Wasabi provides numerous health benefits. Regular consumption of wasabi can help prevent certain types of cancer, improve cardiovascular health, relieve pain from arthritis and inflammation, improve respiratory conditions and assist in the fighting of bacterial infections.
Wasabia japonica, the scientific name of wasabi, is related to the Brassicaceae family of mustards, cabbages and horseradishes. Although wasabi is referred to as Japanese horseradish, it is not a member of that genus. Wasabi is generally difficult to grow and is an expensive plant rarely found outside of Japan. Wasabi pastes and powders shipped overseas are often made of horseradish, mustard, starch and food coloring instead of the actual plant.