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Gynura Procumbens VS Ashitaba

Wendi Phan

Gynura procumbens VS Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei koidzumi)Although Gynura procumbens and Ashitaba (scientific name: Angelica keiskei koidzumi) are plants from different families, somehow many started addressing Gynura procumbens as Ashitaba, especially in the Philippines.  This article will discuss the benefits of each, and how they are different. different benefits, and  of both help you understand the difference of the two so you can determine which is best for you, or both!  

Visual Comparisons
If you compare the photos, you will see these plants are different. The shape of leaves, and structures are different.  Leaves of Gynura procumbens are oval shaped with a pointy tip, softer serrated edges. There's a light fuzz on surface of leaves.  New growth ascends from the main stem so the plant will become taller as new leaves grow. 

Leaves of Ashitaba have visible serrated edges, and shaped similar to a celery plant.  Each new stem ascends from the base of the older stem. The plant can only get taller if the new stem grows longer.

Health Benefits Comparison
Gynura procumbens, AKA Longevity Spinach, is a tropical evergreen that's native to south east Asia and parts of Africa.  This vegetable is part of the Asteraceae (Sunflower) family.  It's nickname reflects the texture of the Gynura leaves and the overall wellness this plant promotes.*

Gynura procumbens contains special properties that helps to support blood sugar health, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, immune health, and healthy weight management*  >To learn more benefits about this vegetable please click here.

Ashitaba Tomorrow Leaf and ChalconeAshitaba, AKA Tomorrow Leaf, is native to the Hachijojima Island in Japan.  This herb is part of the Angelica family.  It's nickname describes the way the plant grows.  If given the ideal conditions, each time a stem is harvested, a new stem with leaf will come the next day.

Ashitaba is used as food that helps to restore health, to promote long life.*  It contains rich chlorophyll, and vitamin B12.*  This vitamin is not normally found in plants so it would be beneficial for vegans to add to their diet.*  Vitamin B12 is beneficial to the body's nerves and blood cells.* Another unique property this herb contains is the flavonoids known as "chalcones" in its yellow sap.*  It is a powerful antioxidant.*  Antioxidants play a role in preventing cellular damage. It prevents free radicals from damaging the body.*  It is believed that free radicals can cause degenerative diseases, and antioxidants play one of the major roles in prevention.*

Gynura Procumbens Vs Ashitaba FlowersPropagation Comparison
In my experience growing both plants, I discovered the Gynura procumbens can only be propagated through cuttings.  The seeds are sterile.  Ashitaba is a biannual herb.  After the plant flowers, seeds will develop then plant will reach its full cycle.  To propagate, fresh seeds must be sowed to grow new plants.

>If you have a green thumb, you can grow your own herbs.

Taste Comparison
If leaves are freshly harvested from the plant, Gynura procumbens has a mild taste similar to spinach.  Ashitaba leaves and the stem taste much like an herb.  It has strong bitter taste with a slight sweetness at the end, much like the taste of sipping on strong black tea.  Leaf texture is much like parsley and celery.

Here is a video about Ashitaba and Ashitaba tea tasting:

I hope this article has helped you understand the difference of the two so you can determine which is best for you.   Please share and comment this post if it has helped you!

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