The Indian cooking spice asafoetida1,2 — a reputation that interprets into “rotten resin”3 — often known as hing, hingu4 or heeng,5 is a gum obtained from a sort of big fennel. It has an offensive odor akin to that of rotting garlic and sweaty toes, however an appetizing savory, umami style. In France, the herb is named satan’s dung.
In keeping with GoodFood.com,6 Jain and Brahmin Indians have lengthy used it in lieu of garlic and onions. It’s additionally common amongst these in whom onions trigger digestive hassle.
Whereas it’s generally doable to find asafoetida in its uncooked gum kind, it’s mostly offered as a floor powder combined with flour, starch or turmeric. That is possible a very good factor, as consuming it uncooked may cause extreme diarrhea and/or vomiting.7 It has a really sturdy odor and needs to be utilized in very small quantities. As famous by GoodFood.com:8
“As soon as a container of asafoetida has been opened it’s finest to shut it as quickly as doable. Then, hold it hermetically sealed in an hermetic plastic container, or double wrapped — no less than. If the aroma escapes you’ll awake to discover a home reeking of yesterday’s garlic …
Usually, 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 finest when first fried for 5 to 10 seconds in sizzling oil till its pungency is dramatically apparent — be sure you have the extractor on or the window open. Then shortly add different components 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 components. Many suggest utilizing it in bean-based dishes, because it helps forestall gassiness.9
Its means to chop gasoline is attributed to antibacterial compounds that impede the exercise of intestine micro organism answerable 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 had been more practical at killing the H1N1 influenza virus than the industrial antiviral drug amantadine.12,13
One other examine14 discovered the ferulic acid in asafoetida has the flexibility to regulate fascioliasis,15 a zoonotic liver illness (that means it could unfold between animals and other people) brought on by consuming watercress or different water crops contaminated with Fasciola hepatica and/or Fasciola gigantica.
In keeping with a paper16 within the Pharmacognosy Evaluation, asafoetida additionally has antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative and sedative properties, simply to call a couple of. Historic makes use of embody the therapy of hysteria, nervous situations, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, whooping cough, childish pneumonia and flatulent colic.17
In keeping with the Pharmacognosy Evaluation paper, it’s notably useful for bronchial asthma, because of unstable oils which might be eradicated by means of 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 get rid of kidney stones and gallstones.18
Traditionally, it has additionally been used as an antidote to opium. In keeping with the Pharmacognosy Evaluation, “Given in the same amount as opium ingested by the affected person, it’s going to counteract the impact of the drug.”19
Asafoetida Has Anticancer and Life Extending Properties
Asafoetida additionally comprises a lot of chemical compounds proven to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimutagenic actions.20 As reported within the Pharmacognosy Evaluation:21
“Dried resin, administered orally to Sprague–Dawley rats at doses of 1.25 and a couple of.5% w/w of the eating regimen, produced a big discount within the multiplicity and dimension 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 proportion of life span by 52.9%. Intraperitoneal administration didn’t produce any important 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 important discount in papilloma formation.”
Equally, a examine22 printed within the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Drugs in 2017 confirmed the asafoetida resin had antitumor results in opposition to breast most cancers. In keeping with the authors:23
“Our outcomes confirmed that therapy with asafoetida was efficient in reducing the tumor weight and tumor quantity in handled mice. Physique weight considerably elevated in feminine BALB/c mice in opposition to management.
Aside from 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, growing 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 regarded as answerable for this impact. In keeping with the authors, “Ferulsinaic acid had therapeutic efficacy as an antioxidant with the potential for its use as an antioxidant drug.”
Asafoetida’s Usefulness in Remedy of Ladies’s Illnesses
Asafoetida may additionally be helpful within the therapy of quite a lot of feminine well being illnesses, equivalent to sterility, untimely labor, painful and extreme menstruation and leucorrhoea.
The Pharmacognosy Evaluation25 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 may 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 turn out to be pregnant,27 nevertheless, 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 girls must also keep away from asofoetida as it may be transferred by way of breast milk to their child, in whom sure chemical compounds within the herb might 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 Evaluation notes.32 One of many mechanisms answerable for this hypotensive impact is vasodilation. Tinctures and water extracts of dried gum resin has been proven to have a big 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 in opposition to 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 by which this smelliest of herbs may be helpful is for the prevention and therapy of varied intestine illnesses. One examine37 taking a look at asafoetida’s results on practical dyspepsia (FD), a power dysfunction of the higher digestive tract,38 discovered it to be each secure and efficient. As reported on this examine:39
“Within the double-blinded, placebo-controlled examine, 43 topics recognized to have reasonable to extreme discomforts of nonulcer FD had 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 important enchancment within the general rating and high quality of life as in comparison with the placebo. On the finish of the examine, 66% of topics within the Asafin group remained symptoms-free.
Though the signs rating improved considerably in each the teams … the relative proportion of topics within the Asafin group with greater than 80% discount in varied signs had 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 secure 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, think about spicing up your meals with this medicinal herb.
In “Asafoetida Stinks, However It Helps the Cook dinner,”40 printed in The Seattle Instances, Monica Bhide particulars the best way to use it in cooking, and offers you with a recipe for savory cheesecake topped with purple pepper and inexperienced tomatillo chutney to get you began.
Further cooking suggestions may be discovered on NDTV’s Meals Channel,41 and a recipe for lemon-asafoetida water is given on netmeds.com.42