Asafetida, also known as hing, is a latex gum extracted from several species of a perennial herb, Ferula. It is available in the market as a solid brick or smaller pieces, as well as in tablet or powder form. This potent-smelling spice is commonly used in Persian and Indian cooking for flavoring, food preservation and fragrance. Due to its strong odor, it is also called Devil’s dung. From a nutritional perspective, asafetida provides protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorous, iron, niacin, carotene and riboflavin.
Along with its culinary uses, asafetida has a prominent place in traditional medicine. Its health benefits come from its carminative, antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antispasmodic, expectorant, sedative, diuretic, vermifuge, emmenagogue, aphrodisiac and anti-carcinogenic properties.
# Keeps Stomach Healthy
- Consume a little bit of asafetida on a daily basis by adding it to curries and food.
- Another option is to dissolve a few small pieces of asafetida in one-half cup of water. Drink it daily after eating your meal.
# Relieves Menstrual Pain
- Mix a pinch of asafetida, one-half teaspoon of fenugreek powder and salt for taste in a cup of buttermilk.
- Drink this two or three times daily for a month to alleviate the pain and discomfort accompanying menstrual periods.
# Respiratory Disorders
- A paste prepared by grinding asafetida in water and then applying it on your chest is an effective remedy for relieving a cough.
- You can also mix together one-half teaspoon each of asafetida powder and dry ginger powder and two tablespoons of honey. Have this mixture at least three times a day to get relief from a dry cough, whooping cough, bronchitis and asthma.
# Treats Headaches
- Heat a dash of asafetida in one and one-half cup of water. Allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes and then drink it a few times a day to relieve mild tension headache.
- Another option is to take one teaspoon each of asafetida, dried ginger, camphor and two teaspoons of tailed pepper. Add enough milk or rose water to form a paste. Apply this paste on your forehead to treat tension and migraine headaches.
# Eases Ear Aches
- Heat coconut oil in a small pan.
- Add a small piece of asafetida and allow it to melt.
- When lukewarm, use this mixture as ear drops.
- You can use two or three drops of this solution and repeat as needed.