Asafoetida or Hing is one of the famous culinary herbs in India. It is the dried latex exuded from the living underground rhizome of several species of Ferula, a perennial herb. It is acrid and bitter in taste with a pungent odor due to the presence of sulphur compounds.
This herb is majorly used in cooking because it adds a natural aromatic taste to pulses and vegetables. Asafoetida also displays some amazing remedial properties:
• It is one of the most commonly prescribed herbs used for the treatment of psychological problems like hysteria, mood swings and depression.
• It is also used in the treatment of respiratory disorders. A concoction of asafetida, honey, white onion juice, and betel juice help to keep away the disease like whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis.
• It is also useful in the treatment of gynecological problems like unwanted abortion, sterility, pre-mature labor, leucorrhoea and excessive or difficult menstruation.
• The laxative properties of asafetida help relieve flatulence, prevent constipation, and cure spasmodic disorders.
• It is also used to treat impotency. It has good effect on spermatogenesis and pre-ejaculation.
• It is widely used in remedying various nervous disorders affecting children.
• It is very useful in lowering blood pressure level and treating cardiovascular diseases.
• Asafetida is also used for dental care and helps in relieving toothache and preventing or minimizing the pain due to dental caries.
• It is also used as an antidote against snakebites and insect bites.
• It is an effective natural pesticide due to its strong and pungent odor.
• Due to its anti-biotic properties, it is widely used as preservatives in pickles and sauces.
Side Effects: If taken in excess, asafetida can cause side effects like skin rashes, stomach burning, swelling of lips, nausea and vomiting. It is known to thin the blood and therefore, it is not recommended for infants and children.