7 Unconventional Uses for Wasabi Paste

7 Unconventional Uses for Wasabi Paste

Wasabi paste, also known as Japanese horseradish, is a popular condiment used mainly for sushi and other Japanese dishes. Known for its strong, spicy flavor and green color, wasabi offers some unique benefits beyond cuisine. Here are 7 fascinating ways to use wasabi paste outside the kitchen:

1. Clear Sinus Congestion

Wasabi contains compounds like isothiocyanates that give it antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The heat from wasabi can help relieve nasal congestion by:

  • Breaking up mucus – The spiciness helps thin mucus and clear nasal passages.

  • Reducing inflammation – Wasabi’s anti-inflammatory effects can reduce swollen nasal tissues.

  • Killing bacteria – The isothiocyanates have antimicrobial effects to fight infection.

To use wasabi for congestion relief, mix a small amount with hot water and inhale the vapors. Be careful not to get too close, as the fumes can irritate the sinuses.

2. Soothe Sore Throat Pain

Along with congestion, wasabi can ease a sore throat in multiple ways:

  • Numbing – Wasabi slightly numbs sore throat tissues, providing temporary pain relief.

  • Reducing inflammation – The anti-inflammatory effects can reduce throat swelling and discomfort.

  • Fighting infection – Wasabi’s antimicrobial properties combat bacteria that cause sore throats.

Mix a pea-sized amount of wasabi with warm water and gargle. The numbness sets in quickly, but be careful not to ingest wasabi, as it can irritate the throat.

3. Deter Insects and Pests

Wasabi contains compounds like allyl isothiocyanate that are irritating and toxic to many insects and arthropods. It can work as a natural repellent and pest deterrent. Ways to use it include:

  • Applying around doors/windows – Create a paste and spread it to deter crawling insects from entering.

  • Mixing with water and spraying plants – The spray can deter aphids, caterpillars, and other plant pests.

  • Placing open paste containers in problem areas – The fumes alone can repel many bugs.

Use caution and properly ventilate areas, as the fumes can irritate eyes and airways in people as well.

4. Soothe Minor Burns or Sunburn

The numbing sensation from wasabi can provide relief for minor burns, including sunburns. To use:

  • Mix a small dab of paste with water and apply to the burn.

  • The cooling effect helps take away pain and discomfort.

  • Reapply after the numbness wears off if needed.

Avoid using too much, as wasabi can dry out skin. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

5. Make a Natural Wasabi Toothpaste

Wasabi’s antimicrobial effects make it useful for oral hygiene. Adding a small amount to natural toothpaste can:

  • Freshen breath – Wasabi kills odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

  • Reduce plaque – Antimicrobial isothiocyanates inhibit plaque formation and tooth decay.

  • Whiten teeth – Wasabi acts as a mild abrasive to remove stains safely.

Mix about 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste with a teaspoon of baking soda and few drops of water. Test on a small area first to check for sensitivity.

6. Alleviate Arthritis Discomfort

The isothiocyanates in wasabi have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Wasabi can provide localized relief for arthritis symptoms:

  • Ease swelling and stiffness – Applying wasabi paste to affected joints can reduce inflammation.

  • Temporarily numb pain – The numbing effect gives temporary pain relief.

Mix a pea-sized amount with a carrier oil and massage into sore joints. Avoid contact with eyes and sensitive skin.

7. Make a DIY Facial Skin Treatment

Wasabi offers benefits for facial skin care due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects:

  • Fight acne – Wasabi inhibits bacteria linked to acne breakouts.

  • Reduce inflammation – The anti-inflammatory effects calm irritated skin.

  • Exfoliate – Wasabi gently exfoliates to reveal fresher skin.

To make a treatment, mix 1 teaspoon wasabi paste with 2 tablespoons plain yogurt. Apply to face, leave on 5-10 minutes, then rinse. Always test on a small area first.

Wasabi paste certainly has unconventional applications beyond sushi. With its unique properties, it can be an effective natural remedy for various health and household uses when used properly. Be aware of precautions, try small amounts first, and enjoy the possibilities of this spicy paste.