Fantastic Health Benefits of Asafoetida

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Asafoetida is also called as “Food of the Gods”.
  • Asafoetida has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Asafoetida is used for breathing problems including chronic bronchitis, asthma, and H1N1 “swine” flu.
  • Asafoetida is also used for digestion problems including intestinal gas, upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable colon.
  • Asafoetida is known for its laxative properties.
  • Asafoetida is extensively used as an ingredient in Indian cuisine.


ORIGIN
Asafoetida, scientifically known as “Ferula assafoetida”. Asafoetida is considered to have originated from central Asia, eastern Iran to Afghanistan, where it grows from 600 to 1200 m above the sea level. Although It is not native to India, used in Indian medicine and cookery for ages. Today it is grown chiefly in Iran and Afghanistan, from where it is exported to the rest of the world. Asafoetida is the dried latex exuded from taproot or rhizome of several species of Ferula, which is a perennial herb growing up to 1 to 1.5m tall.
Grown in India: In India, it is grown in Kashmir and some parts of Punjab. The main supply of Asafoetida to India is from Afghanistan and Iran. In Tamil, it is called as “Perungayam”.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

NUTRIENT
UNIT
VALUE (Per 100g)
Proximates
EnergyKcal297
Proteing4
Total Fat (lipid)g1
Carbohydrateg68
Total dietary Fiberg4
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg690
Iron, Fe mg39
Phosphorus, P mg50


HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASAFOETIDA
1. Reduces Bloating
Asafoetida has been used as a home remedy for stomach problems from earlier days. It is loaded with anti-spasmodic along with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in flatulence, gas, reducing bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also well known to fight intestinal worms.
2. Relieves Asthma
Asafoetida helps in relieving some of the respiratory disorders namely bronchitis, dry cough, and asthma through its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used to relieve phlegm and chest congestion. Asafoetida is also known to contain antibiotic and anti-viral properties. Mix a little bit of Asafoetida and dry ginger powder with honey for a magical solution to your respiratory issues especially during the seasonal changes.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Asafoetida is a very good blood thinner and may assist in lowering your blood pressure levels. It contains the vital compound Coumarin that may improve blood flow in the body thereby reducing the chances of clot formation.
4. Reduces Menstrual Pain
Asafoetida can provide relief from menstrual pain for women. With its natural ability to thin the blood, it aids in smoothening the process of blood flow to various parts of the body. This helps in reducing cramps during menstruation and also reduces cramps in the lower abdomen and back. It also promotes the secretion of the hormone progesterone in our body which helps in easy blood flow thereby providing relief from menstrual pains.
5. Treats Headaches Naturally
The anti-inflammatory properties of Asafoetida reduce the inflammation of the blood vessels in the head thereby taking off the pressure on them and helping in reducing your headache. The anti-viral properties of Asafoetida can also cure the common flu.
6. Cures Insect Bites
Asafoetida is known to be a natural antidote for various insect bites and painful stings.
7. Cures Indigestion
The antioxidant properties of Asafoetida can help to overcome the indigestion problems in our body. Drinking water with a pinch of Asafoetida can also provide immediate relief from heartburn.
8. Acts as a Laxative
Asafoetida is known for its laxative properties and helps in preventing constipation.
9. Good for Diabetic People
Asafoetida has been known to assist the pancreatic cells in secreting more insulin in the body which results in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
10. Treats Nerve Disorders
Asafoetida has properties that stimulate the nerves in our body. It is especially recommended in the case of convulsion, hysteria, and other types of nerve disorders.
11. Fights Against Free Radicals
The powerful antioxidant properties of Asafoetida protect the cells in the body from the harmful free radicals. They are known to assist in reducing the malignant cells in the body with their anti-carcinogenic properties.
IMPORTANT TIPS AND FACTS OF ASAFOETIDA
1. You can buy Asafoetida in block form or powdered form.
2. Store Asafoetida in an air-tight container as it has a pungent smell that can fill your cupboard!
3. If you are using Asafoetida in the form of lumps, crush it using a crusher and mix it with water to form a paste and then add it to your recipe. This way you can get a fresher taste with a rich aroma.
4. This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment, and pickling.
5. Uses of Asafoetida can be seen while making many soup and meat dishes.
6. It is used in many vegetarian and lentil dishes to add both flavour and aroma as well as to reduce flatulence.
7. Asafoetida is used as herbal medicine, fragrance, and flavouring agent in food items and beverages.
SIDE EFFECTS OF ASAFOETIDA
1. Asafoetida has blood-thinning properties and should be avoided if you are undergoing surgery. It may increase the chances of bleeding during and post-surgery.
2. Asafoetida can be a cause of irritation to your Gastrointestinal tract if you already have an infection or any other Gastrointestinal issue.
3. If you are taking medication for your high blood pressure, then consuming Asafoetida might interfere in controlling your BP.
4. The Swelling of lips is a common problem in few people after they consumed Asafoetida. This usually goes away on its own after a few hours.
5. Increased intake of Asafoetida is linked to causing gas and even diarrhoea in some peoples.
6. It has been noticed that few people develop skin rashes or bumps as a result of using too much Asafoetida in their foods.