More and more uses are being developed from the Ashitaba, botanically known as Angelica keiski, which is reputed to possess various elements that are beneficial to human health.

By Zac Sarian

Ashitaba is reported to contain potassium and manganese, which help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and chlorophyll, which promotes wound healing.

The plant also contains chalcone, which is claimed to aid in rejuvenating skin and tissues, giving the skin a healthy glow. It has also been analyzed to contain high levels of vitamin B12, which increases the attention span and improves concentration.

Ashitaba tea is the major product that has been developed by Mrs. Adela Ang, a cancer survivor who introduced the plant to the Philippines several years ago. The tea is a very popular health drink that is now distributed nationwide by a network of distributors, including drug stores and individual entrepreneurs.

Now, Mrs. Ang has developed a new product out of the different parts of the plant, including leaves, stems, and roots, which are all rich in beneficial elements. The new product is Ashitaba powder, which has many money-making possibilities.

The powder, which is produced under very hygienic conditions, can be used for making capsules. In fact, a major company is now making food supplements in the form of capsules using powder from Mrs. Ang’s company. As a business, making Ashitaba capsules can be profitable.

Growing Ashitaba for home consumption as well as for sale can also be a viable moneymaking enterprise. Seeds can be germinated and then sold as seedlings to interested buyers. The leaves of grown plants can also be sold as vegetables in supermarkets and other outlets. For instance, a few leaves can be added to “sinigang,” “nilagang karne,” vegetable salads, and other food preparations. One simple preparation is to stir-fry the leaves with garlic and oil.

This story appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s September 2017 issue.