Asafoetida is dried latex obtained from the roots of a species of plant called Ferula. It is a perennial herb with 1 to 1.5 meters height.
They are majorly found in Mediterranean region to Central Asia. In India it is grown in Kashmir and in some parts of Punjab. India majorly imports Asafoetida from Iran and Afghanistan. There are two main varieties of asafoetida ie. Hing Kabuli Sufaid (Milky white asafoetida) and Hing Lal (Red asafoetida). Because of Sulphur components Asafoetida is acrid and bitter in taste and emits a strong pungent odour. The white or pale variety is water soluble, whereas the dark or black variety is oil soluble. Because of this strong pungent odour, it is mixed with starch and gum and sold as compounded asafoetida. It is also available in free flowing (Powder form) or in tablet forms.
Asafoetida is extensively used for flavouring curries, sauces, and pickles. It is also used in medicines because of its antibiotic properties.
Aids Digestion: It is known to help digestion and stomach problems including gas, bloating and Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and flatulence. It may also be helpful in treating stomach ulcers due to its healing properties.
Also read about the benefits of other commonly used spices like Mint, Ginger, Fenugreek, Curry Leaves, Cumin Seeds, Fennel, Coriander, Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay Leaves, Basil, Asafoetida, Aniseeds on our digestion and metabolism.
Expectorant: Asafoetida is a very good expectorant and helps in chest congestion. It also acts as an anti viral and atibiotic. Due to these properties it is known to help in relieving respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis and cough.
Other commonly used home remedies which can help the symptoms of respiratory health and asthma are Ginger, Garlic, Curry Leaves, Cloves, Coriander, Cinnamon, Chilies, Cardamom, Bay Leaves, Basil, Aniseeds.
Anti Viral: It acts as a very good antiviral and may help in viral infections.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Asafoetida is a known blood thinner and therefore helps in lowering Blood Pressure levels.
You may also like to read about Garlic as a blood thinner for lowering Blood Pressure.
Depression: Asafoetida is a well known medicine for depression. Its ability to induce happiness and decrease the thoughts of failure and negativity makes it a powerful natural anti-depressant.
Impotency: Asafoetida is known to help problems related to impotency. It increases sexual drive in females and offers freedom from the problem of premature ejaculation largely. It is already a proven stress regulator. This also aids in improving the sexual drive of males.
Stress Management: It helps in the production of certain Harmons which induce feel good factor and helps keeping depression at bay.
Menstrual Pain: It helps in easing the pain sensation around waist and abdomen and may also help in reducing pain due to menstrual pain.
Fenugreek is also known to give relief in menstrual pain and cramping.
Anti-ageing Benefits: Asafoetida helps nourishing cells. It is directly applied over the area where it works over those cells that are contaminated with dirt. It opens pores and nourishes them.