Wasabi by The Numbers
The wasabi plant is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in the world, but how much do you really know about it?
Like many people, you might think wasabi is just the green paste bringing spice to your sushi. But when you order wasabi in a restaurant, there is often no real wasabi on your plate. Instead, it is horseradish with green colouring added, which is much cheaper to produce.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg however when it comes to wasabi. To help you find out more about wasabia japonica, we’ve put together this handy guide to the history, horticulture, and health benefits of this miraculous plant.
Excavations of archeological remains reveal that Japanese people have been eating the wasabi plant since the Jōmon period, which lasted from 14,000 BC to 400 BC.
Wasabi began to grow in popularity in North America in the 1980s, as more and more sushi restaurants opened in cities on the west coast of Canada and the US.
In nature, wasabi grows alongside mountain streams, but it is believed the Japanese began cultivating wasabi crops in the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868.
Wasabi was reserved for royalty and used as a ground condiment served with raw fish in the mid-Ashikaga Era, which began in 1338 and lasted until 1573.
The first written record of wasabi is in Japan’s oldest encyclopedia of medicinal plants, the Honzo-Wamyo of Sukahito Fukae, in 918 AD. It was eaten for its antiparasitic effects, and is still consumed for its health benefits to this day!
Wasabi is a cruciferous vegetable and more than 600 studies have been conducted into the health benefits of these plants. Those studies have shown that cruciferous plants contain more glucosinolates (the material that gives plants like wasabi and mustard their pungency) than any other vegetables.
Despite its health benefits, because it is so hard to grow, wasabi is one of the most expensive plants in the world – a kilogram of fresh wasabi can cost you around $200.
Wowsabi produces only 100% real greenhouse-grown Canadian wasabi. All our wasabi is non-GMO and our products contains no gluten, soy or dairy.
Wasabi isn’t exactly what you’d call a quick crop. In fact it can take up to 24 months to reach maturity, which means that each plant requires a lot of care and attention to reach its full potential.
Traditionally, Japanese people got the benefits of wasabi by grating it. But once grated, wasabi must be consumed within 15 minutes or its potency is dramatically reduced.
Wasabi is said to have six health benefits – it is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, anti-asthmatic, anti-fungal, and chemo-protective. So you can see why people have been using it as part of herbal medicine for more than a thousand years.
A wasabi plant has three main parts: the roots, the leaves and the above-ground stem or rhizome. Each part has different health benefits, so Wowsabi products use the whole plant.
Wowsabi is the first and only licensed manufacturer of pure wasabi capsules in Canada. We dry and powder our wasabi, to make it easy for you to get all the original wasabi nutrients.
With studies identifying its powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and chemo-protective properties, wasabi is becoming the supplement of choice for today’s active, health-conscious, won’t-be-slowed-down people just like you. Click here to find out how you can improve your overall wellness with our premium wasabi products.