Have you ever heard of Devil’s dung? Weird question… right ?
More weird is it’s also named by few as “Food of GOD” or “Stinking gum”
These all are the just few nick names of our super useful spice…Asafetida
What is asafetida and where is it found?
The roots of the rhizome plant, Ferula are dried to form a gum like substance. This dried latex (gum) is Asafetida. It is a monocarpic plant .i.e. It blooms only once when it is five-years-old and dies after flowering. This spice is native to the deserts of Iran and mountains of Afghanistan but is mainly cultivated nearby India.
Appearance, Aroma and more…
A freshly exposed asafetida has a shining white appearance, but it darkens in the air, turning pinkish and then reddish brown.
As its name suggests, asafetida has a fetid smell, but it delivers a smooth flavor in cooked dishes. Its unpleasant foul/pungent aroma is due to complex mixture of sulfur compounds, which disappears when cooked. It is more commonly called as Hing in India.
1. Helps Reduce Bloating and Other Stomach Problems
Asafetida is an old very commonly used medicine for stomach problems including gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal worms and flatulence; thanks to its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that helps tackle these health issues. Mostly vegetarians love it because they eat lots of beans, lentils and legumes. They feel less bloated and gassy when they cook with asafetida.
It can also help by providing huge relief from menstrual cramps, and irregular period.
2. Asafetida is very beneficial in treating insect bites and stings from bees and wasps
It relieves pain and inflammation and helps reduce the toxic effects. In fact, asafetida is also used in insect repellent products to ward off mosquitoes, gnats and other insects because of its pungent smell.
3. Asafetida helps in lowering blood sugar levels
Asafetida helps in stimulating the pancreatic cells that are responsible for the secretion of insulin, this decreases the blood sugar level. It also helps in reducing high blood pressure. It is bursting with a compound called coumarins that helps in improving blood flow and prevent unwanted blood clotting. This spice also helps in lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride from your body.
Asafetida with its unique property is also used to treat impotency in men. Just a pinch of this spice in food will help in preventing many sexual problems.
Isn’t it amazing a dash of this super spice have so many benefits….
1. Add a dash of asafetida on to gravies, soups or dals.
2. Dissolve some asafetida in water and drink it daily to get rid of stomach problems.
3. Apply a paste of asafetida powder and water on the affected area of insect bite. Let it dry and then rinse it off.
4. For colicky baby rub small amount of powdered asafetida on baby’s belly. Baby will be relieved within few mins.
5. For mensural cramps mix 1 tbsp of asafetida with 2 tbsp of jaggery, roll into small balls (papaya seeds size) and eat twice a day during the time.