While wasabi is widely known simply as a condiment that makes sushi even more palatable, a recent discovery may even make it more popular, but this time, as a hair product.
According to Tokyo Shimbun (via Inquirer.net), wasabi not only has the properties to bring out the flavor of the fish in sushi, but it also has the ability to regrow human hair. The new findings were recently announced by Kirin, a leading wasabi company in Japan.
The study’s research team reportedly discovered that the chemical isosaponarin, extracted from the wasabi plant’s leaves, can stimulate and awaken the cells that are responsible for hair formation in the human scalp.
It was revealed that the papilla cells reacted positively to the isosaponarin. The chemical even initiated the creation of proteins that make pathways, enabling nutrients to be delivered to papilla cells.
The reaction is reportedly similar to using minoxidil, a chemical used in common commercial hair growth products in the market. The difference? Wasabi’s isosaponarin is three times more effective. Researchers also noted that aside from the isosaponarin taken from the wasabi leaves, the 6-MSITC found in the edible part of wasabi also affects papilla cells.
It is important to note, however, that eating wasabi does not stimulate hair growth. It needs to be lathered on the scalp for it to work.
Also keep in mind that not all “wasabi” products on the market contain real wasabi. SoraNews24 recommends checking the labels indicating “本わさび使用” (contains real wasabi ) and “本わさび入り” (contains less than 50% of Japanese wasabi) on the wasabi tubes.