Asafoetida is a latex gum derived from the species of a perennial herb called Ferula. It has a great flavor and aroma. Asafoetida or Hing is a necessary ingredient in Indian Cuisine. It can change the taste of the ordinary dish to a delicious one.
The plant is native to Afghanistan and Iraq. Still, the herb is most common and widely used in India as dried, ground, and powdered spice added to almost all the dishes and curries because the herb has high digestive properties.
This substance was used in the Roman Empire as a natural medicine to treat various health issues like hysteria, respiratory problems. Most of the traditional medicine across the world have included Asafoetida in their practices. It shows the values of medicinal properties hidden in this herb.
Besides adding flavor to food, Hing has various health benefits because of its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, carminative, sedative, and diuretic activities.
Today’s herbal medicine system involves this herb in treating asthma, nervous conditions, bronchitis, and cough.
A few studies provided evidence that the herb can work as an antispasmodic, natural laxative, sedative, expectorant, and digestive agent—people of medicine call this herb a Food of Gods considering its medicinal and therapeutic powers.
Let’s see the health benefits and medicinal uses that this resinous gum has been offering for humankind for decades.
What is Asafoetida?
Asafoetida is technically a resinous gum extracted from the large and carrot-shaped roots of perennial fennel plants that have Ferula Asafoetida as a species name. The dried sap derived from the roots and stems of the plant is ground and used. Though it is native to Iranian countries and Afghanistan, the herb powder is the most commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisine.
The tree is in gray to white when fresh and turns to dark yellow, red, and then brow color when aged. The resin is hard and difficult to grate, so it is usually crushed before using it.
The spice has a strong and pungent odor that is because of the high concentration of sulfur contents. Because of the unpleasant smell of the spice, it is called Stinking gum.
However, when it is powdered and cooked, the flavor and aroma it gives are simply unbelievable. In India, the herb is called Hing, which is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat gas and digestion troubles, kidney stones, and bronchitis. In the Middle ages, this dried gum was used to treat infections by applying it around the neck.
The hing powder available in today’s market has only 30% of Asafoetida resin, remaining are rice flour, and Arabic gum.
The other names of Asafoetida that attributing the limitless health benefits and beauty benefits are foods of the gods, jowani badian, Devil’s dung, hengu, hing, ingu, kayam, stinking gum, and ting.
History of Asafoetida
Asafoetida is found in native to Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Eater Iraq, where the plants grow between 600 and 1200 meters above sea level. The herb does not originate from India, but it has been used in Indian cuisine and medicine for centuries.
The common name “asafoetida” originated from the Farsi word aza, which means resin, and the Latin word foetidus, which means extremely unpleasant smell.
During American Wild West days, asafoetida mixed with other strong aromatic spices was given to cure alcoholism.
Asafoetida Scientific Classification
|SCIENTIFIC NAME||Ferula Asafoetida|
|SUBKINGDOM||Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)|
|INFRAKINGDOM||Streptophyta (Land plants)|
|SUPERDIVISION||Spermatophyta (Seed plants)|
|DIVISION||Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)|
|FAMILY||Apiaceae /Umbelliferae (Carrot family)|
|GENUS||Ferula L. (Ferula)|
|SPECIES||Ferula assa-foetida L. (Asafetida)|
Asafoetida or Ferula Asafoetida is a herbaceous, monoecious, perennial plant from the Apiaceae family. The tree grows up to 2 meters height and has 30 to 40 cm circular mass of leaves.
The stem leaves have broad petioles. The flowering stems have 2.5 to 3 meters height and 10 cm thickness with the cortex that has several schizogenous ducts and contains the resinous gum.
Flowers have large compound umbels and pale green to yellow color. The thick roots are pulpy and massive. Like the stems, the roots also yield resin. The smell of the parts is distinctive and fetid.
The plant bears oval-shaped, thin, reddish-brown colored, flat, and foliaceous fruits with pronounced vittae. The fruits have milky juice and smell like Asafetida. The resin from the dried sap extracted from the roots and stems of the plant. The resin has a greyish white color and turns to dark brown or amber color when dried. The pungent smell and bitter taste are their main qualities. But, when cooked, the spice gives a smooth and juicy flavor to the dish.
Varieties of Asafoetida
Asafoetida is classified into two types, such as Whitish and Blackish. The white asafoetida has a strong smell and crystalline form. It offers many medicinal benefits and is known as diamond-like hing.
