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wasabi can't clear your sinuses but it has health benefits
yahoo news ^ | 9/20/04 | allison mccook

Posted on 09/20/2004 6:20:03 PM PDT by modest proposal

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many people believe the sushi-seasoner wasabi clears their sinuses, but new research presented this week suggests that the spicy green paste may do the opposite.

U.S. researchers found that eating wasabi appeared to increase congestion in a small group of healthy volunteers, despite the fact that participants said they thought that the spice had cleared their nasal passages.

"Actually, wasabi is a congestant," study author Dr. David S. Cameron told Reuters Health. "It makes the space of your nasal passages smaller, but it makes you feel more open."

Cameron explained that wasabi probably clogs up sinuses by increasing blood flow to the lining of the nose. That extra blood takes up space, he said, which constricts the nasal passageway.

Wasabi may make the nose feel more open, Cameron noted, by causing changes that increase the cooling effect of air breathed through the nose, or by stimulating flaring of the nostrils, which enables air to flow more easily though the nose.

Cameron and his team will present their findings Tuesday during the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation annual meeting in New York City.

Wasabi is made by grinding the stems of the Wasabia japonica plant into a paste. This plant belongs to the same family of plants as broccoli, cabbage and mustard.

While wasabi may not work as a decongestant, previous research has suggested that it is not without other health benefits. For instance, lab research shows that wasabi may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tubes, prevent platelets from forming blood clots, and may even fight asthma or cavities. And, appropriately for a condiment used to season raw fish, wasabi has antimicrobial properties.

During the current study, Cameron and his colleagues from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, California asked 22 people to dissolve a lentil-sized amount of wasabi on their tongues multiple times at one-minute intervals, and then report whether the spice affected their sinuses. The researchers also used a device to objectively measure participants' nasal congestion before and after tasting wasabi.

Cameron explained that he and his colleagues used the minimum amount of wasabi needed to cause burning in the nose, a hallmark of the ingredient.

Although people believed that wasabi helped open their nasal passages, it actually appeared to increase congestion.

"If you love wasabi, keep eating it," Cameron said. "But if you want to recommend it as a decongestant, think twice."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Japan; Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: health; sushi; wasabi
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for all the sushi lovers. I love wasabi and eat it straight.
1 posted on 09/20/2004 6:20:03 PM PDT by modest proposal
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To: modest proposal

I've found Vicks VapORub works pretty good and is not bad on eel.


2 posted on 09/20/2004 6:22:37 PM PDT by fat city (Julius Rosenberg's soviet code name was "Liberal")
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To: modest proposal
When I snort the stuff it always clears up the sinuses.
3 posted on 09/20/2004 6:23:20 PM PDT by TBall
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To: modest proposal

"WAAAAASAAAAAAAAAA-bi!"

4 posted on 09/20/2004 6:23:35 PM PDT by martin_fierro (Fred Mertz is THE MAN.)
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To: fat city

ROFL!!!


5 posted on 09/20/2004 6:24:05 PM PDT by Sunshine55 (Proud member of the Pajama Posse!)
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To: martin_fierro

oh its emotion eric. that guy is funny

www.emotioneric.com


6 posted on 09/20/2004 6:26:53 PM PDT by modest proposal
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To: modest proposal
Wasabi is mild.

Real men eat Habeneros. ;-)

7 posted on 09/20/2004 6:27:42 PM PDT by bikepacker67 (Sandy wasn't stuffing his socks, he was stuffing A sock.)
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To: modest proposal

I'm not sure about their data, when I eat Wasabi or Horseraddish, they truly clear my sinuses. Love the burn too!


8 posted on 09/20/2004 6:27:42 PM PDT by xander
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To: xander

apparently that is all an illusion due to "nostril flaring" lol.


9 posted on 09/20/2004 6:28:49 PM PDT by modest proposal
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To: modest proposal
In a related story the FDA plans to regulate sashime as a wasabi delivery device.

Who needs rice.

Next they'll tell my TomYam does'nt clear my sinuses eather.

10 posted on 09/20/2004 6:29:17 PM PDT by Dinsdale
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To: modest proposal
The researchers also used a device to objectively measure participants' nasal congestion before and after tasting wasabi.

Among the many interesting aspects of being a scientific researcher, objectively measuring nasal congestion can't really be near the top of the list.

Sushi BUMP!


11 posted on 09/20/2004 6:29:35 PM PDT by spodefly (A bunny-slippered operative in the Vast Right-Wing Pajama Party.)
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To: TBall

Wasabi is a key ingredient in rocket fuel.


12 posted on 09/20/2004 6:29:39 PM PDT by Rebelbase ("let them go naked for a while"...Theraaazaaaaa Heinz-Kerry)
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To: modest proposal

Wasabi, pickled ginger and sashimi.......yum. Had some last Friday and ate a lot of wasabi. And it did clear my sinuses.


13 posted on 09/20/2004 6:30:47 PM PDT by dennisw (There)
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To: modest proposal

I'll never forget my first experience with wasabi. My wife knew what it was and didn't warn me before I put a nickle size portion in my mouth.

