Friday, February 24, 2012

Ashitaba: How Tomorrow Leaves are Harvested and Produced

Because of the increasing number of people landing on my site using keywords “ashitaba” or “tomorrow leaf,” I felt like writing another article about it will be helpful for everyone.

Note: If you haven’t read my previous post about tomorrow leaves, you may refer to this link here.

Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei Koidzumi) is one of the types of medicinal plants very popular in Japan.

As the popularity of ashitaba has become widespread, this plant is now cultivated and processed as a mixed drink. Ashitaba sap is the main raw material of medicinal products, while its leaves are what makes the "magical" herbal tea / coffee ashitaba (in powder form), which functions as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-turmorigenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial and detoxifier.

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Because the yield is quite abundant (one day is tantamount to one leaf harvested), there are now large farms producing tomorrow leaf plants in the village of East Lombok Sembalun.

Ashitaba plants grow well in air-conditioned environment with sufficient water, so come summertime, irrigation is done in a routine pattern: every 10 days. Within a month, the village of Ashitaba Sembalun farmers can produce 20 liters of the sap to make ashitaba herbal tea or coffee and 200 kilograms of the root powder.

The whole process from planting to harvest takes time, energy and patience. It takes about two weeks for the leaves to sprout and two months after transferring them into plastic seedlings, before the leaves can be finally planted on land again for another batches of tomorrow leaves to grow. Farmers normally wait for four to five months for a complete harvest.

Every leaf from the ashitaba plant can be cut by means of a sharp knife. The sap or juice is collected after a few seconds, while it takes about three to five leaves to make a small cup of ashitaba drink.


The leaves which have been accumulated will not be packed for sale directly yet because its purest water still contains some bacteria. Tomorrow leaves' extracts are boiled or cooked in water in a larger container for two hours. After boiling, the juice is cooled down and then poured into a bottle covered tightly. (Shrinkage or volume reduction is expected to occur as normal.)

For those who prefer to take it as coffee or tea, fresh leaves are placed in the dryer open for two days until they are completely dried. On the third day, dried tomorrow leaves are finely crushed and sieved to obtain powder then packaged. A kilogram of ground dried leaves can produce up to 7.5 ounces of herbal coffee powder.

For more articles about ashitaba plant, visit Ashitaba Plant.
If you are interested to buy ashitaba capsules, click here.