What is Wasabi?
Wasabia Japonica ( Wasabi ) is a perennial herb indigenous to Japan. It is a member of the Cruciferous family of vegetables. The plant grows about 2 feet tall, the rhizome or above ground root, is typically 4 -7 inches but can be longer. See pic. A wasabi plant has 3 main parts: the roots, the leaves and the above ground stem or rhizome.
It can take 12-24 months to reach maturity depending on variety, growing conditions and the size of plant desired.
Wasabi is also grown in China, Korea, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. In Japan wasabi is grown in mountain streams but it can be grown in soil and hydroponically in a greenhouse as we do.
What is real Wasabi?
Unless you buy wasabi fresh you may not be buying real wasabi. The easiest way to ensure you buy real wasabi is to buy it fresh. Many of the commercial available preparations ( powder and tubes of paste ) contain little or no real wasabi. (read the label ) Most people have never tasted real wasabi. We produce ONLY 100% real greenhouse grown Canadian Wasabi.
Has Wasabi been around for a long time?
Wasabi is one of the oldest traditional herbs or spices, as noted in the ancient Honzo Wamyo. The Honzo Wamyo is an ancient medicinal dictionary in Japan. The first mention of wasabi appeared in 918. Historical records indicate that wasabi has been grown in Japan for over 1000 years.
Why is real Wasabi so expensive?
Wasabi is difficult to grow, takes a long time to reach maturity and crops failures are common. It requires a very strict growing regime of PH, water temperature, CO2 levels, ambient temperature and pest control. This regime is expensive to implement and to maintain thus making wasabi very expensive.
Why do you sell Wasabi in capsules?
This is the most convenient way for consumers to get all the benefits that Wasabi has to offer. Fresh Wasabi is very expensive and hard to source. Once grated it must be consumed within 15 minutes or its potency is dramatically reduced. The taste is also quite strong and this puts some people off. Drying and powdering the plant and then making capsules allows us to retain much of the original nutrients. We only use 100% real Wasabi grown in our greenhouse in Canada.
Can’t I get all the nutrients I need by eating fresh cruciferous vegetables?
Yes in theory you can but you would have to eat a lot of vegetables and most people don’t. In addition most people overcook their vegetables which destroys most on the nutrients.
Are there other manufactures of Wasabi capsules licensed by Health Canada?
No we are the first and only licensed manufacturer of Wasabi capsules in Canada.
What about Wasabi capsules available over the internet?
While there are Wasabi capsules available over the internet they are NOT licensed by Health Canada or any other authority.
What are cruciferous vegetables?
Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Cruciferae family of widely consumed vegetables. They include broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, kale and root, radishes, horseradish, turnips and wasabi. Cruciferous vegetables contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates which are virtually unknown in other vegetables.
Are cruciferous vegetables particularly healthy?
Yes cruciferous vegetables are very healthy. They are a good sources of vitamin C, folate, calcium, beta carotene and are also a good source of fiber. They also have been shown to have important potential as cancer fighters ( see wasabi and cancer )
Have scientists studied cruciferous vegetables?
Yes. There have been over 600 studies. All Cruciferous vegetables contain substances called glucusinolates in quantities much higher than other vegetables. Glucosinolates are the precursors of compounds called isothiocyanates. Epidemiological investigations have demonstrated that the consumption of cruciferous vegetables protect against cancer more effectively than the total intake of fruits and vegetables ( Murillo et al., 2001 ). Furthermore, many studies have shown that ITC’s are beneficial to humans and offer some protection against cancer through several mechanisms ( Fahey et al., 1997, Juge et al., 2007, Nestle, 1998; Feskanich et al., 2000; Giovannucci et al., 2003 )
What are some of the other benefits of Wasabi?
Wasabi has been shown to have many benefits. These benefits include being : anti-microbial, anti- inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-fermentative and anti- carcinogenic.
What are glucosinolates?
Glucosinolates are odorless, biologically inactive precursors to a volatile group of compounds called isothiocyanates ( ITC ). Glucosinolates are chemically stable and biologically inactive as long as they are separated within the sub-cellular compartments of the plant. Physical rupture of the plant ( ie chewing, processing, tissue damage ) allows the enzyme myrosinase, in the presence of water, to transform glucosinolates into volatile isothiocyanates.
Does wasabi contain a variety of glucosinolates?
Yes Wasabi contains a variety of glucosinolates, each one of which forms a different isothiocyanate. ( ITC ). Different parts of the plant contain different glucosinolates which is why we use the entire plant in our powder.
What are ITC’s?
ITC’s are volatile compounds formed when the cell wall is ruptured and the enzyme myrosinase is allows to merge with the glucosinolate compounds.
Is wasabi rich in a specific ITC?
Yes wasabi is the richest source of 6 MITC.
Has 6 MITC been studied for its health properties?
Yes numerous studies have been done on wasabi 6-MITC
Do the various parts of the plant have unique properties?
Each part of the plant contains unique glucosinolates which yield different ITC’s.
Do you freeze dry your wasabi?
No. We use a proprietary microwave vacuum process which, because it operates at a lower temperature that other drying system, preserves more nutrients. Our cycle time is only 20 minutes vs. hours for other systems.
Is the preparation of Your Wasabi capsules regulated by a Government body?
Yes. Health Canada conducts a rigorous review before granting the 2 licenses required to make Natural Health Products, namely a Site License and a Product License. (see section on licenses)
What is the recommended dosage for your capsules?
The recommended dosage is 2-3 200 mg capsules/day. 3 capsules give you approx. 40% of the daily requirement of glucosinolates.