The Blackish is the one used in cooking that has an unpleasant smell and taste. As of now, we have many varieties of Asafoetida in the market. The asafetida should be solvated in water to remove the impurities and then boiled till the water evaporated.
Common Names of Asafoetida
|Botanical Name||: Ferula Asafoetida|
|English Name||: Asafoetida / Devils Dung|
|Tamil Name||: பால் பெருங்காயம் / Paal Perungayam|
|Telugu Name||: ఇంగువ / Inguva|
|Malayalam Name||: കായം / Kaayam|
|Kannada Name||: ಇಮ್ಗು / imgu|
|Hindi Name||: हींग / Hing|
|Marathi Name||: हिंग / Hing|
|Gujarati Name||: હિંગ / Hinga|
|Punjabi Name||: ਹੀੰਗ / Hinga|
|Bengali Name||: হিং / Him|
|Urdu Name||: ہیگ|
20+ Health Benefits of Ferula Asafoetida
Asafoetida is loaded with a myriad of medicinal uses and nutritional values like fiber, carbohydrates, potassium, iron, calcium, and abundance of essential volatile oils that benefits skin health.
Asafoetida has antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antispasmodic, anti-epileptic, anti-flatulent, anti-depressive, anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, diuretic, carminative, sedative, and many other clinical properties that make it a beneficial herb for health, skin, and hair.
The herb is extremely helpful in treating digestive problems, respiratory troubles, menstrual cramps, nervous problems, cardiovascular issues, etc.
1. Treats Bloating And Other Stomach Problems
Asafoetida is a traditional medicine used for stomach aches and problems like gas trouble, bloating, digestion, flatulence, and IBS.
The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of the herb powder help treat such health conditions. Add an amount of hing in your daily food and hing powder mixed water to digest it and avoid fat due to low digestive fire.
2. Treats Asthma
Asafoetida helps alleviate some respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, and dry cough with its anti-inflammatory properties. The herb can also be consumed to relieve phlegm and chest congestion because it is an expectorant and respiratory stimulant. It is also found that the herb contains antibiotic and anti-viral properties.
The volatile oil in the asafoetida resin gum is removed by the lungs, which is why this herb is an excellent medicine for asthma and respiratory issues.
Dry ginger powder, hing powder, and honey mixture is the best traditional medicine used to solve respiratory problems due to seasonal change.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure Levels
Asafoetida is found to be a natural substance to thin blood, which may help reduce the high blood pressure levels. It is packed with coumarin, a compound that helps regulate the flow of blood; thus, it prevents blood clots.
Some of the phytochemicals in Ferula species have been isolated and tested by scientists to prove their benefit on the cardiovascular system. Animal studies have established that Asafoetida resin gum can reduce arterial blood pressure significantly. The extracted gum is found to contain relaxant compounds that impose a positive approach to high blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
4. Relieves Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain is a nightmare for women. Asafoetida comes to alleviate your pain and give better relief. The herbs rescue from painful menstruation and cramps in the lower abdomen and back.
It is a natural blood thinner and helps in blood flow smoothly. It promotes secretion of progesterone to boost smooth blood flow, and thereby you get relief from pain. Mix fenugreek powder, a pinch of salt, and asafoetida powder with a cup of buttermilk and drink it during menstruation solves gas troubles and abdominal pains.
5. Reduces Headaches
Anti-inflammatory properties in Asafoetida lowers inflammation of blood vessels in the head; thus, it reduces headaches.
Add a pinch of asafoetida in a cup of water, heat, and drink it twice a day to get rapid relief from headaches.
Frequent intake of asafoetida has been found to soothe the headache pains. It improves the blood flow within capillaries and eliminates harmful free radicals, thereby it reduces pain and tension caused by headaches and migraines.
6. Heals Insect Bites and Stings
Stings and insect bites are extremely painful that prevent you from being comfortable and doing daily activities. Asafoetida is a source of antidote and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal medicine for insect bites and stings. Make a paste of garlic and asafoetida (Hing) and apply it to the infected areas.
7. Good Source of Antioxidants
Asafoetida is found to be a great source of antioxidants. The compounds in the plant protect the cells from damages due to free radicals. In other words, the herb helps protect against heart disease, chronic inflammation, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Asafoetida has included high amounts of phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and tannins. These are the reasons for the potential antioxidant effects of Asafoetida.
