Asafoetida: The Historical Roman Spice with Well being Advantages


Asafoetida - Dr. Axe

Again within the days of the Roman Empire, there was a substance used to naturally remedy well being issues starting from respiratory troubles to hysteria. Right now, it’s nonetheless utilized in fashionable herbalism for treating hysteria, some nervous situations, in addition to bronchitis, bronchial asthma and whooping cough. It’s referred to as asafoetida, and there’s some proof it acts as an antispasmodic, expectorant, pure laxative, digestive support and sedative.

An important ingredient in Indian cooking, asafoetida is commonly used to taste vegetarian dishes, reminiscent of these made with lentils and cauliflower. Whereas some initially discover it’s odor off-putting, when heated it evokes a taste much like an onion or a leek.

Medicinally talking, some research have discovered that chemical compounds in asafoetida could assist deal with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which now impacts over 10 p.c of the inhabitants globally. However that’s not all. This resinous gum has a number of well being advantages that I share under.

What Is Asafoetida?

Asafoetida (pronounced as-uh-fet-i-duh) is outlined as a tough, resinous gum derived from a perennial fennel plant with the species identify Ferula asafoetida. When used as a spice — principally generally in Iranian and Indian cooking — it’s created from dried sap extracted from the stem and roots of a plant species that belongs to the carrot household.

The Asafoetida tree is grayish-white when contemporary, however darkens with age to a yellow, crimson and finally brown colour. The resin is tough to grate and is historically crushed between stones or with a hammer.

Right now, probably the most generally out there type is compounded asafoetida powder, a superb powder containing 30 p.c asafoetida resin together with rice flour and gum arabic.

Different names that this spice/extract goes by embody: meals of the gods, jowani badian, stinking gum, Satan’s dung, hing, hengu, ingu, kayam and ting.

Diet Info

In complement type, this substance consists of roughly 4 p.c to twenty p.c unstable oil, 40 p.c to 60 p.c resin, and 25 p.c gum.

The important oil element of ferula asafoetida accommodates quite a lot of odorous compounds with a excessive proportion of those odorous compounds containing sulfur. Phytochemicals together with pinene, cadinene and vanillin are discovered within the oil, whereas umbelliferone, asaresinotannol, foetidin, kamolonol and ferulic acid are discovered within the resin.

Utilizing a pinch of asafoetida in a recipe will solely add about one calorie to your meal with none fats, ldl cholesterol, sodium or sugar.

What does asafoetida style like? It isn’t very nice by itself — because it’s described as having a concentrated rotten garlic and/or onion taste. Nevertheless, as soon as it’s cooked, it provides a pleasing onion or leek-like taste to dishes.

Why is asafoetida utilized in cooking? As defined extra under, it may possibly assist make sure meals that comprise carbohydrates extra digestible, lowering negative effects like bloating and gasoline, plus it helps wholesome blood sugar ranges.

Well being Advantages

1.  Bronchial asthma Reduction

As a potent respiratory stimulant and expectorant, asafoetida could assist launch phlegm and relieve chest congestion. It’s utilized in conventional drugs for bronchial asthma, whooping cough and bronchitis.

The unstable oil within the asafoetida gum is eradicated by the lungs, which is why it may be a wonderful therapy for bronchial asthma and different lung-related points.

2. Lowers Blood Stress

Asafoetida is a pure blood thinner and can assist to decrease blood strain. It’s filled with coumarin, a compound that aids in enhancing your blood stream and thinning your blood, thereby probably stopping blood clots.

Scientists have been capable of isolate sure phytochemicals within the Ferula species which have useful cardiovascular results. Analysis utilizing animal topics has proven that Ferula asafoetida gum extract considerably reduces common arterial blood strain. The gum extract appears to comprise relaxant compounds which have a optimistic impact on blood strain and cardiovascular well being on the whole, thanks partially to those phytonutrients.

3. Helps Deal with IBS

Asafoetida has been studied and located to be a profitable homeopathic treatment for these affected by IBS signs, reminiscent of diarrhea and constipation, intestinal gasoline, bloating and cramping.

A 14-week, double-blind research handled IBS victims folks with asafoetida or a placebo. Outcomes confirmed that topics taking the homeopathic treatment of asafoetida improved to a higher extent than these taking placebo.

Moreover, asafoetida is particularly advisable for IBS victims that have constipation alternating with watery diarrhea, bloated abdomen with a number of gasoline, and a sensation of a lump within the throat that’s relieved by swallowing and belching.

4. Blood Sugar Management

Animal research have proven that asafoetida is perhaps an efficient and pure approach to assist hold blood sugar ranges in test and keep regular blood sugar.

When this extract was given to diabetic animal topics at a dose of fifty milligrams per kilogram for 4 weeks, researchers noticed a blood sugar-lowering impact. The research concluded that this impact is probably going as a result of presence of phenolic acids, particularly ferulic acid, and tannins in asafoetida extract.

5. FODMAPs Weight loss program-Pleasant

FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are particular sugars present in meals which can be not absorbed fully by the human physique so that they’re simply fermented by intestine micro organism and might trigger important gastrointestinal (GI) issues.

