The Indian cooking spice asafoetida1,2 — a reputation that interprets into “rotten resin”3 — also referred to as hing, hingu4 or heeng,5 is a gum obtained from a sort of big fennel. It has an offensive scent akin to that of rotting garlic and sweaty ft, however an appetizing savory, umami style. In France, the herb is named satan’s dung.
In accordance to GoodFood.com,6 Jain and Brahmin Indians have lengthy used it in lieu of garlic and onions. It’s additionally in style amongst these in whom onions trigger digestive bother.
Whereas it’s typically potential to find asafoetida in its uncooked gum kind, it’s most generally offered as a floor powder blended with flour, starch or turmeric. That is seemingly a superb factor, as consuming it uncooked may cause extreme diarrhea and/or vomiting.7 It has a really sturdy odor and must be utilized in very small quantities. As famous by GoodFood.com:8
“As soon as a container of asafoetida has been opened it’s greatest to shut it as quickly as potential. Then, preserve it hermetically sealed in an hermetic plastic container, or double wrapped — at the least. If the aroma escapes you’ll awake to discover a home reeking of yesterday’s garlic …
Typically, the yellow, diluted asafoetida powder is utilized in concerning the proportion of a pinch or two to 250g of the principle ingredient … longer cooking mellows it …
Asafoetida works greatest when first fried for 5 to 10 seconds in sizzling oil till its pungency is dramatically apparent — ensure you have the extractor on or the window open. Then shortly add different elements to cease it burning.”
Well being Advantages of Asafoetida
With its onion-garlic taste, you should use it as an alternative to both of these elements. Many suggest utilizing it in bean-based dishes, because it helps stop gassiness.9
Its capacity to chop fuel is attributed to antibacterial compounds that impede the exercise of intestine micro organism accountable for flatulence.10 It additionally has a lot of different well being advantages,11 together with antibacterial, antiparasitic and antiviral properties.
In 2009, researchers found sure compounds within the herb have been simpler at killing the H1N1 influenza virus than the business antiviral drug amantadine.12,13
One other research14 discovered the ferulic acid in asafoetida has the flexibility to regulate fascioliasis,15 a zoonotic liver illness (that means it may unfold between animals and folks) attributable to consuming watercress or different water crops contaminated with Fasciola hepatica and/or Fasciola gigantica.
In accordance to a paper16 within the Pharmacognosy Evaluate, asafoetida additionally has antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative and sedative properties, simply to call a number of. Historic makes use of embody the remedy of hysteria, nervous situations, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, whooping cough, childish pneumonia and flatulent colic.17
In response to the Pharmacognosy Evaluate paper, it’s notably helpful for bronchial asthma, because of risky oils which are eradicated by the lungs. It’s additionally been proven to work as a pure blood thinner and helps decrease blood strain. In conventional medication in India, the herb is taken to assist break up and eradicate kidney stones and gallstones.18
Traditionally, it has additionally been used as an antidote to opium. In response to the Pharmacognosy Evaluate, “Given in an identical quantity as opium ingested by the affected person, it’ll counteract the impact of the drug.”19
Asafoetida Has Anticancer and Life Extending Properties
Asafoetida additionally incorporates a lot of chemical compounds proven to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimutagenic actions.20 As reported within the Pharmacognosy Evaluate:21
“Dried resin, administered orally to Sprague–Dawley rats at doses of 1.25 and a couple of.5% w/w of the food plan, produced a vital discount within the multiplicity and measurement of palpable N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced mammary tumors, and a delay in imply latency interval of tumor look.
Oral administration to mice elevated the share of life span by 52.9%. Intraperitoneal administration didn’t produce any vital discount in tumor progress.
The extract additionally inhibited a two-stage chemical carcinogenesis induced by 7,12-dimethylbenzathracene and croton oil on mice pores and skin with vital discount in papilloma formation.”
Equally, a research22 revealed within the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Drugs in 2017 confirmed the asafoetida resin had antitumor results towards breast most cancers. In response to the authors:23
“Our outcomes confirmed that remedy with asafoetida was efficient in reducing the tumor weight and tumor quantity in handled mice. Physique weight considerably elevated in feminine BALB/c mice towards management.
