Angelica keiskei

Botanical Name : Angelica keiskei
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Angelica
Species: A. keiskei
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : Archangelica keiskei Miquel; Angelica utilis Makino

Common Names : Ashitaba

Habitat : Native to  E. Asia – Japan , Honshu (only in coastal area of Miura Peninsular, Izu Peninslar and Kii peninsular), Izu Islands

Description:
Angelica keiskei is a  perennial  hurb, growing to 1.2m.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep moist fertile soil in dappled shade or full sun. Plants are reliably perennial if they are prevented from setting seed.

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Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination. 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.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Root – cooked. It is often pickled. The root is short and thick

Medicinal Uses:
In traditional medicine, the plant is seen to be a strengthening tonic.  Similar to western angelica, Ashitaba has a bitter taste and contains bitter principles and is used to increase appetite, improve digestion, speed elimination of waste and generally act as a digestive tonic.  When you break the stems and roots of Ashitaba, a sticky yellow juice gushes out. In fact, this is one of the unusual characteristics of the plant. The juice is used topically to treat a host of skin conditions. The juice of the plant is applied to boils, cysts, and pustules to speed healing. It is used to clear athletes foot fungal infections. It is applied to repel insects and to speed healing and prevent infection in insect bites. Indeed, applying the juice of the plant is said to cure most skin conditions and to prevent infection in wounds. It is used both in chronic and acute skin complaints.

Known Hazards : All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Angelica+keiskei
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashitaba
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://gardeningwithwilson.com/tag/angelica-keiskei/

 

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