Yeooooooowwwwww!


14 posted on 09/20/2004 6:30:50 PM PDT by notforhire (It riles them to believe that we perceive the web they weave.)
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To: modest proposal

Wasabi powder is my secret ingredient for Bloody Marys. Although it is not yet widely recognized, I make the world's best.


15 posted on 09/20/2004 6:31:05 PM PDT by southernnorthcarolina (History was a much easier subject when I was a kid. There was less of it.)
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To: spodefly

Stop it, you are making me hungry.


16 posted on 09/20/2004 6:32:13 PM PDT by machman
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To: bikepacker67
Real men eat Habeneros. ;-)

Real men (and women) not only eat them, but grow several varieties of them!!!!!!!

17 posted on 09/20/2004 6:32:43 PM PDT by Gabz (Hurricanes and Kerry/Edwards have 2 things in common - hot air and destruction.)
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To: spodefly

You're making me hungry!!!!!!!!!!


18 posted on 09/20/2004 6:33:26 PM PDT by Gabz (Hurricanes and Kerry/Edwards have 2 things in common - hot air and destruction.)
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To: bikepacker67

Real men snort habenero seeds


19 posted on 09/20/2004 6:33:50 PM PDT by Starstruck
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To: martin_fierro
He must be ordering a Ninja Burger!

(With extra wasabi sauce!)

20 posted on 09/20/2004 6:36:33 PM PDT by uglybiker (Urrrrrrgh! Kerry! Baaaaaaaad!!!!!!..................Frank N. Stein)
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To: modest proposal

Mmmm, wasabi!

http://www.freshwasabi.com


21 posted on 09/20/2004 6:37:16 PM PDT by opbuzz
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To: dennisw

A friend of ours just got my husband and I hooked on sashimi. I've always had an aversion to uncooked meat and fish but I am mad about raw tuna. It has become our nightly appetizer and I whip up a mean wasabi. My husband isn't happy unless he feels the burn.


22 posted on 09/20/2004 6:38:18 PM PDT by surrey
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To: southernnorthcarolina

Try it in mashed potaoes! YUM!


23 posted on 09/20/2004 6:39:33 PM PDT by surrey
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To: notforhire
I'll never forget my first experience with wasabi. My wife knew what it was and didn't warn me before I put a nickle size portion in my mouth.

When I was a teenager I had a Japanese friend do that to me. I would have killed him, if I could have moved!

24 posted on 09/20/2004 6:39:33 PM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon (Blogosphere ... the 21st Century Revolution)
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To: opbuzz

"In the last twenty years, because of low supply of fresh Wasabi rhizomes, substitutes made of mixtures of horseradish, mustard and food coloring have taken the place of freshly prepared Wasabi. Other parts of the Wasabi plant are also used. The leaves and petioles are picked or can be powdered for use as Wasabi flavoring, used now in many foods. "

that article you posted said most of the wasabi you get in restaurants is just horseradish with food coloring added.

hmmmmm


25 posted on 09/20/2004 6:40:27 PM PDT by modest proposal
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To: martin_fierro
"WAAAAASAAAAAAAAAA-bi!"

WASSUP!!!!!?????

26 posted on 09/20/2004 6:40:31 PM PDT by meyer (Proud member of the Pajamarazzi!)
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To: modest proposal

Why do I have the feeling, somewhere along the line, my tax dollars paid for this study?


27 posted on 09/20/2004 6:42:48 PM PDT by kingu (Which would you bet on? Iraq and Afghanistan? Or Haiti and Kosovo?)
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To: modest proposal
All this time I've been eating wasabi, apparently I should have been snorting it.
28 posted on 09/20/2004 6:44:11 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: surrey

Tuna is also my favorite sashimi. It's fresh and natural unlike the salmon which is fish farmed. Powdered mustard can substitute for wasabi. I like the rice but sushi has too much of it.

These days most restaurant tuna for sashimi has been flash frozen at very low temperatures to keep it at it's peak. So it can be shipped inland. This also kills of any bacteria.


29 posted on 09/20/2004 6:44:36 PM PDT by dennisw (There)
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To: notforhire
I put a nickle size portion in my mouth.

Nickle sized? You were lucky. The first time I had wasabi, I was eating alone, w/no one to warn me. I thought it was beautiful, all cool green. I put a big ole, mashed potato sized, forkful in my mouth with no idea what it was, but how bad could it be, right?

That'll learn me.

30 posted on 09/20/2004 6:44:38 PM PDT by radiohead (Burn in hell, Kerry.)
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: TBall
Me too.

For years when I've had migraines due to allergies, I've used Pepsi or Coke and large amounts of wasabi to clear my sinuses and relieve my headaches (I can't do decongestants due to prostate). I love wasabi on my salmon burritos.

However, wasabi leads to raw fish, which leads to Mercury (methyl Hg) poisoning. I've had to quit all fish for six months since I'm 44.3 ug/L. It's the coal fired plants. More nukes.