Other than the antitumor impact, asafoetida decreased lung, liver and kidney metastasis and in addition elevated areas of necrosis within the tumor tissue respectively.”
Different research24 have additionally discovered the remoted ferulsinaic acid in asafoetida has life extending functionality, rising the imply life span of Caenorhabditis elegans by as a lot as 18.03%, and their most life span between 8.33% and 41.6%.
Improved warmth stress tolerance and reductions in lipid peroxidation are considered accountable for this impact. In response to the authors, “Ferulsinaic acid had therapeutic efficacy as an antioxidant with the potential for its use as an antioxidant drug.”
Asafoetida’s Usefulness in Therapy of Ladies’s Illnesses
Asafoetida may be helpful within the remedy of a range of feminine well being illnesses, akin to sterility, untimely labor, painful and extreme menstruation and leucorrhoea.
The Pharmacognosy Evaluate25 suggests taking 12 centigrams of asafoetida gum fried in ghee with 120 grams of recent goat’s milk and 1 tablespoon of honey, thrice a day for 4 weeks, to extend secretion of progesterone, which will be useful in these conditions.
In male rats, asafoetida at doses between 25 and 200 mg/kg has been proven to considerably enhance the quantity and viability of sperm, thus bettering fertility.26
Care have to be used should you’re pregnant or planning to grow to be pregnant,27 nonetheless, as asafoetida additionally has the flexibility to forestall being pregnant and induce miscarriage. Antifertility results have been famous in rats at a dosage of 400 mg/kg, stopping being pregnant in 80% of instances.28,29
Breastfeeding ladies also needs to keep away from asofoetida as it may be transferred through breast milk to their child, in whom sure chemical compounds within the herb could contribute to sure blood problems.30 To deal with colic, asafoetida is usually utilized to the toddler’s navel within the type of a paste, against being ingested.31
Mind and Cardiovascular Advantages
As talked about, the herb has been proven to decrease blood strain, and seems to be fairly efficient at this, the Pharmacognosy Evaluate notes.32 One of many mechanisms accountable for this hypotensive impact is vasodilation. Tinctures and water extracts of dried gum resin has been proven to have a major easy muscle relaxant and anticoagulant results.33
Furthermore, sure compounds seem to have the flexibility to inhibit acetylcholinesterase,34,35 which implies it might be helpful towards Alzheimer’s illness.36 In animal trials, asafoetida at doses of 200 to 400 milligrams per kilo has additionally been proven to enhance reminiscence formation.
Asafoetida Helps Promote Intestine Well being
One other space during which this smelliest of herbs will be helpful is for the prevention and remedy of varied intestine illnesses. One research37 asafoetida’s results on practical dyspepsia (FD), a persistent dysfunction of the higher digestive tract,38 discovered it to be each protected and efficient. As reported on this research:39
“Within the double-blinded, placebo-controlled research, 43 topics recognized to have reasonable to extreme discomforts of nonulcer FD have been randomized to obtain hard-shell capsules (250 mg × 2/day) of both placebo or a food-grade formulation of asafoetida (Asafin) for 30 days.
When evaluated by a set of validated indexing instruments … virtually 81% within the Asafin group confirmed vital enchancment within the total rating and high quality of life as in comparison with the placebo. On the finish of the research, 66% of topics within the Asafin group remained symptoms-free.
Though the signs rating improved considerably in each the teams … the relative share of topics within the Asafin group with greater than 80% discount in numerous signs have been: bloating (58%), urge for food (69%), postprandial fullness (74%) movement illness (75%), and digestion (77%) as in comparison with lower than 10% nonspecific enchancment within the placebo group.
All the themes remained protected with no adversarial occasions or variations in haematological and biochemical parameters.”
Cooking With Asafoetida
If the concept of smelling up your kitchen isn’t a deterrent, take into account spicing up your meals with this medicinal herb.
In “Asafoetida Stinks, However It Helps the Cook dinner,”40 revealed in The Seattle Instances, Monica Bhide particulars methods to use it in cooking, and supplies you with a recipe for savory cheesecake topped with crimson pepper and inexperienced tomatillo chutney to get you began.
Extra cooking ideas will be discovered on NDTV’s Meals Channel,41 and a recipe for lemon-asafoetida water is given on netmeds.com.42