In laboratory experiments on colon cancer cells, an extract of wasabi activated the death processes, or apoptosis, that all healthy cells demonstrate. By comparison, cancer cells don’t die, but continue to grow and develop.
The Japanese researchers say their findings support the use of wasabi as a functional food that fights cancer.
Wasabi, or Wasabia japonica, is part of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cabbages, horseradish and mustard. Although it’s served as mustard, it’s also known as Japanese horseradish.