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Asafoetida or Hing is dried latex which is extracted from the taproot of many species of Ferula, a perennial herb native to the East Mediterranean and Central Asian regions. The asafoetida resin is usually crushed using a mortar and pestle due to its hard surface. Asafoetida is a common ingredient found in most of the Indian households and is used for cooking purposes. It has medicinal uses as well. The most common problems of the stomach like gas, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, intestinal worm infection, and flatulence can all be treated with this magical ingredient. It has both anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that help in alleviating these kinds of health issues. Uses of ‘hing’ for weight loss are quite common, too.
Nutritional Profile of Hing
Mentioned below are the nutritional properties of hing for a serving size of 100 gms.
|Type of Nutrient||Value|
Benefits of Asafoetida for Your Body
Asafoetida holds its very own place in the Indian kitchen. It is generously used for tempering various dals and other vegetarian dishes. Let us look at the many benefits of hing:
The health benefits of hing have made it a prominent fixture in the Indian kitchens.
1. Reduces Bloating
Asafoetida has been used as a home remedy for stomach problems since ages. It is loaded with anti-spasmodic along with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing bloating, flatulence, gas and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also known to fight intestinal worms.
2. Helps Relieve Asthma
Asafoetida helps in relieving some of the respiratory disorders namely asthma, dry cough, and bronchitis through its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also be used to relieve chest congestion and phlegm. Asafoetida is also known to contain anti-viral and antibiotic properties. Mix a little bit of hing and dry ginger powder with honey for a magical solution to your respiratory issues especially during the seasonal changes.
3. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Asafoetida is a very good blood thinner and may assist in lowering your blood pressure levels. It contains the vital compound Coumarin that improves blood flow in the body thereby reducing the chances of clot formation.
4. Helps Reduce Menstrual Pain
Asafoetida can provide relief from menstrual pain. With its natural ability to thin blood, it aids in smoothening the process of blood flow to various parts of the body. This helps in reducing cramps during menstruation and also reduces cramps in the lower abdomen and back. It also promotes the secretion of the hormone progesterone in the body which helps in easy blood flow thereby providing relief from menstrual pains.
5. Treats Headaches Naturally
The anti-inflammatory properties of hing reduce the inflammation of the blood vessels in the head thereby taking off the pressure on them and helping in reducing your headache. The anti-viral properties of hing can also cure the common flu.
6. Cures Insect Bites
Asafoetida is known to be a natural antidote for various insect bites and painful stings.
7. Helps Cure Indigestion
The antioxidant properties of asafoetida can help in overcoming indigestion problems. Drinking water with a pinch of hing can also provide immediate relief from heartburn.
8. Acts as a Laxative
Hing is known for its laxative properties and helps in preventing constipation.
10. Good for Diabetic People
Asafoetida has been known to assist the pancreatic cells in secreting more insulin in the body which results in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
11. Treats Nerve Disorders
Asafoetida has properties that stimulate the nerves in the body. It is especially recommended in the case of convulsion, hysteria, and other types of nerve disorders.
12. Helps Fight Free Radicals
The powerful antioxidant properties of hing protect the cells in the body from the harmful free radicals. They are known to assist in reducing the malignant cells in the body with their anti-carcinogenic property.
Apart from health benefits, asafoetida has many uses that benefit our skin as well.
1. Aids in Reducing Acne
Acne is a common skin problem that we all deal with every now and then. Applying asafoetida on the infected part mixed with fuller earth and rose water can help in reducing acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in combating acne production while its anti-bacterial properties help in reducing the growth of rashes as well as pimples on the skin.
2. Gives You Glowing Face
Asafoetida helps in increasing the supply of oxygen to the facial tissues which add a glow to your face.
3. Treat Corns and Calluses
Known for its moisturising properties; asafoetida can be used to treat corns and calluses.
4. Makes the Skin Colour Lighter
5. Moisturises the Skin
The moisturising properties in asafoetida are excellent for dry skin. It reduces dullness and pigmentation in the skin to a visible extent.
6. Anti-ageing Properties
The anti-ageing properties of asafoetida make it a perfect choice to use as the main ingredient for a face mask that fights wrinkles.
The amazing properties of asafoetida help in maintaining a healthy scalp which in turn improves the strength of the hair and its texture.
1. Acts as a Good conditioner
Experiencing trouble with dry and frizzy hair? Mix asafoetida, yoghurt, and almond oil and apply it on your hair as a hair conditioner. Its moisturising properties act an excellent hair conditioner agent.
2. Restores the pH Balance in the Scalp
Asafoetida has properties that help in restoring and replenishing the pH balance in your hair and makes it healthy and strong.
3. Reduces Hair Fall
Asafoetida is also known to reduce hair fall.
How to Use Hing for Cooking Purposes
Hing has various benefits including being able to reduce ailments of the stomach. Let us look at how to use hing in the cooking process.
- If you are using hing in the form of lumps, crush it using a crusher and mix it with water to form a paste and then add it to your recipe. This way you can get a fresher taste with a rich aroma. Use only a little of this powder as it would be much stronger than the already powdered forms.
- For those of you who like the strong aroma, roast the hing in hot oil for a few seconds and then add the vegetables or the dal. Remember to be quick in the roasting process as hing can burn very easily.
- Uses of asafoetida can be seen while making many soup and meat dishes. Steep a pinch of hing in a cup of hot water and add it to your dish towards the end to retain that unique flavour.
Asafoetida is a safe ingredient to consume for most of us. But people with the following history should be cautious about their intake of asafoetida in their food.
1. Avoid it Before a Surgery
Asafoetida has blood thinning properties and should be avoided if you are about to undergo surgery. It may increase the chances of bleeding during and post surgery.
2. Stomach Issues
Asafoetida can be a cause of irritation to your GI tract if you already have an infection or any other GI issue.
If you are already under medication for your high blood pressure then consuming asafoetida might interfere in controlling your BP.
Asafoetida is a magical ingredient that can work wonders for your body. Here are some Faqs for you know when to exercise caution or avoid the consumption of asafoetida:
1. Are There Any Side Effects of Asafoetida?
While asafoetida powder benefits have been known to us for a long time, it comes with its own share of side effects. Following are the side effects of asafoetida.
Swelling of lips has been noticed in few people after they consumed asafoetida. This usually goes away on its own after a few hours.
Causes gas or even diarrhoea
Increased intake of asafoetida is linked to causing gas and even diarrhoea in some cases.
It has been noticed that few people develop skin rashes or bumps as a result of using too much hing in their foods.
Causes headaches and dizziness
Some people have complained of headaches and dizziness after consuming hing. These are temporary reactions and go away in a few hours.
Most of the side effects of hing subside in a few hours, but if you still see the symptoms persisting reach out to your doctor for further assistance.
2. Is It Safe to Give Asafoetida to Babies and Kids?
Asafoetida should not be given orally to any child below the age of 8 months. You can massage the baby’s stomach with asafoetida and plain water to release gas or ease his colic pain. For toddlers, you can introduce a pinch of asafoetida in their diet while tempering dals. You can also add them to various vegetable dishes.
3. Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms Consume Hing?
Asafoetida should be avoided when you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding your infant. Asafoetida in pregnancy can cause a miscarriage. If you consume asafoetida while breastfeeding, the chemical properties of asafoetida might get passed to your infant through your breast milk causing bleeding disorders.
Adding a small pinch of asafoetida in your food can help you reap its benefits immensely. Asafoetida suits most people, but bear in mind that you should follow the precautionary tips mentioned in the article and consult a doctor if you feel unwell.