Certain animal studies and lab tests have proved that asafoetida has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. But these potent antioxidant effects on humans need to be tested and researched.
8. Good For Digestion
One of the traditional uses of asafoetida in medicine and cooking is treating indigestion. It naturally works against toxins (AMA) that cause indigestion and remove them from the digestive tract. Thus it restored the normal pH level of the stomach by proper digestion.
A study conducted on 43 adults with severe indigestion for 30 days by giving 250 mg asafoetida contained capsules two times a day showed significant improvement in digestion, bloating, and overall well being.
Asafoetida boosts digestion by improving the effect of digestive enzymes. Additionally, the herb powder removes the bile from the liver that drives to digest the fats in the body.
Asafoetida prevents flora development in the intestines with the antimicrobial properties and lowers the chances of stomach aches and infections.
9. Reduces symptoms of IBS
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is technically a chronic GI (gastrointestinal) condition attributed to an upset stomach, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and other stomach infections.
Because of the digestive activities of asafoetida, the symptoms of IBS can be reduced and treated.
Two basic studies on adults with IBS showed that it significantly improved the IBS symptoms after the subjects took asafoetida supplements for two weeks. However, another study found no major effect on subjects with IBS,
As a result, the effect of asafoetida on treating symptoms of IBS is not proved yet. But, it could be a good alternative to garlic and onion for people with IBS because garlic and onion contain high amounts of indigestible fructans, fermentable carbs may cause gastrointestinal distress in persons with IBS.
Luckily, the flavor and aroma of asafoetida are moreover similar to onion and garlic, so it could be a good alternative for those who advised avoiding high fructan ingredients in their diet.
Individuals suffering IBS with bloated stomach, gas, watery diarrhea, and throat lumps while belching and swallowing are recommended to take asafoetida.
10. Controls Blood Sugar
Animal studies have found that asafoetida might help keep the blood sugar levels in check, and maintaining blood sugar is normal. It is an effective and natural medicine that won’t cause side effects.
In that study, 50 mg per kg of asafoetida extract is given to diabetic animals for four weeks. Researchers monitor the blood sugar levels of the animals. They found a lowering effect on sugar levels in the blood. The result is found to be caused due to phenolic acids, especially ferulic acid and tannins in the extract.
11. FODMAPs Diet-Friendly
FODMAPs mean fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are specific sugar contents present in food and completely taken by our body. These are fermented by bacteria easily and lead to GI distress.
It is not that easy to follow the FODMAPs diet, but if you do so, it will provide complete relief from GI issues and IBS. Onion and garlic are the two must avoid ingredients in FODMAPs diet. So, in this case, asafoetida is the perfect replacement for onion and garlic.
12. Reduces Flatulence
Asafoetida is a traditionally used herb to remove the wind from the stomach. It acts as an antiflatulent agent to treat and prevent excessive intestinal gas in the stomach. Asafoetida is commonly consumed with lentils and a few other legumes after food for this condition.
13. Antiviral Property
Recent studies demonstrated that Asafoetida is more likely to prevent and reduce the reproduction of dangerous viruses like H1N1. When the herb is used against the H1N1 virus that causes influenza, it stimulates its natural antibiotic properties against the virus.
However, there are still studies and researches being carried out on this effect of asafoetida. This herbal formula builds an effective immune system against influenza viral infections.
14. Anti-epileptic Property
Asafoetida is not only used for treating general cough and cold or stomach aches, but it is also used as an effective anti-epileptic Unani medicine. Unani is a medical practice in use since ancient times. It uses ancient science to treat various diseases. If you are confirmed for epilepsy, you must consult with your doctor before taking asafoetida.
15. Healing Benefits
Asafoetida has a long traditional history of being used as the main ingredient in healing practices for stomach infections and injuries. Recent researches showed that the herb could effectively heal burns and wounds. The topical application of the paste of asafoetida on the affected area will reduce pain and vanish the sigh of injuries.
16. Opium Antidote
Another great medicinal property of asafoetida is being an antidote for Opium. The herb might be used to treat infections in the gallbladder and many other stomach related problems. It is an effective digestive agent also. All these properties prove the competence of asafoetida as an Opium antidote.
17. Anti-acidic Property
Asafoetida is a natural alkali that dissolves excessive acids formed in the stomach. Drinking asafoetida mixed water will ease intestinal gas in the stomach. Being as an antiflatulent agent, it relieves acidic and gastric pains.
