Asafoetida | Hing: Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral And Antibiotic, Has Been Used For Centuries
Updated: Apr 29
Asafoetida also known as food of the devils, devil's dung, javoneh-i badian, hing, hengu, inguva, kayam and ting, has been used for centuries around the world for its perceived health benefits. It is sometimes used to harmonize sweet, sour, salty, and spicy components in food. Asafoetida has been found to be a good source of antioxidants.
Asafoetida (हींग in hindi) is the dried latex exuded from the rhizomeo rtap rootof several species of Ferula. They are part of the celery family, Umbelliferae. The species are native to the deserts of Iranand mountains of Afghanistanwhere substantial amounts are grown. The common modern name for the plant in Iran and Afghanistan, is "badian", meaning: "that of gas or wind", due to its use to relieve stomach gas.
Asafoetida has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. For example, in Ayurvedic medicine, hing is used to aid digestion and gas, as well as treat bronchitis and kidney stones. While during the Middle Ages, the dried gum was sometimes worn around the neck to help ward off infection and disease. Asafoetida is known to be a natural blood thinner and may help in lowering blood pressurelevels and also helps by alleviating the menstrual pain and cramps in the lower abdomen and back.
Hing may also help in relieving respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, drycough, et al due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibiotic effects. It also helps in relieving chest congestion and releasing phlegm. All you need to do is to prepare a paste using asafoetida and water and apply on your chest. You can also mix asafoetida and dry ginger powder along with some honey. Consume this mixture to get relief from respiratory issues.
Asafoetida has a pungent smell, lending it the trivial name of stinking gum, but in cooked dishes it delivers a smooth flavour reminiscent of leeks or other onion relatives. The odor dissipates upon cooking. This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment, and in pickling. It plays a critical flavoring role in Indian vegetarian cuisine by acting as a savory enhancer. Used along with turmeric, it is a standard component of lentil curries, such as dal, chickpea curries, and vegetable dishes, especially those based on potato and cauliflower.
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