We’re the Only Source of Biodynamically Grown Ashitaba
I woke up today to a wonderful post about the amazing ashitaba plant. I particularly appreciated the compilation of research showing the health benefits of ashitaba for such diverse conditions as tumor formation, the proliferation of cancer cells, Alzheimer’s disease and liver disease.
I also was struck by the research indicating ashitaba has the ability to induce autophagy, which is the process by which our bodies clear and remove dead cells from our tissues. The power of ashitaba’s flavonoids to induce autophagy may be the underlying chemical basis for its ability to prevent so many adverse health conditions. These potent flavanoids, chalcones being the most prominent (see video), are truly one of nature’s most effective disease-fighting chemicals.
However, I had to chuckle when I read the part about how people can get access to the many benefits of the ashitaba plant. It’s not available in stores or farmers markets. True, you could try to grow it at home, but after four years of struggling to grow ashitaba, I now declare the anti-ashitaba forces to be the winner. The combination of too much heat, then too much rain, then gophers, to say nothing of the incredible difficulty that even expert biodynamic farmer Mike Benziger has getting the seeds to germinate, make the proposition of growing your own ashitaba practically a non-starter.
Our company looked extensively for organically grown domestic ashitaba but couldn’t find any, so we looked into foreign-grown ashitaba. None of the foreign ashitaba samples we received smelled or tasted remotely like the ashitaba I grew. Some of them said they were “organically grown,” but reading the details, we discovered this just meant that the growers refrained from using chemical pesticides and herbicides a few weeks before harvest. In short, this was not for us.
We then found Allie Tyler and Mike, two beyond-organic farmers in Northern California (Mike is a Demeter-certified biodynamic grower), to grow ashitaba for us. We couldn’t be happier with the quality. As far as we know, we are the only source of biodynamically grown ashitaba in the world.
I often tell my patients, if you are going to use a medicine or supplement, use the best quality possible. It’s the same with food. That way, at least we will know that quality wasn’t the issue. It saves a lot of time and confusion. Hands down, our Ashitaba Powder is the best.
Tom Cowan, M.D.