Eutrema japonicum is a plant commonly known as wasabi or Japanese horseradish. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and grows naturally in the coldest regions of Japan. The stem is used in order to obtain a green-colored paste, very spicy, called with the same name as the plant, wasabi, very appreciated with dishes like sushi. Wasabi, both the freshly grated stem, but very rare to find, and the dip, have digestive, antioxidant and antibacterial properties, useful against aging processes and the damages of free radicals. In addition to this, wasabi is reported to be able to counteract the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, linked to gastric ulcer, according to the research published in 2013 on the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications by a team of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Moreover, as reported by a study published in 2005 and performed by researchers of the Michigan State University on the scientific Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, wasabi has also anticancer properties, in fact, the study has demonstrated the role played by wasabi in the inhibition of the growth of cancer cells of colon, stomach and lung. Another study, published in 2003 on the scientific journal Phytochemistry and carried out by a group of researchers of the University of Shizuoka, Japan, has highlighted the anti-cancer properties of wasabi for what concerns stomach cancer and leukemia by inducing apoptosis, namely the death, of cancer cells within 24 hours from eating wasabi. The Japanese horseradish is also characterized by an anti-coagulant effect, it has a cleansing action for the liver and has anti-inflammatory properties very useful in case of arthritis, joint pain and swollen joints. Wasabi is spicy and, once eaten, it can happen to feel a burning sensation inside the nose, this is due to a substance, allyl isthiocyanate, that helps inhibit the growth of pathogens in the respiratory tract. Finally, two recommendations, it is better not to exceed with the dosage of wasabi and read the label on the pack of the wasabi you’ll find in the shop. In fact, wasabi contains a toxin, that, if taken in small quantities doesn’t cause problems but if taken in large quantities is not elaborated by the liver and this may cause health problems, for this reason, like all type of food, wasabi is tasty and healthful but should be consumed in moderation. For what concerns the label, the wasabi that can be found in the shops is often prepared with just simple horseradish with artificial colors. Wasabi isn’t cheap, so it is common to find it mixed with horseradish and this is ok, but be careful that the powder contains actually at least a part of Japanese horseradish.
Digestive, cleansing, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties as demonstrated by scientific studies, action against bacteria, useful to counteract Helicobacter pylori and the bacteria of the respiratory tract, anti-inflammatory effect in case of swollen joints and joint pain