In Traditional Chinese Medicine as practiced currently in China and Japan, Ashitaba is used to activate Qi (energy or chi) and Xue (blood). This can also reduce hypertension and function as a diuretic without the side effects of western medicines. It also increases Kidney Yin and Yang Qi which helps with many menstrual difficulties and with the increase of libido (sex drive). Ashitaba is a gentle medicine that can be taken frequently and at bed time without the stimulating effect that Dang Gui (angelica sinensis) has, especially on women. Because ashitaba is gentler, it can be tolerated better by peri- menopausal women. -- This according to Dr. Kevin Lance Jones, L.Ac., O.M.D.
Ashitaba is very useful in treating menstrual cramps and pain, regardless of the age of the patient. It is also wonderful in making the four to six years of peri - menopause more comfortable.
"Dang Gui is one of the most popular Chinese herbal medicines known for its use in treatment of a wide variety of gynecological conditions that are generally not easily treated with conventional therapies, such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and infertility. Dang Gui is especially important because it fills a therapeutic need not readily addressed in western conventional or herbal medicine" - Roy Upton AHP Exec Dir.
Dang Gui ( angelica sinensis) is commonly called 'women's ginseng' and "...It has been used for several hundred years for a broad range of gynecological conditions and can help broaden therapeutic options for women beyond hormone therapy replacement and hysterectomies. Hopefully increased use of dang gui and its appropriate formulas will help to eliminate at least a portion of the 600,000+ hysterectomies performed annually in the United States."- Roy Upton AHP Exec Dir.
Dr. Susan Mendrix of Wayne State University was quoted, saying
"We've got to find a better way to help women with their menopausal symptoms" after publishing a study that shows Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) not only increases a women's risk of breast cancer but also produces a more aggressive form. Other recent studies have shown HRT along with this increased risk of breast cancer does not help with prevention of heart disease and stroke, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease and other dementia as previously thought.
As mentioned above by Dr. Jones, ashitaba is gentler than dang gui. So, in effect Ashitaba is better than women's ginseng (Dang Gui) for it has the added benefits of chalcone and chlorophyll along with its antibacterial and antiviral capabilities.
Ashitaba is a very useful Lactogogue, that is, an agent which induces the secretion of mother's milk - especially with mastitis or low milk production after birth.
An added benefit of ashitaba is as a skin and hair beautificant. Due to ashitaba's ability to reduce the damage done by free radicals to cells and by increasing blood circulation the skin remains supple and wrinkle free and hair grows thicker, the color shines and the hair does not become dry or brittle.