18. Mood Elevating Ability
Asafoetida benefits in irregular mood swings and stress. It is not a drug but a natural formula that stimulates the secretion of happiness hormones and reduces stress.
Asafoetida has been used as an anti-depressive agent also. It can elevate your moods and reduce the negative or depressing thoughts on your mind, making it a natural antidepressant.
It is one of the potent herbal formulae to manage stress and depression when used correctly. If you have recovered from mania, then avoid using asafoetida.
19. Increases Metabolism
In addition to treating and preventing various health problems, asafoetida increases the overall metabolism of the body. It acts as a digestive agent, and thereby it regulates fat metabolism. The herb prevents the LDL circulation in the body. With these actions, asafoetida guards you against heart problems caused by harmful cholesterol levels and accumulation.
20. Increases Physical Well Being
Asafoetida keeps you away from heart problems and maintains the proper metabolism of the body. It is used as a respiratory medicine for breathing troubles, asthma, cough, and dryness. All these things proved one fact that asafoetida potentially improves the blood flow to the body cells and tissues. The regular blood flow to all the parts of the human body ensures it gets needed oxygen, thereby reduces the chances of physical fatigue.
21. Benefits Respiratory System
Being an anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, antiviral, and expectorant substance, asafoetida is excellent natural medicine for respiratory disorders. The herb removes the excess phlegm and mucus from the body and neutralizes pathogens in respiratory tracts, thus boosts the immune system and prevents breathing issues like asthma.
22. Cancer Prevention
Various researches in the medical world are going on regarding treatment and prevention of cancer, and as such, asafoetida also has gained significant attention. With the high level of antioxidant properties like ferulic acid and umbelliprenin, asafoetida has been found to neutralize free radicals, directly associated with the removal of cancer cells.
Skin Benefits of Ferula Asafoetida
Apart from beautifying your skin, asafoetida can fight against skin infections and wounds also. Insect bites are annoying and painful. The itching and irritation caused by infections make you uncomfortable.
Asafoetida paste can be applied topically on affected areas that speed up the healing process, reduce inflammation, and soothe the itching sensation.
1. Reduce Acne
Asafoetida is a magical ingredient that can offer significant benefits in your skincare regimen. This nutritious herb prevents the growth of bacteria, causing acne on the skin. It protects the skin and acts as a foe to bacteria that develop unfavorable skin conditions. The antibacterial properties of the herb prevent the growth of rashes and pimples. Asafoetida face masks can heal your skin conditions and make them healthier.
To make a face mask for acne removal,
- Take Fuller’s earth, rose water, and asafoetida.
- Mix everything well, add a few drops of lemon juice and saute well.
- The paste is ready, now apply it on the affected areas.
- Use this mask two times a day to get optimal results.
This healthy natural face mask keeps you away from acne and removes acne marks. Asafoetida prevents secretion of excessive oil in the skin; thereby, it keeps pores from oil, dirt, and sebum.
2. Bring A Glow & Radiance
Asafoetida increases the blood flow to all body cells and tissues, making sure that every part of the body gets enough oxygen. In this way, asafoetida potentially increases the oxygen supply to the facial tissues, which in turn gives a lively and flawless fair skin. With all these, we know that asafoetida is a great substance to enhance the skin’s glow and radiance.
To make a face mask for radiance,
- Make a paste of asafoetida and rose water.
- Add a dash of sandalwood powder if available.
- Mix the ingredients well.
- Apply this face mask regularly to see better results.
Another benefit of the asafoetida face mask is that it removes the dark circles under the eye effectively.
3. Helps Anti-aging
Asafoetida is an amazing herbal substance that acts as an antiaging agent also. It ultimately reduces the wrinkles, aging spots, and fine lines in the face.
To make a face mask for Anti-aging,
- Mix Fuller’s earth and honey.
- Add a few drops of rose water and mix well.
- Add a dash of asafoetida to the mixture and beat well.
- Apply and massage the paste for 15 minutes.
Use this anti-wrinkle face mask regularly for optimum results.
4. Promotes Skin Whitening
Asafoetida helps increase the oxygen flow in facial tissues, which in the back gives fairness and removes dark spots, oiliness, and acne marks from the face. In addition to these abilities, the herb can also act as a whitening agent. It can naturally stop Tyrosine production in the skin. Tyrosine causes melanin production in the skin, making our skin dark, dull, and causes premature aging. Asafoetida helps to keep the Tyrosine production in check. So, asafoetida face mask on regular usage provides younger and blemish-free skin.
