Wasabi and Medicine
In honor of my involvement in this illustrious group, I thought I might start a discussion regarding the medicinal benefits of Wasabi -- which we have all learned to know and love. This topic was brought to mind because of a recent Sushi-eating expedition, in which our cohort, BB, was dared to down a large quantity of Wasabi (for a certain sum of money). This certainly was a great feat, and we can only hope that he will attempt to try this again (to a greater scale), sometime in the near future. This certainly raised the question of whether BB's prodigious Wasabi ingestion provided any health benefits, or harms. We have all felt the nasal effects of Wasabi, and I wondered if there was any literature to support it's medicinal use. I was able to find an article on WebMD that was presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology meeting in Sept 2004. The article disproved that Wasabi is a decongestant, and actually showed that nasal congestion increased after ingestion. Here is a sight related to the article:
Too bad, BB! However, we might endeavor to see if Wasabi japonica has any other medicinal uses. Let me know what you find.