, diabetes and insulin-dependent diabetes; hyperglycaemia; asthma; common colds; high blood pressure; anaemia; chronic fatigue syndrome; infertility, shoulder stiffness; neurosis; haemorrhoids; to relieve the symptoms of the menopause and PMS. It is also said to retard the ageing of the skin and improve its complexion.
The plant is antidiabetic, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, blood purifier, diuretic and laxative[
1071
Title
Anti-Inflammatory activity of Angelica keiskei through suppression of mitogen-activated protein kinases and nuclear
Publication
Journal of Mecicinal Food 2010 Jun;13(3):691-9.
Author
Lee H.J. Et al
Publisher
 
Year
2010
ISBN
 
Description
A research paper into the antiinflammatory effects of Angelica keiskei
].

The plant contains the chalcones 4-hydroxyderricin and xanthoangelol, which are considered to be the main medicinally active compounds[
1072
Title
Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) extract prevents adiposity in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice
Publication
Food and Function, 2015, 6, 135
Author
Tianshun Zhang et al
Website
http://www.rsc.org/foodfunction
Publisher
 
Year
2015
ISBN
 
Description
A research paper on the effect of Angelica keiskei on the metabolism of lipids in the body.
]. They are said to have antitumour activity, to be antioxidant, diuretc, laxative and a good general aid for the metabolism. They have been shown to modulate lipid metabolism and to help prevent adiposity[
1072
Title
Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) extract prevents adiposity in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice
Publication
Food and Function, 2015, 6, 135
Author
Tianshun Zhang et al
Website
http://www.rsc.org/foodfunction
Publisher
 
Year
2015
ISBN
 
Description
A research paper on the effect of Angelica keiskei on the metabolism of lipids in the body.
].
The plant also contains coumarins and flavanones[
1072
Title
Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) extract prevents adiposity in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice
Publication
Food and Function, 2015, 6, 135
Author
Tianshun Zhang et al
Website
http://www.rsc.org/foodfunction
Publisher
 
Year
2015
ISBN
 
Description
A research paper on the effect of Angelica keiskei on the metabolism of lipids in the body.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring.
The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2021-01-19. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Angelica+keiskei>

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