9 Health Benefits of Asafoetida You Should Know
Asafoetida is a resinous gum extract that was used to cure health problems ranging from respiratory troubles to hysteria in ancient Rome. Today, it’s still used in modern herbal medicine for treating hysteria, bronchitis, asthma as well as whooping cough. Asafoetida has natural antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, natural laxative and sedative properties. Asafoetida is much more than just a spice. Read on to know about the incredible health benefits of asafoetida!
Asafoetida is extracted from species of a perennial herb known as Ferula. It has a distinct flavour and aroma but a bitter acrid taste due to the presence of sulphur compounds in it. Ferula is indigenous to the mountains of Afghanistan and Iran but is also cultivated in India extensively. Due to its pungent and unpleasant smell, it is also known as the “Devil’s dung”.
A crucial ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking, asafoetida, also known as “hing” is widely used in different curries, dals and gravies. This herbal dried extract offers a smooth texture to curries and soups which makes it popular as an edible spice.
Did You Know?
– You can apply Asafoetida directly to the skin to treat corns and calluses
– During Italian renaissance, asafoetida was an integral part of an exorcism ritual
– Along the coasts of South India, unwanted trees were killed by making a hole in the tree and filling it with asafoetida
– During cooking, it evokes a flavour similar to an onion or a leek
Some of the most notable health benefits of asafoetida are maintaining the gastrointestinal system, improving menstrual symptoms, reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system. It also eliminates respiratory issues, prevents reproductive disorders, reduces pain, improves mood swings and protects against nervous disorders. This spice is also a powerful anti-epileptic widely popular in the Unani medicinal system.
Health Benefits Of Asafoetida
Let’s look deeper into the health benefits of Asafoetida.
Improves Reproductive Health
Asafoetida acts as a powerful sexual stimulant which reduces symptoms of impotency or infertility in men and women by stimulating hormonal activity and boosting energy and blood flow. It also stimulates the production of progesterone in females. Progesterone can help in increasing the safety of expectant mothers by preventing premature births, excessive bleeding, and sterility. It also reduces the symptoms of menstruation for women. In addition, this herbal spice can also prove to be a powerful natural contraceptive and can also ease menstrual cramps in women.
Asafoetida has a high concentration of antioxidant compounds such as umbelliprenin and ferulic acid. These compounds actively seek and neutralize free radicals within the body. This helps you protect against cancer-causing free radicals.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Asafoetida contains a compound called coumarin which is a natural blood thinner which reduces the viscosity of the blood. This improves blood flow and prevents the formation of blood clots. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, asafoetida contains some relaxant compounds that have a positive influence on blood pressure and cardiovascular health.
Asafoetida might be an effective and natural way of maintaining your blood sugar levels. It contains phenolic acids such as ferulic acid and tannins. Several studies suggest that the blood sugar lowering effect of asafoetida is likely due to the presence of these compounds. This might be especially beneficial for diabetics.
Asafoetida is a potent antiviral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and natural expectorant. It is ideal for treating a range of respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Asafoetida eliminates excess mucus and phlegm from the system. It also neutralizes the bacteria or pathogens that may be present in the respiratory tracts thereby boosting the immune system.
Asafoetida is a safe analgesic for a wide range of pain levels ranging from chronic pain to injuries, surgeries and even the colic pain of toddlers. Asafoetida also helps treat toothaches and earaches.
Asafoetida serves as a natural armour against digestive issues resulting from gas, intestinal worms, indigestion, and any disorder that affects the gastrointestinal system. It can reduce cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, ulcers and excess flatulence as well as food poisoning. This is because asafoetida helps flush out excess toxins from the body.
Enhances Skin and Hair
Hing makes for an amazing anti-aging agent by reducing wrinkles, fine lines and age spots from the face. You can also use it as a whitening agent that promotes fairness and reduces dark spots, acne marks and oiliness. This is because asafoetida keeps a check on the production of tyrosine, which is responsible for melanin production in the body. You can use it as an effective hair conditioning mask as it retains moisture in the scalp. Asafoetida also improves the texture of the hair by preventing excessive hair fall.
Reduces Nervous Disorders
The taproot resin of asafoetida can help treat hysteria, mood swings, chronic anxiety, depression, and stress. It soothes the body and mind which can otherwise create havoc on the overall system. Additionally, asafoetida can soothe the pain of headaches and migraines quite effectively by improving blood flow in the capillaries and eliminating excess free radicals.
How to Have it?
Asafoetida can be an effective face mask when you mix it with rose water and fuller’s earth. You can flaunt a blemish-free and radiant, younger skin with the use of asafoetida face masks. For healthy, long and thick hair, a mixture of yoghurt, green tea extract, almond oil and asafoetida would do wonders. You can make a mouth rinse with Asafoetida and water to cure toothaches.
For reaping overall health benefits, adding a bit of asafoetida to your diet would serve the purpose wonderfully. If you are already familiar with its benefits then don’t forget to share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Benefits always come with simple precautions. Excess consumption can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, urination discomfort and irregularities in the menstrual cycle.
1 tablespoon of Asafoetida provides:
Calories = 64kcal, Sodium = 4mg, Total Fat = 1g, Potassium = 0mg, Saturated fats = 0g, Total Carbs = 11g, Polyunsaturated fats = 0g, Dietary Fiber = 1g, Monounsaturated fats= 0g, Sugars = 0g, Trans fats= 0g, Protein = 1 g, Cholesterol = 0 mg
Vitamin A = 0%, Calcium = 4%, Vitamin C = 0%, Iron = 0% (Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet)