Cryptotaenia japonica /Japanse peterselie / Mitsuba

Japanse Peterselie is als Aziatisch keukenkruid ook bekend als ‘Mitsuba’ en ‘Japanese Honeywort’ of ‘Japanese Parsley’. De botanische naam: Cryptotaenia japonica verwijst naar de wortels van de plant, het Griekse ‘Cryptos’ betekent ‘Verborgen’ en ‘tania’ staat voor ‘lint’.

Deze vaste plant breidt zich ondergronds uit met lint-vormige wortels. De Japanse naam Mitsuna betekent: ‘Drie bladeren’, het mooie drie-delige blad met fijn-gekartelde randen lijkt wel ‘oversizede’ Platte Peterselie. Uit de Japanse Wilde Peterselie, de groenbladige vorm, is als mooie culivar voortgekomen: ‘Atropurpureum’. De diep-donkere bladkleur varieert van purper-rood, paars tot bijna…..zwart! Zowel de wortels, de stengels en bladeren van beide soorten zijn eetbaar en hebben, zowel rauw als kort-gekookt, een heerlijke lichte Peterselie-smaak, met zoete tonen van Anijs. Ze worden als smaakmaker en decoratie toegevoegd aan soepen, warme en koude gerechten. Het jonge Mitsuna-blad wordt gebruikt in salades. Mitsuna-wortels worden geblancheerd en gebakken. De on-opvallende kleine, wite of zacht-roze Mitsuna-bloempjes, met een uitgesproken milde Peterselie-smaak, groeien aan takjes die gebruikt worden als garnering.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Oct 30;12:199. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-199. Protective effect of the methanol extract from Cryptotaenia japonica Hassk. against lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo.

Kang H1, Bang TS, Lee JW, Lew JH, Eom SH, Lee K, Choi HY.

In folk medicine, the aerial part of Crytotaenia japonica Hassk. (CJ), is applied for treatment of the common cold, cough, urinary problems, pneumonia, and skin rashes. In this paper, the in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activity of CJ methanol extract was tested using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory models.


We measured nitric oxide (NO), inducible NO synthase (iNOS), and inflammatory cytokine levels from LPS-stimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages. Also, several cellular signaling molecules which regulate the expressions of these inflammatory markers were examined. Finally, we tested whether oral administration of CJ methanol extract might affect the serum cytokine levels in LPS-injected mice.


CJ methanol extract reduced NO release via iNOS protein inhibition. The extract was also shown to decrease the secretions of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-12. Analysis of signaling molecules showed that CJ inhibited the phosphorylation of STAT1, p38, JNK and ERK1/2 as well as IκBα degradation. Finally, CJ decreased the serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in LPS-injected mice.


Our results demonstrated the anti-inflammatory activity of CJ methanol extract and its possible underlying mechanisms that involve modulation of IκBα, MAPK, and STAT1 activities.

J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Jun 11;56(11):3997-4003. doi: 10.1021/jf703593v. Epub 2008 May 13. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant activity of mountain celery (Cryptotaenia japonica Hassk) seed essential oils.

Cheng MC1, Lin LY, Yu TH, Peng RY.

Mountain celery seed essential oils (MC-E) contained 109 compounds, including mainly nine kinds of monoterpenoids, 31 kinds of of sesquiterpenoids, and 22 kinds of alcohols. A successive gel column adsorption with solvent fractionation yielded four fractionates. The pentane fractionate revealed potent hypolipidemic but poor antioxidant activities. The ether fractionate exhibited strong hypolipidemic activity in addition to excellent 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical- and superoxide anion-scavenging capabilities. The third acetone fractionate only showed moderate superoxide anion-scavenging activity. Finally, the fourth methanol fractionate having a rather high content of gamma-selinene, 2-methylpropanal, and Z-9-octadecenamide uniquely revealed very strong superoxide anion-scavenging capability. All MC diets except the MC-E-added diet simultaneously exhibited both significant hypolipidemic and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C)-elevating capabilities. However, all diets totally failed to affect the hepatic phospholipid levels. Conclusively, the MC-E can be fractionated by such a separation technology to produce products uniquely possessing hypolipidemic and HDL-C-elevating activities.


This vegetable is native to Japan. At present it is grown in China, Korea and many other Asian countries. Once, the Native Americans used to collect wild honewort which is a related species of Mitsuba. They used to add wild honewort both as seasoning and a vegetable.

Mitsuba Nutritional Facts

This vegetable is high in potassium, calcium, vitamin C and carotene. 100 grams of Mitsuba leaves contain-

Vitamin B6 – 0.04 mg

Vitamin B2 – 0.09 mg

Vitamin B1 – 0.03 mg

Vitamin E – 0.7 mg

Vitamin C – 8 mg

Potassium – 640 mg

Calcium – 25 mg

Sodium – 8 mg

Phosphorus – 50 mg

Magnesium – 17 mg

Beta-carotene – 720 µg

Iron – 0.3 mg

Retinol – 61 µg

Folic acid – 44 µg

Vitamin K – 63 µg

Mitsuba Health Benefits

Mitsuba is used to treat cold, fever and haemorrhages. It is also known to be a stress relief agent.

Mitsuba Taste

Just like parsley, Mitsuba’s flavor is refreshing and clean, but it is slightly bitter in taste. The subtle flavor is reminiscent of a blend of Italian parsley, angelica and celery leaves.

Mitsuba Cultivation

The best time to sow the seeds is either spring or autumn. Mitsuba grows well in partly shaded area in the garden. It will be better if it is grown between taller plants. The height of the plant is determined by the soil condition, climate and the way it is looked after.

Plant the seeds in 1/4 inch deep rich, moist and well compost soil. The ideal sowing temperature would be 25 degree C. There should be a half inch gap between the seeds. Water the soil just to keep the moisture in the soil. During winter, the seeds can be plant indoor and can be transplanted outside in spring. One must avoid planting this plant in hot summer time. The leaves turn yellow, if it is grown in full sun.

Mitsuba Harvesting

Plants can be harvested after 50 – 55 days from sowing. One can harvest the leaves according to the need. Since all the parts of this vegetable are edible, it is generally harvested just by cutting off the entire plant from the ground.

Mitsuba Edible Uses

Not a single part of this plant is wasted. Stems, leaves and roots are chopped to flavor a number of cuisines like rice, stir fries, sashimi, custards, soups and many more. Stem, root and seeds are also eaten raw. Seedlings are generally added in salads. The leaves are added in soups, rice and stir fries. The seeds are used for seasoning. Mitsuba is added as garnish in Japanese fish and other seafood recipes. This vegetable should be added in dishes only before serving because is this vegetable cooked for few minutes them it will turn bitter.

Mitsuba Recipes

This nutritious vegetable is added in a popular Japanese dish called ‘chawan mushi’, a steamed egg custard. It is added as a seasoning in Sukiyaki, a fish soup. Some of its other popular recipes are-

Sushi Rice Risotto

Chicken Katsudon

Grilled Littleneck Clams

Marinated Halibut


Chilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon