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Wasabi (Wasabia japonica)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate (6-MITC), 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate (MS-ITC), 6-MITC, allyl isothiocyanate, alpha-tocopherol, Brassicaceae (family), Cochlearia wasabi, desulfosinigrin, Eutrema japonica, Eutrema wasabi Maxim, isothiocyanates, Japanese domestic horseradish, Japanese spice, Japanese wasabi, Korean wasabi, wasabi-derived 6-(methylsulfinyl)hexyl isothiocyanate, Wasabi japonica, Wasabi japonica Matsum, wasabi leafstalk, wasabi powder, wasabi roots, Wasabia japonica.
  • Note: This monograph does not include horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), which is a common substitute for wasabi.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • The wasabi plant grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river valleys in Japan, but is cultivated in certain regions in Japan and North America. Traditionally, the root is shredded to create a pungent condiment used with fish, especially sushi. In basic laboratory studies, wasabi has inhibited cancer cell growth and survival (1;2;3). However, one wasabi constituent also promoted cancer cell growth (4). Wasabi has also shown anti-inflammatory activity (5), antiplatelet activity (6;7), and anabolic bone metabolism activity (8) in laboratory tests. However, there is currently insufficient available evidence in humans to support the use of wasabi for any indication.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.