cooking, occupies an important place in home remedies too. Asafoetida
is a latex gum obtained from several perennial plants belonging to the genus Ferula, it is mainly obtained from a species called Ferula Asafoetida (botanical name). Asafoetida gum has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses. Asafoetida is native to Iran and Afghanistan, though it is not native to India, it is considered a prize condiment and has been used from ancient times both in traditional medicine and in cookery. Asafoetida has bitter taste, pungent and fetid smell that many dislike. If we
touch asafoetida with our hands, the smell will linger even after we
wash our hands with soap. Since it has a fetid smell, it was named as “Asafoetida” meaning a resin that smells bad in Latin. Asafoetida Meaning in Different Languages: Asafoetida is popularly called Hing | Heeng in
Hindi, “Perungayam” in Tamil, Devil’s Dung in English, Hing in Marathi, Inguva in Telugu, Kayam in Malayalam, Hinga in Gujarati, Ingu in Kannada, Hing in Urdu & Punjabi, Hingu in Sanskrit, Tyib in Arabic and Hengu in Oriya. Asafoetida Medicinal Uses: Asafoetida has anti spasmodic, expectorant, stimulant, emmenagogue, laxative, carminative, vermifuge, anti convulsant, anti microbial, anti hypertensive, anti coagulant and anti flatulent properties. Asafoetida Nutrition: 100 grams of asafoetida contains 67% carbohydrates, 16 % moisture, 4 % fiber, 1 % fat and 295 calories. Chemical Constituents: It is made up of 40 to 65 % resin, 25 % gum and 10 to 17 % volatile oils. How Is Asafoetida Gum Resin Extracted? Ferula asafoetida plant has massive taproots from which the gum is extracted when the plant is almost 4 to 5 years old. For extracting the gum, the stem is cut close to the taproots from which a white milky latex flows out which is collected. After a few days a fresh cut is made and the process is repeated. The whole process gets completed after several weeks. The resin is greyish white when extracted but turns dark later. The latex is usually
collected in earthen pots and dried. The asafoetida we get in the markets is not pure asafoetida, it is actually compounded asafoetida that contains only around 30 % asafoetida resin along with gum Arabic and rice flour. How To Buy Asafoetida? We get asafoetida either packaged in solid
blocks or powdered and packaged in easy to use plastic containers. I always prefer to buy asafoetida in blocks, as they
remain fresh longer. How To Use Asafoetida? When we buy it in block form, when we open the packet it will be pliable, immediately pinch it into small pieces (like shown in the picture), shade dry spread on a plate. Never sun dry as it will all melt into a big lump. After a few hours,
the pieces would have hardened, remove then from the plate (they would
have stuck at the bottom but you can easily remove it with a sharp knife) and store in an airtight bottle and use. Where To Buy Asafoetida? Asafoetida can be got in all departmental stores in India. If you are living abroad you can try for it in Indian stores. We also get asafoetida essential oil in the markets which has all the similar properties, give it a try too. How To Make Asafoetida Powder? I would suggest making your own hing powder | asafoetida powder at home. To make asafoetida powder, take the asafoetida pieces in empty kadai and fry continuously. The asafoetida pieces will swell and turn almost greyish white in color. Now switch off the flame, let cool and powder in a dry mixer and store. Asafoetida tincture: Asafoetida tinctures have been in use from ancient times, asafoetia can be mixed in high proof alcohol or water and used as a tincture. At home, we use asafoetida extensively in many dishes but only in small amounts, a tiny pinch will go a long way. All the recipes that tend to produce gas will contain asafoetida, especially I have never made dal without asafoetida. Since we
always have asafoetida at home, it is one of the first spice that we
turn to if any one is suffering from gas and indigestion. Apart from using it
for indigestion, we also use it as a home remedy for menstrual pain (you can read the anti spasmodic property here) ear
ache, body pain, asthma, to get rid of intestinal worms (you can read the anthelmintic properties of it here ) and toothache. Asafoetida Side Effects: Asafoetida has very low toxicity, however people with high blood
pressure should avoid taking asafoetida separately as it interferes
with pressure medications. Pregnant women and those suffering from blood
clotting problems should practice caution when taking asafoetida
separately in large doses.
10 Top Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses of Asafoetida | Hing | Perungayam for Health, Beauty & Skin:
1. FOR STOMACH DISORDER (Gas, Acid Reflux & Indigestion):
Asafoetida is an amazing spice to treat flatulence and expelling wind. Many suffer from gas when they consume lentils. Whenever you cook dals and pulses, adding asafoetida prevents the problem and helps in quick digestion. Add asfoetida when you are doing the tadka. A small pinch of asafoetida will go a long way and if you add too much, the dish will turn bitter and will have the strong smell of asafoetida that you will never be able to get rid off.
2. FOR STINGS:
Asafoetida is very beneficial in treating stings of bees, wasps etc. The paste of asafoetida should be applied as a poultice on the affected area and left to dry. To make the paste, a small piece of asafoetida is rubbed on a stone along with little water till you get a thick paste. Apply this paste over the stings.
3. FOR EAR ACHE:
Asafoetida is also very effective in treating ear ache /ear pain. Next time you find your self with ear ache, heat coconut oil in small pan and add a small piece of asafoetida and let it melt. Once it gets to room temperature, apply the oil inside the ears with your hands. This is one of the effective remedies for ear pain that has been practiced for years.
4. FOR MENSTRUAL PAIN:
is really a boon for women as it helps to get rid of menstrual pain.
Asafoetida is fried in a empty kadai and powdered and added to the
buttermilk along with little bit of sugar and given to women with
menstrual pain and it really helps. Asafoetida contains
special chemicals called coumarins which can thin the blood thus making the blood flow
smooth. This remedy has been used for ages in our village side and can
greatly reduce the discomfort. The only con about this remedy is that
the smell of asafoetida is very strong and it lingers in the mouth for
quiet some time. But I think we can overlook that as it really helps
one with menstrual pain…..
5. FOR YOUNG BABIES:
For young babies, it is not advisable to give asafoetida internally. Even for toddlers, they will refuse to drink it as it has a very strong pungent smell. For treating young babies, we make a paste out of asafoetida and water and apply on the babies stomach. To know whether your baby is suffering from gas, touch their tummy, if it is tight and bloated than they are suffering from gas. Just apply asafoetida and they will be better in no time.
6. FOR TOOTHACHE:
Asafoetida is very good for treating tooth aches. To make a poultice for toothaches, make a paste of asafoetida and lemon juice in a mortar and pestle and apply with the help of a ear bud on the affected tooth. You will find your pain gradually decreasing.
7. FOR PIMPLES:
Asafoetida can also be used effectively for acne and acne scars. A pinch of asafoetida powder can be mixed with water and applied over the acne spots. Regular application will gradually cure acne flares. However do a small patch test before applying the paste.
8. FOR SKIN BLEMISHES:
Asafoetida is also very effective in treating skin blemishes. A simple face mask made with asafoetida powder and yogurt will greatly reduce the blemishes and age spots in the skin. Try do it regularly at least weekly once for best results.
Asafoetida can also be used to treat cough in children. A paste made by grinding asafoetida in water applied on the chest is a good home remedy to relieve cough.
10. MOUTH RINSE:
Asafoetida used a mouth rinse also gives good relief from tooth pain. To make the rinse, asafoetida and few cloves are boiled in cup of water. This water when used as a mouth rinse gives good relief from toothache