Is Ashitaba Good for People With Diabetes?

Medically Reviewed on 10/21/2022
Is Ashitaba Good for People With Diabetes
Some studies have suggested that ashitaba leaves can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, but more research is needed

Although there is some evidence that ashitaba may help people with diabetes by improving blood sugar control, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Some studies have suggested that ashitaba leaves can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity due to the high amount of chalcones. Chalcones, coumarins, and flavonoids are the principal bioactive components of this plant and act as antioxidants in the body.

What is ashitaba?

Ashitaba, also known as Angelica keiskei koidzumi, has the following characteristics:

  • Member of the Apiaceae family that grows naturally in Japan and has been extensively grown as an ingredient of green vegetable juices
  • Herbaceous perennial that has conical or cylindrical roots
  • Regenerative and self-pollinating

The distinctive feature of ashitaba is its yellow sap, which is not present in other Apiaceae plants. This yellow sap contains chalcones—a thick, sticky pigment—which are powerful antioxidants that help protect organs from free radical damage and combat cellular aging

Numerous studies have suggested that this plant offers health benefits due to having antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, and arterial-relaxing effects.

What does research say about ashitaba?

According to a study by Enoki et al. (2006), the chalcone substances xanthoangelol and 4-hydroxyderricin in ashitaba extracts have powerful insulin-like effects.

In addition, Murugan & Rao (2008) looked at how these chalcones affect the affinity of the erythrocyte insulin receptors in rats with type II diabetes mellitus. To excite the rats, a high-fat diet and small amount of streptozotocin were given. They were split up into four groups: control, high, medium, and low ashitaba chalcone supplementation groups. The results of this experiment showed that the hormone and receptor connect more closely in the high dosage group than those of the control group and that there was a considerable decrease in the fasting plasma glucose. They concluded that ashitaba chalcone could improve insulin resistance and increase erythrocyte insulin receptor affinity in rats with type II diabetes.

What are the potential benefits of ashitaba?

Below are examples of the potential health benefits of ashitaba, which can help a person with diabetes maintain overall health:

  • Boosts metabolism and assists in blood sugar regulation
  • Contains chlorophyll, which aids in wound healing
  • Helps with weight management
  • Enhances vision, lowers blood pressure, and controls cholesterol levels
  • Improves kidney and liver functioning
  • Acts as a diuretic that helps the body get rid of waste
  • Stimulates nerve growth factor, which reduces peripheral neuropathy—a common side effect of diabetes caused by damage to peripheral nerves that come from the brain and spinal cord


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What are the compounds in ashitaba?

Ashitaba contains many beneficial compounds that include:

  • Substantial amounts of chalconoids and vitamin B12
  • Furocoumarins
  • Psoralen, bergapten, xanthotoxin, and angelicin
  • Substances including:
    • 1-certol
    • Daucosterol
    • Stigmasterol
    • Quercetin-3-O-β-D-glucopyranside
    • Luteolin-7-rhamno-glucoside
    • Luteolin-7-O-α-D-glucpyranoside
    • Steviol-l3-O-β-glucopyranoside 19-β-glucopyranosyl ester octa acetate 
  • Chalcone compounds:
    • 2′,4′,4-trihydroxy-3′-[2-hydroxy-7-methyl-3-methylene-6-octaenyl] chalcone
    • 2′,4′,4-trihydroxy-3′-geranylchalcone
    • 2′,4′,4-trihydroxy-3′-[6-hydroxy-3,7-dimethyl-2,7-octadienyl] chalcone
    • 2′,4-dihydroxy-4′-methoxy-3′-[2-hydroperoxy-3-methyl-3-butenyl] chalcone
    • 2′,4-dihydroxy-4′-methoxy-3′-geranylchalcone
    • 2′,4-dihydroxy-4′-methoxy-3′-[3-methyl-3-butenyl] chalcone
Medically Reviewed on 10/21/2022
Image Source: Getty image