Know What Is Asafoetida And How It Benefits Health
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Asafoetida is the dried latex (gum oleoresin) released by the rhizome or tap root of numerous Ferula species, which are perennial herbs in the carrot family. It is manufactured in Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Northern India, and Northwest China (Xinjiang). Botanical sources differ depending on the area.

Asafoetida has a pungent odour, as indicated by its name, earning it the nickname "stinking gum". The fragrance fades when cooked; in cooked recipes, it imparts a smooth flavour similar to leeks or other onion relatives. Asafoetida is also referred to as "devil's dung" in English (and in many other languages).

Hing is usually mixed with herbs and hot oil and added to the dish at the last. The process of adding Hing is known as tempering. It usually means that added flavours (Hing, herbs) are added to the dish after the cooking process. 

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Recent studies have shown several promising activities, particularly relaxant, neuroprotective, memory enhancing, digestive enzymes, and many more benefits. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) also suggests adding Hing to the dish for various health benefits. 

5 Health Benefits Of Asafoetida

1. Digestive Aid

Asafoetida is traditionally used as a digestive medicine in Ayurveda. You must have heard about the digestive pill "Hajmola". The main ingredient in it is Hing. Its active compounds stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, essential for breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the digestive tract. It can help with bloating, flatulence, and indigestion by enhancing digestion efficiency. 

2. Relief From Respiratory Issues

Asafoetida has been used for centuries to address respiratory issues such as coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. It has the properties to help thin mucus secretions in the respiratory tract, making it easier to expel phlegm and clear congestion. One of the easiest ways to experience it is to try cooking in the said manner. The person tempering with hing will feel a tingling sensation in their nostrils. 

3. Antimicrobial Properties

Asafoetida's potent antimicrobial properties make it effective against various bacterial and fungal infections. It stops the body from growing harmful microorganisms, making it helpful in preventing and treating infections in the body. Asafoetida's antimicrobial effects are reactive to the digestive tract, respiratory system, and skin. It can be consumed internally or applied topically, making it a versatile spice.

4. Relieves Menstrual Symptoms

Menstrual symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and mood swings can be stopped with Hing. Due to its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, Asafoetida can relax uterine muscles. It can also help reduce the intensity and duration of menstrual cramps. You can consume Hing as tea or try ayurvedic herbal remedies for instant relief. Studies from NIH also confirm this fact.

5. Supports Digestive Health In Infants

Digestive issues such as colic and gas are common concerns in infants and can cause distress for both babies and parents. A little bit of asafoetida paste can help relieve gas and soothe colicky symptoms when mixed with water and applied externally to the baby's abdomen. Asafoetida can provide natural relief from digestive issues and promote digestive health and comfort in little ones.

Now that you know the benefits of Hing, what is stopping you from using it? Experience the benefits yourself. Add flavour and health to your meals.