Following the FODMAPs weight loss program isn’t simple however can typically assist relieve GI points like IBS. Two key no-no’s on the FODMAPs weight loss program are onions and garlic, which is a bummer, however asafoetida is the proper pungent spice to exchange the flavors of garlic and onion with out utilizing the greens themselves.

6. Reduces Flatulence

Asafoetida has historically been used to expel wind from the abdomen. In different phrases, it’s an antiflatulent agent (gasoline reducer) that’s used for the alleviation and prevention of extreme intestinal gasoline. It’s generally mixed with lentils and different legumes simply because of this — to cut back gasoline post-meal and hold flatulence in test.

Asafoetida benefits - Dr. Axe

Asafoetida Makes use of and Fascinating Info

Asafoetida was used as a spice in historic Rome, and though it’s not native to India, it has been utilized in Indian drugs and delicacies for ages. Right now, it’s used principally in south and west India, generally by the service provider caste of the Hindus and by followers of Jainism and Vaishnavism, who don’t eat onions or garlic.

The frequent identify “asafetida” is derived from the Farsi phrase aza, that means resin, and the Latin phrase foetidus, that means smelling extraordinarily disagreeable.

Asafoetida’s surprising sulfurous odor was as soon as thought to calm hysteria, and within the days of the American Wild West, it was included in a combination with different robust spices as a remedy for alcoholism.

Given its robust, pungent odor, it’s shocking but true that it’s generally used as a perfume element in perfumes as properly.

Easy methods to Use

Asafoetida will probably not be in inventory at your native grocery retailer, nevertheless it’s not costly and is available to be bought on-line. You additionally would possibly have the ability to discover it at some speciality shops, particularly Indian or Center Japanese shops.

It’s mostly out there as a powder or granules that may be added on to no matter you’re cooking. It’s additionally offered in lumps that should be crushed earlier than utilizing. It’s a really highly effective spice and even in its floor state lasts properly over a yr if saved correctly.

Asafoetida must be utilized in very minute portions so as to add distinctive character and well being advantages to your cooking. It’s usually utilized in many lentil dishes, vegetarian stews and soups, and pickles. It can be tasty in fish dishes. Some courageous folks even used it as a condiment.

In the event you purchase asafetida as a spice, it’s key to maintain it in an hermetic container away from gentle, warmth and air. This additionally accommodates its robust sulfurous odor. As talked about above, it has a pungent odor (suppose sulfur), nonetheless often this dissipates with cooking.

Medicinal asafoetida can be out there as a complement in a number of types, together with tincture and capsule. There isn’t any medical proof to assist dosage suggestions for asafoetida, however historically, a each day dosage of 200 to 500 milligrams of the resin is used for medicinal functions.

In its uncooked type, and in most compound powders, it’s gluten-free, however watch out for lower-quality varieties which can be generally diluted with wheat flour.


Questioning how one can begin incorporating this Indian spice in your culinary creations at residence? Attempt these wholesome asafoetida recipes that embody it as a key ingredient:

  • Dahl Soup Recipe
  • Chaat Masala Fruit Salad
  • FODMAP-Pleasant Salmon Chowder

What is an effective substitute for asafoetida? Onion, leeks or garlic make the very best asafoetida substitutes, since they’ve an identical sulfur-taste.

Dangers and Aspect Results

Is asafoetida ever dangerous to your well being? It’s thought of secure for most individuals when consumed within the quantities usually present in meals. Nevertheless, extreme consumption may cause negative effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and urination discomfort.

It can be secure for some when taken medicinally however ought to by no means be taken by pregnant and nursing moms or kids. It may probably be life-threatening or trigger a blood dysfunction when taken by kids.

When taken medicinally, this spice can probably trigger lip swelling, burping, flatulence, diarrhea, headache, convulsions and blood issues. If used for prolonged durations by premenopausal ladies, it may possibly probably trigger irregularities within the menstrual cycle.

Don’t take it when you have a bleeding dysfunction, epilepsy or blood strain points (low or excessive). It’s doable for it to annoy the gastrointestinal tract so test together with your physician earlier than taking it when you have any gastrointestinal an infection or situation.

It’s doable for asafoetida to sluggish blood clotting so cease taking it at the least two weeks earlier than any scheduled surgical procedure.

Additionally keep away from it if you’re taking any blood thinners or drugs for hypertension. Asafoetida has been recognized to work together with anticoagulant/antiplatelet and antihypertensive medicine.

As all the time, when you have any ongoing well being considerations, all the time test together with your physician earlier than taking any natural medicines.

Last Ideas

  • Asafoetida is a tough, resinous gum derived from a perennial fennel plant that’s been used for the reason that days of the Roman Empire as an antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative and sedative.
  • Asafoetida advantages could embody serving to to deal with bronchial asthma, hypertension, IBS, excessive blood sugar, flatulence, and extra.
  • This spice is a good substitute for garlic or onion, and a pinch solely provides about one calorie to your meal with none fats, ldl cholesterol, sodium or sugar.
  • It’s usually utilized in many lentil dishes, vegetarian stews and soups, and pickles. It can be tasty in fish dishes. Some courageous folks even used it as a condiment. By way of style, asafoetida isn’t very nice by itself, it’s like a concentrated rotten garlic or onion taste. Nevertheless, as soon as it’s cooked, it provides a pleasing onion or leek-like taste to dishes.