Asafoetida Oleoresins

Asafoetida is a plant. It has a bad smell and tastes bitter. That probably explains why it is sometimes called “devil’s dung.” People use Asafoetida resin, a gum-like material, as medicine. Asafoetida resin is produced by solidifying juice that comes out of cuts made in the plant’s living roots.

Asafoetida is used for breathing problems including ongoing (chronic) bronchitis, "swine" flu, and asthma. It is also used for digestion problems including intestinal gas, upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable colon.

Some people use Asafoetida for hysteria, insanity, convulsions, and as a nerve stimulant for ongoing mental and physical fatigue with depression. Women sometimes use Asafoetida to restart their menstrual periods after menstruation has stopped for some reason. Asafoetida is the dried latex (gum oleoresin) exuded from the rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula, a perennial herb that grows 1 to 1.5 m tall. The species is native to the deserts of Iran, mountains of Afghanistan, and is mainly cultivated in nearby India. As its name suggests, Asafoetida has a fetid smell but in cooked dishes it delivers a smooth flavor reminiscent of leeks.

The resin-like gum comes from the dried sap extracted from the stem and roots and is used as a spice. The resin is grayish-white when fresh but dries to a dark amber color. The Asafoetida resin is difficult to grate and is traditionally crushed between stones or with a hammer. Today, the most commonly available form is compounded Asafoetida, a fine powder containing 30% Asafoetida resin, along with rice flour and gum Arabic.

It grows to 2 meters high, with a circular mass of 30–40 cm leaves. Stem leaves have wide sheathing petioles. Flowering stems are 2.5–3 meters high and 10 cm thick and hollow, with a number of schizogenous ducts in the cortex containing the resinous gum. Flowers are pale greenish yellow produced in large compound umbels. Fruits are oval, flat, thin, reddish brown and have a milky juice. Roots are thick, massive, and pulpy. They yield a resin similar to that of the stems. All parts of the plant have the distinctive fetid smell.

Benefit & Uses: Asafoetida reduces the growth of indigenous micro flora in the gut, reducing flatulence. In the Jammu region of India, Asafoetida is used as a medicine for flatulence and constipation by 60% of locals.

It has remedy for asthma and bronchitis. It is also said to be helpful in cases of asthma and bronchitis. A folk tradition remedy for children's colds: it is mixed into a pungent-smelling paste and hung in a bag around the afflicted child's neck.

Asafoetida has a broad range of uses in traditional medicine as an antimicrobial, with well documented uses for treating chronic bronchitis and whooping cough.

This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment, and in pickles. It typically works as a flavor enhancer and, used along with turmeric, is a standard component of Indian cuisine, particularly in lentil curries, such as dal, or various 'Pappu' like cucumber, mango or tomato pappu; As well as in numerous vegetable dishes. It is especially widely used in South Indian and Maharashtra cuisine, which is mainly vegetarian, and is often used to harmonize sweet, sour, salty and spicy components in food.

Asafoetida is safe for most people in the amounts typically found in foods. There is some evidence that it might be safe when used as medicine. In some people, Asafoetida can cause swelling of the lips, burping, intestinal gas, diarrhea, headache, convulsions, blood disorders and other side effects.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding is UNSAFE to use Asafoetida if you are pregnant. It might cause a miscarriage. Avoid use.
There is concern that Asafoetida might increase the risk of bleeding. Don’t use Asafoetida if you have a bleeding disorder.

 

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