To make the face mask for skin whitening,
- Take a fresh medium-sized tomato, mash it, and add sugar in it.
- Beat the mixture and make it a tomato juice with fully dissolved sugar.
- Add a dash of asafoetida to the mixture and mix to a paste.
Apply this mask regularly to naturally improve the skin complexion to 2 tones.
5. Helps Anti-dryness
Stress and environmental pollution make hair and skin dry and unhealthy. Asafoetida, with few other agents, acts as an anti dryness mask that gives moist and smooth skin. The mask removes the acne marks, dark circles, and other unfavorable signs in the skin like cracks, freckles, wrinkles, peeling, and dullness.
To make the face mask for skin dryness,
- Take milk and rosewater, mix well, and add honey to it.
- Sprinkle asafoetida to this milk-honey mixture and beat it well.
- Keep this face pack in a refrigerator to maintain its effect and shelf life.
Use this face pack regularly to hamper all the unpleasant signs and marks of skin.
6. Treats Allergies And Corns
Other than beautifying the skin and removing signs of dryness, Asafoetida also helps to cure corns and skin allergies. Skin allergies are caused due to many reasons such as dryness, sun damage, too much exposure to light, unhealthy diet, and so on. Luckily, Asafoetida can fight with all these things and bring back your glowing and healthy skin naturally. You can see the difference with a few weeks of usage.
Hair Benefits of Ferula Asafoetida
The incredible healing properties of asafoetida help in strengthening and maintaining a healthy scalp, which in turn reduces hair fall, dryness and improves the strength of the hair, its quality, and texture. You get the smooth, silky, and dandruff and oil-free hair.
1. Good Hair Conditioner
Individuals who have dry, frizzy hair can make use of asafoetida, thanks to its moisturizing compounds. The herb powder can help keep the moisture in the scalp.
- Mix yogurt, asafoetida, and almond oil together to make a hair mask.
- Apply it on your hair from roots to tips and leave it for an hour.
- Later wash the hair with lukewarm water.
This asafoetida hair mask makes your hair silky, smooth, and stringer.
2. Controls Hair Fall
Asafoetida hair masks can improve hair texture. It protects the hair from heavy and unnatural hair fall. It is used as a natural solution to baldness and thin hair. The herb can effectively strengthen the hair follicles and controls dandruff, thus makes hair thicker and controls unnatural hair fall.
3. Maintains Scalp Health
The scalp is the platform where hair follicles are raised. When the scalp’s health gets affected, it directly affects the hair’s roots and makes it weaker. It leads to hair fall and damage. Asafoetida can naturally restore the scalp’s pH levels; thus, it helps maintain a healthy scalp.
It prevents the scalp from sweat, acne, and oil. Asafoetida hair masks naturally eliminate the acne, dandruff, oil, and dryness from the hair follicles, thereby texture, strength, and quality of the hair are improved.
Nutritional Values of Asafoetida
In its supplement form, asafoetida holds approximately 4% – 20% volatile oils, 25% gum, and 40% – 60% resin.
The essential oil component of ferula asafoetida contains a variety of high percentages of odorous compounds containing sulfur. It also includes Phytochemicals such as cadinene, pinene, and vanillin.
Resin is composed of asaresinotannol, ferulic acid, foetidin, kamolonol and umbelliferone.
A pinch of asafoetida powder in a dish adds one calorie without cholesterol, fat, sugar, or sodium.
Below are the nutritional values of Asafoetida for a serving size of 100 gms.
|Vitamin B3||0.0003 g||N/D|
Nutritional Benefits of Asafoetida
Let’s check the benefits of nutrients in the Ferula Asafoetida.
Asafoetida is loaded with fiber that helps in digestion and maintaining regular bowel movements. The herb reduces hyperglycemia and effectively controls blood sugar levels. It also helps to maintain healthy body weight.
Source of Carbs
Asafoetida is an excellent source of carbohydrates, thus improves the metabolism of the body. The herb is highly beneficial in improving heart health, maintaining digestive health, and promoting brain functions. It is a great mood elevator that helps prevent obesity.
