Asafoetida is an incredibly unique, pungent spice that has been used for centuries in India, Iran, and Afghanistan. The smell and taste of asafoetida are both strong and distinct, and it is often used as a flavoring agent in traditional dishes. Asafoetida is a powerful digestive aid and can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and even help with respiratory issues. In this post, we’ll take a look at the history of asafetida, its uses, and some tips on how to use it in cooking. We’ll also explore the potential health benefits of this unique spice and discuss how to source it and store it. Finally, we’ll talk about some delicious recipes that feature asafoetida as an ingredient.

Asafoetida Nutritional Value and Calories Chart

Asafoetida is a type of spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It has a strong, pungent aroma and flavor, and is often used as a flavoring agent in curries, lentils, and other dishes. Asafoetida is also known for its medicinal properties. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, making it a nutritional powerhouse. Here is a look at the nutritional value of asafetida: 

  • Calories: 5 
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g 
  • Fat: 0 g 
  • Protein: 0 g 
  • Fiber: 0 g 
  • Vitamins: Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 
  • Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc 
  • Phytochemicals: Cinnamic acid, Ferulic acid, Syringic acid 

As you can see, asafoetida is a nutrient dense food that can provide many health benefits. In addition to its antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content, it also contains several phytochemicals, which are plant compounds that have been linked to various health benefits. Additionally, asafoetida is low in calories and fat, making it a great choice for those looking to keep their calorie and fat intake low.

Asafoetida in India

It is a dry latex or resinous gum. The latex or sap is harvested and allowed to dry into the hard resinous clumps known as asafetida / hing. This process is usually done before the plant flowers. The sulphur compound present in asafoetida gives color from light to dark brown (or dirty yellow). As the name suggests from the Latin foetida, which translates as “foul smelling”, it smells something like a cross between rotten eggs and old socks.

  • Scientific Binomial: Ferula foetida / Ferula assa-foetida
  • Common English: Devil’S Dung
  • Ayurvedic: Hingu / Hinguka / Raamattha / Baahlika / Jatuka / Sahasravedhi / Vedhi
  • Unani: Hilteet
  • Sanskrit
  • Hindi / Urdu: Hing
  • Bengali: Hin
  • Marathi: Hing
  • Telugu: Inguva / Ingumo
  • Tamil: Perunkaayam / Perungaayam
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada: Hingu / Ingu
  • Malayalam: Kaayam
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri

Home Remedies

It contains 40-60% resin, 25% gum, and 10-17% volatile oil. Asafoetida oil can be obtained by steam distillation of gum resin. Asafetida gives flavor that enhances vegetarian and Ayurvedic cuisine all over the Indian subcontinent, and the distinctive smell is the key to many authentic Indian vegetable dishes. Compounded form is the one that we are getting in stores now a days. It is powder form with 30% asafetida resin, along with rice flour and gum arabic. Asafoetida is good for conditions such as female sterility, asthma, colic, flatulence, bronchitis, amnesia, hysteria, leucorrhoea, toothache, whooping cough etc.

  • Arthritis: In case of rheumatoid arthritis, mylangia and traumatic swelling use the home made lotion like paste. Take 2 gms. of compounded asafoetida and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix together to dissolve asafetida. Apply as an analgesic balm on the affected area.
  • Tooth Pain: Asafoetida is also effective for relieving toothache due to cavity. Pestle the asafoetida and with lemon juice and slightly heat the solution. Take a small cotton swab, soak in the solution and place on the tooth cavity to get relief quickly. The powder of the spice can also be applied with beneficial results on the painful tooth and surrounding gums.
  • Digestive Aid: In Indian Ayurvedic medicine system, it is widely used in indigenous system as it can expel the wind from stomach and counteract many spasmodic disorders. It is a nervine stimulant, digestive agent, a sedative and inhibits growth of microbes due to its antibiotic properties. To treat flatulence and distension of the stomach, dissolve asafoetida in hot water and a pad of cloth soaked in it may be used for fomenting the abdomen. Hing works well as enema for intestinal flatulence. Adding hing in everyday food recipes is good habit for smooth digestion.
  • Ear Pain: In case of earache, take a small amount of cotton, put a pinch of asafetida into it, and roll it into a capsule like shape. Place that ball of cotton into the outer ear. The fumes of the asafetida will quickly relieve ear pain.
  • Stomach Problems: For a common tummy ache, a simple, natural, and effective home remedy with hing. Mix together 1/3 teaspoon cumin powder, a pinch of asafetida, and a pinch of rock salt. Chew well; wash down with warm water.
  • Traditional Belief: In olden days, raw asafoetida used to tied in a cloth and left hanging in one of the corners of the house. It was believed that the smell that emitted from the stuff was responsible for preventing the diseases.

Side Effects and Warnings

It advisable to use compounded that is powder form of asafoetida rather than natural raw form as it is hard to crush it. In factories it is usually crushed with the help of heavy machine along with some additional substances. It should not be used in excessive amount due to its semitoxic effects. Infants and children should not be given hing in oral form, as it could cause severe vomiting leading to dehydration.

Leave a comment