Asafoetida is a pungent odorous dried latex with its trivial name stinking gum exuded from the tap root of several species of Ferula foetid. It is derived from a species of giant fennel, Asafoetida has a unique smell and flavor, unpleasantly strong while raw but mellow and garlicky when cooked.

In appearance, Asafoetida is an herbaceous plant that can grow 6 to 10 feet in height. It has numerous sheathed petioles and parsley-like foliage. The flower is also similar to those in the parsley family. Large umbels of tiny pale green yellow blooms become flat oval fruits. The plant takes years to flower but is it dies after flowering.It is part of the celery family Umbelliferae. 

In cooked dishes it delivers a smooth flavour. It is also known as food of the jowani badian, hing, hengu, inguva, kayam, and ting.

Asafoetida or hing is an age-old medicine for stomach problems including gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal worms and flatulence; thanks to its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate such health issues.


  • This spice is used as a digestive aid in food as a condiment.
  • It is used in pickling.
  • It plays a critical flavoring role in Indian vegetarian cuisine by acting as an umami enhancer
  • Used along with turmeric, it is a standard component of lentil curries as well as in numerous vegetable dishes, especially those based on potato and cauliflower.
  • Kashmiri cuisine also uses it in lamb/mutton dishes.
  • It is sometimes used to harmonize sweet, sour, salty, and spicy components in food.
  • The spice is added to the food at the time of tempering.
  • Sometimes dried and ground asafoetida (in very small quantities) can be mixed with salt and eaten with raw salad.
  • In its pure form, it is sold in the form of chunks of resin, small quantities of which are scraped off for use.
  • It is fried along with sauteed onion and garlic.
  • Asafoetida is considered a digestive in that it reduces flatulence.

Medicinal Benefits :

  • Extract of the dried gum is taken for menstruation, whooping cough and to treat ulcers as an oral mouth wash.
  • Hot water extract of the root is taken as an antispasmodic, diuretic, vermifuge and an analgesic.
  • It can also be inhaled as a way to treat pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.
  • It comes to rescue by alleviating the menstrual pain and cramps in the lower abdomen and back. Being a natural blood thinner, it helps blood flow smoothly without hampering any part of your body. It also boosts progesterone secretion that promotes easy blood flow, thus providing relief from pain. Mix a pinch of asafoetida, fenugreek powder and a pinch of salt in a cup of buttermilk and consume it during periods.
  • The extract of the dried leaf and stem can be taken orally by males as an aphrodisiac.
  • Asafoetida  is an age-old medicine for stomach problems including gas,bloating, irritable bowel syndrome , intestinal worms and flatulence, its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties help to alleviate such health issues. Consume a dash of hing on a daily basis by adding it into gravies and dal.
  • Asafoetida also helps in relieving respiratory disorders like asthma, bronchitis, dry cough due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibiotic effects. It also helps in relieving chest congestion and releasing phlegm. 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 is known to be a natural blood thinner and may help in lowering blood pressure levels. It aids in improving blood flow, thereby preventing the formation of clots.
  • Asafoetida has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the head, which in turn reduces headaches. Heat a pinch of asafoetida in some water. Drink this solution a couple of times in a day to see effective results.
  • Asafoetida acts as a natural antidote for insect bites and stings. Mix garlic and hing paste and apply on the affected area.

Other benefits :

  • It is used to kill unwanted trees by boring a hole in the tree and filling the hole with asafoetida.
  • May also be used as a moth light trap attractant by collectors—when mixed by approximately one part to three parts with a sweet, fruit jelly.
  • Commonly used to prevent illness it would be stored in a pouch on a lanyard and worn around the neck.

Beauty Benefits

Helps to Reduce Acne
Its anti-inflammatory properties work together to reduce acne production. Whereas, its anti-bacterial properties inhibit the growth of pimples and rashes. All you need to do is to add multani mitti and rose water along with a dash of hing in a bowl. Mix the ingredients and apply it on the affected area.

Help Bring A Glow On Your Face
Asafoetida helps increase the supply of oxygen to facial tissues that gives your skin a radiant glow. Mix asafoetida with water or rose water to form a paste, you can add some sandalwood powder too. Apply this on your face regularly to get effective results.

 Acts As A Good Hair Conditioner
Asafoetida works wonders for dry and frizzy hair because of its moisturising properties. Make a hair mask using yogurt, almond oil and hing and apply on your hair. Leave it for an hour before washing it off with lukewarm water.


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