Rich in Iron
Iron is the most needed nutrient for the human body. It is one of the essential nutrients in asafoetida also. It helps purify the blood, increases the count of red blood cells, and hemoglobin levels in the blood. Asafoetida, with an abundant amount of iron, helps treat anemia, reduces fatigue, boosts concentration, and overall immune system.
Powerhouse of Potassium
Asafoetida is a good source of potassium. Potassium in the herb acts as an electrolyte that balances sodium and helps maintain proper blood pressure. Potassium is essential for joint and bone health. The herb protects arteries from narrowing, thereby reduces the possibilities of heart attacks and provides good cardiovascular health.
Source of Calcium
Asafoetida contains moderate sources of Calcium, which is essential for dental and bone health. Regular intake of asafoetida may reduce the toothaches, strengthen bones and teeth, lowers the chances of kidney stones and colon cancer. It keeps you away from diseases like osteopenia, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis.
Volatile Essential Oils
There are two primary varieties of asafoetida, such as White and Black. Both types have essential volatile oils like α-pinene, α-terpineol, azulene, β-pinene, vanillin α- pinene, luteolin, umbelliferone, etc. These oils contain various medicinal properties such as antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. The herb becomes the powerful natural remedy for cold, cough, asthma, intestinal flora formation, and dental problems.
Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Asafoetida
- Take 250 mg of asafoetida, one teaspoon of betel juice and honey, mix everything well, and give for respiratory disorders like bronchitis, cough, and asthma.
- Take a piece of asafoetida, dissolve it in a cup of water. Soak the cloth in that solution and use it as a fomentation on the stomach to get relief from stomach ache because of indigestion.
- Take one teaspoon of asafoetida, camphor, and dried ginger, two teaspoons of cubeb, and mix well. Add a cup of milk in it and make it a paste. Use the paste as a therapeutic massage on the forehead to reduce tension and migraine.
- Take six centigrams of Asafoetida and fry it in a cleared butter. Add a teaspoon of fresh banyan tree latex and honey in it. Take this home remedy daily before sunrise to avoid premature ejaculation and spermatorrhoea.
- Take two teaspoons of bitter gourd juice and quarter teaspoon of asafoetida powder and mix well. Take this mixture to manage diabetes effectively.
- Take a quarter teaspoon of asafoetida, half teaspoon of onion juice and betel leaf juice, two teaspoons of honey, and mix everything well. Consume this thrice a day to reduce the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems.
- Take two teaspoons of lime juice, half teaspoon of asafoetida, and mix them well. Put the solution on heat. Use a cotton ball, dip it in a solution, and place it in an aching tooth to relieve the toothache.
- Gargling with Asafoetida mixed in water or taking asafoetida mixed with buttermilk will cope in enhancing the voice. It is a simple and natural therapeutic practice for singers who work on their voice modulations.
- Inject a piece of asafoetida in the same size to the Pearl millet grain in jaggery or a piece of banana, and eat this to get relief from Burping / Hiccups.
- For Hysteria, smelling asafoetida gum is extremely valuable.
- Take asafoetida and mix it in ghee. Massage the mixture to treat Urticaria.
- Smelling asafoetida gum potentially reduces hysteria.
- Take a pinch of asafoetida, mix it in water, and drink to treat Pneumonia.
Culinary Uses of Asafoetida
- Hing or Asafoetida has been used in Indian cooking for flavoring.
- If you get the hing in lumps form, crush it, and mix it in water and form a paste. Add this paste to your cooking. It gives fresh taste and rich aroma to the dishes. This handmade crushed powder from lumps is much stronger than powdered forms available in the stores, so use a little amount of this powder.
- If you like strong aroma in your dishes, roast the hing gum in oil for a few seconds and then add it in the dal curries. Hing usually gets burned quickly, so quickly roast and add it to the dish.
- A minute quantity of raw gum or powdered form of Asafoetida is added to dishes.
- Jains and other few communities avoid onion and garlic in their dirt. They replace these with asafoetida.
- Asafoetida smells amazing with ghee rather than oil. Dals, upma, curries, rasam, etc. have hing to enhance flavor and help digestion.
- A pinch of asafoetida powder and chopped curry leaves mixed with buttermilk is the best remedy for indigestion.
- Asafoetida can be dissolved very easily, so it has been used in meat dishes and soups. Soak a pinch of asafoetida in hot water and add it to the dish towards the end that retains the flavor and gives great aroma.
