Asafoetida is an age old medicine and is often referred as ‘Devil’s Dung’. It is a plant growing in arid areas and goes by the botanical name Ferula foetida and Ferula assafoetida. It is known to be grown in Aral regions since time immemorial. Asafoetida is the dried latex produced from tap roots of a herbal plant called Ferula. The powder is produced from this latex.The Asafoetida powder benefits on wellness are immense.
Asafeotida is known as “Heeng” in India and widely used to flavour food replacing onion and garlic.Onion and garlic are considered impure food by nobles in India. It has a pungent smell when raw but gives a very strong flavor to food when cooked. The latex obtained from the ferula plant is dried and powdered for common use.
Heeng is widely mentioned in several ancient scriptures as an ingredient which is not only used for culinary purposes, but also for several therapeutic benefits.Interestingly, India does not produce Heeng but accounts for more than 40% consumption. Ancient texts in the Khorasan region have praised heeng for its several benefits. Ayurveda recommends it as a solution for gas related problems.
It use as a everyday spice is highly recommended for the millennials. Asafoetida is a wonder spice and its various beneficial effects are discussed here.
Asafoetida has been used as a home remedy for stomach problems since ages. It is an essential kitchen item in almost all Indian households. Asafoetida powder benefits on digestion is astounding. That is the reason for its popularity thorughout the Indian sub-continent and in Khorasan region upto the Mediterranian regions.
Asafoetida is loaded with anti-spasmodic along with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing bloating, flatulence, gas and irritable bowel syndrome. It is widely used in pickles, sauces and curries.
One way of using asafoetida is to sprinkle it over soup. Take care to sprinkle a small amount only as the taste is very strong. Otherwise, sprinkle asafoetida powder in warm oil before frying vegetables or pulses.Asafoetida is known to fight intestinal worms. Using asafoetida powder with warm water is said to provide relief in cases of heartburn and indigestion. It is a known laxative and helps in preventing constipation.
Try making asafoetida part of your everyday diet if you suffer from indigestion effecting your wellness.
A Blood Thinner
Asafoetida is a known blood thinner and an apt replacement for Garlic. Besides, it’s anti-biotic properties helps in keeping the blood clean.
Asafoetida contains the vital compound Coumarin. This vital compound promotes the secretion of the hormone progesterone in the body helping in easy blood flow. With a smooth blood flow in our body, it helps in reducing our blood pressure.The blood thinning effect has a vital role in easing menstrual cramps. This is a handy home remedy for women during menstruation to relieve lower abdomen and back pain.
It is known to assist the pancreatic cells in secreting more insulin in the body which results in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Regular usage of asafoetida helps in maintaining heart health by lowering bad cholestrol-the LDL cholestrol.
With so many benefits occuring out of regular usage of asafoetida, it is strongly recommended to make it a part of your kitchen store.
(For more on the Health and Wellness Benefits of Garlic click here)
Solution to Pulmonary Problems
Asafoetida owes it strong odour due to its sulphur content. However, this odour is useful in treating pulmonary conditions and comes handy as a home-based remedy for treating cough and cold.
The resin extract is rich in diuretic, anti-spasmodic and analgesic properties.It can be inhaled by mixing it with hot water for treating pneumonia, whopping cough and asthma.Inhalation provides immediate relief from coughing in such cases.
It helps in relieving chest congestion and phlegm. A paste consiting of asafoetida powder and water applied on chest does the necessary in providing relief. Asafoetida powder taken with garnished ginger and honey provides relief to the respiratory tract.
Precautions in Use
There are several other known benefits of using asafoetida.The extract from the dried stem and leaves are known aphrodisiac. It is one of the most common herbs prescribed for treating hysteria and other nerve conditions. Asafoetida powder is useful to take away insect and mosquito sting. However, most of the effect of asafoetida are known through folk-lore and yet to be proven through modern medical research.
Besides, due precuations must be exercised while using asafoetida. It is advised not to feed it to infants, as it can lead to internal bleeding. Similarly, it is not to be taken by pregnant or lactating women. It can cause bleeding disorders in the infant as it will pass through to the infant through mother’s milk.
Blood clotting may be slowed down on asafoetida usage.Therefore, it is not recommended for people who have undergone a surgery recently or are planning a surgery. In some cases, too much of asafoetida causes swelling of lips and can cause bloating and gas. Some people are allergic to asafoetida causing diarrhea in them.
Generally, a small pinch taken throughout the day is enough to pass on the health benefits. Anything more than half tea-spoon can cause different effects not intended for health benefits.
Asafoetida is not so popular in all parts of the world except few regions. However, the health benefits are well-known in the India-Mediterranean belt. The health benefits are extracted due to its anti-infalmmatory, anti-sposmadic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
The asafoetida powder must always be taken in contolled amount and only a few sprinkles are sufficient. You can feel the strong aroma and pungent taste it generates which would normally desist you from taking more. Never take in quantities exceeding more than half tea-spoon. Follow the precautions of not feeding to infants, pregnant or lactating women. Besides, do not use if any surgery is due or you have had any surgery.
Make asafoetida powder one of the essentials in your kitchen store. Almost all Ayurvedic digestive preparations available in stores or online contain asafeotida.
Do leave your opinion and experience on using asafoetida powder in the comment box below.