32 posted on 09/20/2004 6:52:41 PM PDT by 103198
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To: Gabz

I had a Holliday Express moment at lunch with some work friends. Someone asked me what the little blob of green stuff on his plate was. Being the helpful person that I am, I told him it is wasabi, made from the eyes of flying fish... very expensive delicacy... if you don't want it, I'd be happy to take it.

About a month later, a japanese coworker walked up to me with a smile and said "flying fish eyes?"

We had a good chuckle.


33 posted on 09/20/2004 6:53:59 PM PDT by glock rocks ("Bush is playing chess, and Kerry is playing checkers." - Dick Morris)
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To: 103198
Mercury in fish is from underwater volcanos (that's the theory anyhow).

But more nukes less kooks anyhow.

34 posted on 09/20/2004 6:54:23 PM PDT by Dinsdale
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To: modest proposal

Isn't this that religion from Saudi Arabia that has been causing all the trouble?


35 posted on 09/20/2004 7:00:31 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I'm an archaeologist. I Work For A Living!)
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To: glock rocks

ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!

That's really funny.

We love the stuff in this house -- but what would you expect from folks who don't think twice about growing 15 different varieties of hot peppers in the garden? which reminds me - I've got to get out there in the morning and get to pickin'!!!!!!!

For some strange reason the peppers were about the only things that survived the flooding and deer this summer.


36 posted on 09/20/2004 7:01:54 PM PDT by Gabz (Hurricanes and Kerry/Edwards have 2 things in common - hot air and destruction.)
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To: modest proposal

baloney- they obviously did not try it


37 posted on 09/20/2004 7:04:43 PM PDT by Mr. K
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To: Dinsdale
Interesting about volcanoes. I'll have to check it out. All my recent reading (and research years ago in the mid '70s) has pointed to coal plant effluent. Volcanoes would make sense for sea food but it doesn't address lakes and ground water, which seem to show increases in Hg concentration.

You're right, more nukes, less kooks - and Jane Fonda goes down more than nuclear plants.

38 posted on 09/20/2004 7:13:02 PM PDT by 103198
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To: TBall

Wasabi snooter!


39 posted on 09/20/2004 7:14:15 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: radiohead

Nasal Rush bump!


40 posted on 09/20/2004 7:14:19 PM PDT by notforhire (It riles them to believe that we perceive the web they weave.)
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To: xander
Horseradish... yes !! I've always thought it cleared the sinuses..
They didn't mention it in the article, but it sure sounds like horseradish acts just like wasabi... as a congestent..
41 posted on 09/20/2004 7:21:01 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: modest proposal
"... lab research shows that wasabi may inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tubes, prevent platelets from forming blood clots, and may even fight asthma or cavities. And, appropriately for a condiment used to season raw fish, wasabi has antimicrobial properties."

That's because fresh Wasabi straight kills everything it comes into contact with.

I love Wasabi. Awesome on steaks too!

42 posted on 09/20/2004 7:24:22 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: 103198
For years when I've had migraines due to allergies, I've used Pepsi or Coke and large amounts of wasabi to clear my sinuses and relieve my headaches (I can't do decongestants due to prostate).

There may be a link between the dialated blood vessels discovered in the article and migraine relief. I had bad migraines with nausea and find sushi to be a great help. I attributed the nausea relief to the ginger, but there may be more to it!

43 posted on 09/20/2004 7:28:10 PM PDT by myprecious
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To: notforhire

Almost passed out from it one wild night about 15 years ago near Jimbocho train station.


44 posted on 09/20/2004 7:30:16 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo ( MSM is the nanny watchdog of everyone/everything; yet they explode w/rage when THEY are audited.)
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To: The KG9 Kid

Wasabi with soy sauce and charcoal broiled Brats! mmmmmmmmmm!


45 posted on 09/20/2004 7:30:57 PM PDT by Covenantor (CBS Counterfeit But Sincere)
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To: modest proposal

I thought it was avocado dip once, scooped up and ate a ton and almost died.


46 posted on 09/20/2004 7:32:28 PM PDT by DaughterofEve (W)
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To: modest proposal; kallisti

wasabi bump !!!


47 posted on 09/20/2004 7:33:42 PM PDT by JMJJR (charlatan and exploiter)
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To: Covenantor
Make a wasabi marinade sometime. Haven't tried it with chicken, but steaks are par excellence.
48 posted on 09/20/2004 7:36:30 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: modest proposal
I like to add wasabi powder to plain old tuna salad for a nice kick, but it's great with sushi. I'm also quite fond of the pickled ginger served with sushi.

Believe it or not there are two great sushi places out here on the prairie ...neither affiliated with a bait shop.

49 posted on 09/20/2004 7:37:59 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: AmericanInTokyo

I love it now. Like another poster, I use it in my Bloody Marys.


50 posted on 09/20/2004 7:56:39 PM PDT by notforhire (It riles them to believe that we perceive the web they weave.)
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