Wasabi paste is a common ingredient in Japanese cooking and is used especially in sushi dishes. Wasabi is a green paste that is made from natural ingredients and which contains a set of very spicy flavors. For this reason, it helps to augment the flavor of raw fish and simultaneously helps to serve as an antimicrobial as well.
The feeling that you’ll get after eating even a small portion of wasabi is oftentimes termed the “wasabi rush.” This rush is somewhat different for each person, but often involves a feeling of clearing of the sinuses. if you have previously been stuffed up, you may suddenly be able to breathe more easily through your nose. Otherwise, you may just be especially aware of the change in your sinuses. However, although many people have believed that wasabi paste clears your sinuses, recent studies have shown that it ultimately has the opposite effect, and that it really is responsible for plugging up your sinuses instead.
How Wasabi Paste Affects Your Sinuses
There are a couple of ways in which eating wasabi paste will help to make your nose feel more open, at least temporarily. First, the spiciness of the flavors of the paste will contribute to a general cooling of the air that comes into your nasal passageways as you breathe. This oftentimes gives the illusion of there being more space inside of your nose, or of having clearer sinuses.
A second way that wasabi paste might give the illusion of having more space inside of your nose or having clearer nasal passageways is that it helps to cause your nostrils to flare. When your nostrils flare uncontrollably, you’ll inadvertantly take in more air with each breath that you take. This also can give you the feeling of having more space available in your nose.
How Wasabi Paste Is a Congestant
Wasabi paste actually serves to congest your nasal passageways. The primary way that it accomplishes this is by stimulating the flow of blood to your nose. As blood fills up your nose in response to the spicy flavor of the wasabi, the blood vessels and mucus membranes inside of your nose become denser and clogged. The result is oftentimes a feeling of congestion that can last for several hours. If you’re already congested, this may or may not make the situation worse or the congestion more noticeable.
If you have been eating wasabi paste as a means of clearing up your sinuses, realize that this is only a temporary solution. Much better for your overall health and the clearing up of your sinuses on a permanent basis is the act of drinking plenty of water and other fluids. You should also eat plenty of fruits with Vitamin C and other immune system boosters. Certain medicines can help to clear out your nasal passages as well; ask a doctor for some additional recommendations and advice.