Traditional Uses of Hing / Asafoetida
Hing or Asafoetida is one of the essential flavoring spices used in almost all Indian kitchens. It is a usual spice, and when added to dishes, it enhances the flavor and aroma and is also beneficial for overall well-being.
1. Hingvastak Churna (Powder):
Hingvastak Churna or Powder is a natural digestive medicine available in the stores. The powder has carminative and digestive properties that help treat bloating, digestion, constipation, bad taste in the mouth, and colic.
The word ‘Astask’ in Hingvastak means Eight; hence the powder contains eight different herbal ingredients such as Hing (Asafoetida), Sonth (Dried Ginger), Pipali (Long pepper), Kali Mirch (Black Pepper), Ajwain (Carom Seeds), Kala Jeera (Black Cumin Seeds), Saindhava Namak (Black Salt), and Safed Jeera (White Cumin Seeds).
You can prepare this herbal formulation at your home. Take the required amount of all these herbs, dry everything in direct sunlight, and then grind them into a fine powder.
Take dosage advice from the doctors and take this powder regularly mixed in lukewarm water or tea. You can add the powder in your daily cooking also.
2. Hing Tailam (Oil):
Hing Oil is an amazing therapeutic ayurvedic medicine that has essential volatile oils and nutrients. The oil is highly beneficial in flatulence, impotence, stomach aches, dental problems, cold, and cough treatments.
How to use Hing Tailam
For stomach ache, colic pain, and menstrual cramps, mix 1 to 2 ml of sesame oil with a few drops of hing oil and massage it over the abdomen. The anti-inflammatory properties in the oil give better relief.
For chest and nasal congestion, bronchitis, asthma, and dry cough, mix 1 to 2 drops of hing oil in hot water and take it by steam distillation method or massage it on your back or chest.
For dental problems like gum infection, toothache, tooth decay, bad breath, and bleeding gum, mix a few drops of hing oil with lukewarm water and gargle it daily. The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of hing oil provide rapid relief.
For stings and insect bites, mix 1 to 2 drops of hing oil and garlic oil and apply it to infected areas. With the anti-inflammatory and antidote properties, the oil provides instant relief from the pain and itching.
How to Use and Store Asafoetida
Use: Asafoetida is an everyday spice in Indian cooking, but it does not mean you can add it to many dishes. It is mostly used in vegetarian recipes that use potatoes, cauliflower, peas, greens, etc. Whether it is for the main course or starters like soups, a pinch of asafoetida at the beginning will enhance the taste.
It is a common component of Tarkas, which are fried or made and added on dishes after cooking or before serving. In some cases, it can be fried in oil or ghee before adding other aromatic flavors and spices for 15 seconds till it started spreading its aroma.
Asafoetida is a complimentary background note spices like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried chilies, garlic, and ginger. All these things can be used alone for Tarka over curriers, veggies, or dals, or you can start your recipe with asafoetida. As the food cooks, asafoetida gradually dissolves and retreats in the background and lets other spices and flavors develop, but it never disappears.
In the end, you get the dish with varieties of flavors and rich aroma.
Store: Asafoetida features a stinky smell, so store it in an air-tight container that doesn’t let its aroma come out.
Use the same container for a month or replace it with a new one, but don’t use another spice container as the smell of the hing lingers within the box even after it is emptied.
Precautions of Asafoetida
Anything in limits is safe and healthy. Even high nutrient herbs can also create side effects when you take it in excessive dosage. Intake of asafoetida should be avoided if you have a history of the below-mentioned conditions.
- If you are about to go for surgery, you should avoid taking asafoetida because it can thin the blood, which may cause bleeding during and after surgery.
- If you have GI issues, don’t consume asafoetida. If you like to add it to your diet, get the proper consultations from your doctor.
- If you are already undergoing medication for blood pressure, avoid asafoetida as it might affect the treatments you took to control BP.
Side Effects of Asafoetida
There are only limited researches available on the safety of asafoetida for humans. The dosage of asafoetida used in cooking is said to be safe for almost everyone.
A study done on humans showed 250 mg of asafoetida two times per day for a month was safe and tolerated by the subjects.
The animal studies found that a high dose of asafoetida might cause gas, headaches, swelling of the mouth, and even diarrhea. An animal study on mice suggests the dosage above 1000 mg per kg of body weight may create possible toxicity.
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