Asafoetida Health Benefits

  • Ferula assafoetida, popularly known as asafoetida, is a dried gum  from the root of various species of Ferula. It is a herb and is also known as devil’s dung, giant fennel, stinking gum, or hing. Asafoetida is strong, pungent , but adds a hint of flavor to dishes. It is native to Afghanistan, and grows in Turkey, Iraq and India. 

    Asafoetida has many health benefits as it relieves flatulence,inflammation,spasms ,is antiepileptic, antimicrobial, laxative,  and expectorant .

    • Asafoetida is  a natural remedy for colic in babies by placing a small amount of warm asafoetida on the baby’s stomach.
    • Asafoetida helps reduce flatulence, digestive disorders, prevents constipation and is an excellent laxative. A pinch of asafoetida with butter milk reduces flatulence and cleanses the digestive system.
    • Granules of asafetida can be dissolved in water and taken for relieving migraines and headaches.
    • Asafoetida also acts as an anti-coagulant and helps lower blood pressure.
    • Asafoetida helps in treating women’s complications such as leucorrhoea, dysmenorrhea, excessive,painful menstruation, and candida infection.


    Medicinal uses

    1. It is also used in treating asthma and bronchitis and is effective is treating colds and the flu in children.
    2. Asafoetida helps in the treatment of influenza and fighting the swine flu and H1N1 virus.
    3. It can also be used for reducing chronic bronchitis and whooping cough due to its anti-microbial action.
    4. It may have contraceptive properties and is used for contraception in traditional medicine.
    5. Asafoetida offers protection against triglycerides and cholesterol formed due to excessive fat consumption. However,  it is to be carefully used along with blood pressure medication.
    6. Asafoetida has anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects.This helps in countering the effects of long-term alcohol intake, which can cause severe liver damage and even death.
    7. Bitter gourd cooked with asafoetida is effective in lowering blood sugar levels


    The active compounds from its resin, gum, volatile oil and ash contains fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorous enrich the human body

    Asafoetida can be mixed with anything like vegetables, pulses, rice, meat, or fish. The pungent smell becomes less when added to hot oil. Just add a pinch of it to lentils, to vegetables when boiling them, and to meat along with other spices to marinade them. Its best to cook asafoetida covered so that the dishes may acquire its delicate flavor.

    Side effects of Asafoetida

    Asafoetida can cause side effects like

    1. vomiting and nausea;
    2. excessive intake of asafoetida can cause irritation in throat, swollen lips, burping, stomach gas, and diarrhea.

    iii.   It can also trigger unfavorable results in persons suffering from central nervous conditions.

    1. In some, it cause redness, itching and skin irritation.
    2. High doses of asafetida can cause dizziness and headaches.

    In case of specific illnesses such as heart conditions, liver problems, and nervous disorders,if you have to take large doses check with a physician.Side effects of asafoetida are temporary and can be treated.

    In case of prolonged skin rashes, skin swelling, you need to consult a doctor for a proper remedy.

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