The scientific name Asafoetida is derived from Persian word ‘resin’ and the Latin word meaning ‘smelly.’ Asafoetida is a latex gum that comes from the rhizome of a perennial herb called Ferula. The Hindi name for it is Hing, but it has many other names too such as devil’s dung and food of the gods. This potent spice has numerous culinary and therapeutic benefits. It is commonly used in Indian and Persian cooking for its flavor. You can buy it in a solid brick form that can be broken down into smaller pieces and in powder or tablet form.
Asafoetida is suitable for all kinds of stomach problems. It has anti-flatulent, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. This means it can relieve upset stomachs, gas, indigestion, intestinal worms and has even helped to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Adding a little Asafoetida to foods and curries is one way to consume it on a daily basis. Cooked lentils can cause flatulence, and you can reduce its effect by adding a little Asafoetida can help. You can also reduce flatulence by using a mixture of little dry ginger, some black salt and a pinch of Asafoetida in a cup of warm water. Ease bloating by drinking buttermilk with a pinch of Asafoetida.
When you have a headache, Asafoetida can help due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces any inflammation in the blood vessels which in turn relieves pressure and reduces the pain of a tension headache. A good option for treating a tension headache is to make a paste and apply to the forehead. Along with a teaspoon of Asafoetida, add camphor and dried ginger. Make a paste by adding rose water or milk and apply. You can also drink a tea made by steeping a dash of Asafoetida in a half cup of water for about 15 minutes. Drink it a few times a day to ease your mild tension headache.
It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties makes it helpful in treating toothache. It fights infection and relieves the pain. It can also help to heal bleeding gums. You can directly place a small piece of Asafoetida directly on a tooth for some relief. A mouth rinse can be made from boiling a pinch of Asafoetida powder and a clove or two in a cup of water. Use the rinse when the water gets lukewarm. A poultice can also be effective. Heat half a teaspoon of Asafoetida in two teaspoons of lemon juice and apply to the tooth with a cotton swab. You can use lime juice as an alternative.
Asafoetida treats insect bites and stings instantly because it helps to relieve toxic effects and reduces inflammation and pain. It is sometimes even used in insect repellants to help ward off gnats or mosquitoes with its potent smell. The best way to treat a bite or a sting is to make a paste of Asafoetida powder and water. You can make your powder by crushing the Asafoetida and then mixing with the water to create a heavy paste. Apply it and allow it to dry. You will find that it eases the discomfort and pain caused by the bite or sting.
Asafoetida works as an expectorant and relieves respiratory problems by helping to remove excess mucus. It helps with conditions such as asthma, whooping cough or bronchitis. It was traditionally used as a remedy for children’s colds by mixing it into a paste and hanging it in a bag around the child’s neck. Onion juice also has expectorant qualities and honey is well known for soothing upper respiratory tract infections so you can use them in a mixture. Mix a quarter teaspoon of Asafoetida powder and a quarter teaspoon of onion juice and two teaspoons of honey. Take a teaspoon of this mixture three times a day.
Asafoetida can help when you have ear pain due to its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. When used together with coconut oil which also has antibiotic properties, it can provide effective relief from the pain caused by an earache. Heat half a teaspoon of coconut oil and add a quarter teaspoon of Asafoetida powder. Allow the powder to dissolve in the oil. Cool the mixture down to room temperature before use. Saturate a cotton swab into the mix and apply it inside the ear. Repeat the application two or three times a day until the pain has subsided.
Colic is very common in infants. It is an unexplained pain that causes them to cry uncontrollably. Asafoetida cannot be given directly to infants, and it is one of the effective ways to relieve infant from colic pain. You can apply it in a paste form on infant’s stomach. Just make sure that the infant is suffering from colic and not some other problem. All you need to do is heat a teaspoon of water and add a quarter of a teaspoon of Asafoetida powder to make a paste. Mix it well and apply the thin paste around the area of the baby’s navel. It should not go into the navel so use a wet cotton ball on the navel while applying it. Once the paste tries, try to burp your baby.
The way in which Asafoetida works to relieve pain is not quite understood. Whatever pain you are experiencing, whether it’s due to pain from a stomach ache, an injury or a tension headache, it is a safe analgesic to use. The reason may be that it helps to eliminate some of the primary conditions that cause the pain in the first place. For instance, if stomach pain is caused by bloating, it will help to eliminate the bloating and reduce the pain. If an injury or an infection causes it, it reduces the inflammation and fights the infection.
Asafoetida has received attention from researchers because it is a powerful anti-oxidant and therefore it is known to help fight free radicals in the body. Evidence suggests that many compounds in the Asafoetida such as umbrelliprenin and ferulic acid actively seek out and neutralize the free radicals in the body. They have been linked to a reduction in cancer cells, especially those found in cancerous tumors.
Research has shown that Asafoetida provides an effective, natural way to keep blood sugar levels under control. This effect appears to be due to the phenolic acids and tannins. When mixed with bitter gourd, the benefits are increased. The charantin in the bitter gourd also reduces blood sugar levels. Mix a quarter of a teaspoon of Asafoetida powder with two teaspoons of bitter gourd juice. Take this mixture once a day and repeat until blood sugar levels get normal.
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