Asafoetida or Hing is a plant with a unique/unpleasant smell and bitter taste – a reason that aptly explains why it is also known by the name of “devil’s dung.”
This popular plant is also known by other common names like:
- Ase Fetide
- A Wei
- Crotte Du Diable
- Ferula Foetida
- Ferula Assa-Foetida
- Ferula Asafoetida
- Ferula Assa Foetida
- Ferula Pseudalliacea
- Ferula Rubricaulis
- Ferule Persique
- Food of The Gods
- Fum, etc.
The asafoetida resin of the plant is a gum-like material that boasts of many medicinal properties. This resin is made by solidifying the juice extracted from the cuts in the plant’s living roots, i.e., the roots are lacerated from which the juice is extracted and solidified to prepare the resin.
Scientific evidence backs the belief that chemicals found in asafoetida can combat various diseases. Browse through the myriad magical benefits of this herb in the points below:
1. It can cure irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It also offers protection against high blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
2. Apart from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the plant is also known to offer relief from irritable colon, upset stomach, bloating, intestinal worms, etc.
3. Coumarins are chemicals found in the plant that have blood thinning properties, which helps in curing problems related to blood clotting
4. Asafoetida is packed with anti-diabetic effects and helps in regulating blood sugar levels
5. Being a respiratory stimulant and expectorant, it has been used since time immemorial to treat diseases related to breathing problems and congestion including asthma, whooping cough (pertussis), hoarse throat, ongoing (chronic) bronchitis, H1N1 "swine" flu, etc.
6. Asafoetida acts as a nerve stimulant and is therefore attributed to offer relief from hysteria, insanity, convulsions, etc.
7. It also provides immediate relief from aching tooth, migraine, nausea and headache
8. It safeguards the body cells from free radicals, prevents the growth of malignant cells, and protects the body against cancer
9. It alleviates fatigue (both mental & physical) and acts as a therapeutic agent against depression (neurasthenia)
10. Anti-inflammatory compounds found in asafoetida provide immediate relief from various gynaecological problems like menstrual cramps, irregular periods and dysmenorrhoea. The herb is also used to treat candida infection and leucorrhoea (abnormal vaginal discharge) in women
11. Asafoetida can also be used topically (directly on the skin) for inhibiting bacterial growth and for treating corns and calluses
12. Asafoetida is also used as a fragrance ingredient in cosmetics and in enhancing flavor of various foods and beverages
13. It is used as a potent ingredient in products meant for repelling dogs, cats, etc.
How to use?
1. Drink a concoction made of warm water or buttermilk and half a teaspoon of the herb on an empty stomach everyday
2. Mix a spoonful of hing in a cup of hot water and use it as a poultice
3. The best way to use the herb is to add it as a flavoring/seasoning agent on your food