Benefits of Asafoetida or Hing: the Digestive Spice
About Asafoetida Or Hing
Latin Name : Ferula assafoetida.
In India, it is called Hing or Heeng.
Some other common names are: food of the Gods, giant fennel, stinking gum, devil's gum, asant, yang.
Asafoetida is native to Afghanistan and India and is also cultivated in Iran and Pakistan,
Asafoetida is a spice that is derived from the dried latex or gum that exudes from the underground rhizome when cuts are are made on it. The plant is a perennial and has to be at least 4 years old before it is ready for producing the latex.
Raw asafoetida has a strong, unpleasant odor and is bitter in taste but imparts a smooth flavor to cooked foods. It is used in almost all Indian cooking and is also used in many pickles.
Pickles can be prevented from going bad by exposing the inside of the container/bottle to asafoetida smoke before filling it with pickle.
Asafoetida is available both in a solid waxy, lumpy form as well as the powder form. It is also available in tincture form now.
Nutrients In Asafoetida
297.000 K cal
4.000 micro gm
Minerals & Trace Elements
Health Benefits Of Asafoetida
- Relieves many digestive problems like flatulence, constipation, stomachache etc
- Has antimicrobial activity
- Acts as a contraceptive/Abortifacient
- In Ayurveda it is used to balance vata & kapha
- An antidote for opium
- Anti sapsmodic and anthelmentic
- Anti epileptic
- Nervine stimulant
- Anti inflammatory
- Fights Candida infections
- Anti cancer
- Relieves respiratory infections
- Relieves menstrual issues like pain, irregular periods and menstrual cramps
Benefits Of Asafoetida - Some Ayurvedic Remedies
Mix a pinch of asafoetida in hot water and apply around the navel. 1/2 gram of asafoetida can be consumed along with any food too.
If there is pain due to gas accumulation in the stomach then, boil 2 grams asafoetida in 500 ml of water til 125 ml remains. Drink this while still warm for relief.
- Pain In Ribs
Mix asafoetida in hot water and apply on the area of pain.
- Headache Due To Cold
Mix asafoetida in hot water and apply on the forehead.
Mix asafoetida in water and smell this for relief.
Mix equal quantities of asafoetida, rock salt, carom seeds and Inknut or Terminalia chebula fruit (choti harad). Grind them fine. Consume 1 tsp of this mixture with hot water 3 times a day.
Put a piece of asafoetida equal in size to a grain of Pearl Millet (bajra) in piece of banana or jaggery and consume this for relief.
- Worms In Children
Mix some asafoetida in water and apply this solution on the anus with a cotton ball.
- To Relieve Effects Of Opium Use
Mix 4 grams of asafoetida in water and drink.
Keep a small piece of asafoetida under the aching tooth for relief from pain.
Mix asafoetida in clarified butter (ghee) and massage with this.
Smelling asafoetida relieves hysteria.
Mix a pinch of asafoetida in water and drink.
- Menses Pain
Mix a pinch of asafoetida in buttermilk. Add 1/2 tsp fenugreek powder and salt to taste. Consume this.
Mix a pinch of asafoetida mixed in water. It brings on vomiting and removes the poison and its effects.
Smell asafoetida. It removes accumulated mucus.
Mix 1/2 gram asafoetida in hot water and gargle with this water.
- Weak Heart
Asafoetida gives strength to a weak heart, prevents blood from clotting and improves blood circulation.
Apply asafoetida directly on the affected spot.
Mix 1/4 tsp asafoetida in 2 tsp bitter gourd juice and consume. It regulates blood sugar levels.
Some Precautions With Asafoetida
- Those suffering from severe acidity, piles, blood pressure, blood disorders, liver problems should not consume asafoetida.
- Do not consume when taking blood pressure medicines,
- It thins blood and prevents clotting of blood.
- In excess, it can cause rashes, swelling of lips, burning sensation in stomach, nausea and vomiting.
- Pregnant women should avoid taking asafoetida as it induces miscarriage due to its abortifascient nature.
- Hotheaded persons should not consume it.
Some Unusual Uses Of Asafoetida/Hing
Apart from being used in cooking, asafoetida is used medicinally. It also has some unusual uses like:
- Using it to trap moths.
- Repelling spirits in the newborn in Jamaica.
- In magic spells, in Hoodoo, the African American traditional folk magic.
- The scent is used to as a bait for catfish, pike and wolf.
- As a pest repellent, an aid in plant growth and to increase crop yield.
How To Check If Asafoetida Is Pure Or Not
Sometimes, asafoetida is adulterated by mixing it with wheat flour and gum of the Gum Arabic (Kikar) tree.
Adulterated asafoetida when dropped in a glass of water sinks and settles at the bottom.
Pure hing slowly and completely dissolves in water making it milky and leaves no sediment. Also pure hing can be burnt by a flame.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.
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© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly