Wasabi, (Wasabia japonica) is commonly known as the Japanese horseradish used to enhance the enjoyment of sushi. This spice is a member of the Cruciferae family of plants; its rhizome, the creeping underground stem, is ground into a green paste and used as a condiment. Oral ingestion of wasabi causes a transient burning sensation in the nose, and there is a widely held notion that this produces a decongestant effect. This conclusion is anecdotal, because there have been no scientific studies to prove this concept.
The pungent ingredient in wasabi that causes the nasal burning sensation is allyl isothiocyanate, a chemical also found in mustard and horseradish. The toxicity of allyl isothiocyanate is low, and it is not considered a human carcinogen. It has been produced commercially for more than 60 years.
While there is a subjective improvement in nasal breathing after eating wasabi, knowledge of an objective decongestant effect may have some clinical utility. For example, wasabi may be useful in treating congested patients with hypertension or heart disease, in whom traditional adrenergic decongestants would not be the best regimen. Also, some patients may prefer herbal remedies to traditional western medicines. A temporary decongestant may also have some use if administered before a nasal saline irrigation to improve the lavage.
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World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
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