Wasabi…..what do we really know about it? I know I didn’t have a clue till I looked it up. I became curious about Wasabi while watching a cartoon. In the episode that peaked my interest, these people were preserved for hundreds of years after dying by eating Wasabi. I wondered if Wasabi was really a natural preservative or not, and that’s were my search began. What I found out on my search left me with a new perspective on Wasabi.
Wasabi is a root indigenous to the cold mountain streams of Japan. Though since it has become tremendously popular Wasabi is now grown in our own Florence Oregon. Most people don’t consider the American Wasabi real Wasabi. They say it doesn’t have the same taste, but is still very good and expensive. Due to the limited areas where Wasabi can grow and the high demand on it, the majority of all restaurants (high end and low end the same) use paste. Wasabi paste has very little actual Wasabi in it. This paste is mainly dried horseradish, Chinese mustard, food coloring, and maybe some cornstarch to thicken it up. Fresh Wasabi is said to be fiery hot transforming to a lingering sweetness while never giving you a burning sensation.
There has been a tremendous amount of research done over the years on Medicinal purposes of Wasabi. Most of the Medicinal purposes of Wasabi have been proven by scientists. While other theories on Wasabi are in the process of being researched now. Here are a few of the Medicinal Purposes of Wasabi:
- Caner fighting– The active ingredient in Wasabi is Isothiocyanates. Studies have shown that this ingredient tends to eliminate excess hormones. The removal of certain hormones can be helpful with cancers like prostate or breast.
- Antibiotics– In Japan they put Wasabi in some toothpastes. Current studies on Wasabis active ingredient show to be positive for preventing tooth decay. Studies have proven that because of the antibiotic properties Wasabi can be used to slow down the growth of food poisoning. It is also believed to fight diarrhea.
- Antiasthmatic/ Anaphylaxis– It is believed that Wasabi has natural anti-inflammatory compounds, which help to reopen airwaves.
- Heart Attacks– Researchers believe in the future Wasabi could be used to help with heart attacks because it brings up the heart rate and constricts blood vessels.
- Fungicides– This is a poison that kills funguses, like Blackleg fungus which attacks plants such as canola. Researchers are heading for a way to make Wasabi a natural/organic pesticide.
- Wood Preservative: Chemically made wood preservatives are used to deflect bugs and fungus. Since Wasabi has a fungicide compound, it naturally has the properties to become a wood preservative.
- Wasabi Contains– potassium, vitamin C, and calcium though most people don’t consume enough to have a nutritional value. (Unless you’re in that cartoon I was watching.)
With all this knowledge now on Wasabi I’m going to have to bite the bullet and try to enjoy it. Oh and on a side note they even make Wasabi wine and liqueur.