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Asafoetida Benefits

Asafoetida Benefits

Asafoetida is a popular ingredient in many savory dishes. However, what makes this substance more popular are its benefits. The following article provides information on the health benefits of this spice.
HolisticZine Staff
Asafoetida, also known as devil's dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods, etc., is a perennial plant that is native to the Middle East. In its raw form, it has a pungent and unpleasant smell, but when cooked, it enhances the flavor of the dish. This herb cannot be consumed raw, as it may cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. Using it in its powdered form is recommended to avoid any undesirable side effects.

The part which is mostly used, is the gum resin which is extracted from its roots, provided it is at least 4 years old. This gum is usually extracted in the summer months. The gum is extracted by cutting away the stem of the plant and making successive slices through the roots, where the gum is present. This very gum is used in cooking and in preparations for treating ailments due to its antimicrobial nature.

Health Benefits

Asthma and Bronchitis
It can be used by people affected by bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough. Get a teaspoon of the powdered form of the gum resin and mix it with honey (2 tsp.), betel leaf juice (1 tsp.), and a quarter spoon of the juice of white onion. Drink this concoction to get relief from the symptoms of the aforementioned conditions.

Spasms
Being antispasmodic in nature, it helps relieve spasms in the bowel. The herb also fights intestinal parasitic infections. It can be used in case of children affected by chronic fatigue, candidiasis, digestive ailments, and nervous disorders.

Menstruation and Impotency
Women can use this herb to get relief from difficult and painful menstruation, premature labor, sterility, and leucorrhoea. Nursing women who are prone to flatulence, are recommended to use this herb. Men suffering from impotency can take a preparation of asafoetida (6 centigrams) which is fried in clarified butter. Add a spoonful of fresh latex from the banyan tree and a teaspoon of honey. Take this homemade remedy every 40 consecutive days in the morning.

Toothache
Prepare a mixture of powdered asafoetida and lemon juice. Dip a cotton swab in the solution, and place it on the cavity of the aching tooth. This will provide relief from toothache.

Other Uses
It acts like an antidote for opium, and can be used by people who are addicted to opium. Also, its sedating quality makes it an effective remedy for high blood pressure. The oil obtained from this plant is known to lower the levels of total cholesterol in the body. Episodes of hysteria can be countered by inhaling the gum of this herb. The plant can also be used as a natural pesticide due to its pungent smell.

To conclude, there are also some side effects which might occur with its use. Consuming the herb raw or having it in large amounts may cause nausea, vomiting, throat irritation, diarrhea, and pregnancy-related problems.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.