MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
STINKING GUM RESIN
Asafoetida (Ferula asafoetida) is also known as Devil's Dung, Devil's herb, Hing and Narthex. From early times, Asafoetida has been held in great esteem amongst indigenous Indian medicine men. It is the pungent odor of this resin that is the cause for some of its other strange names (including those above), such as Stinking Gum, Asant, Food of the Gods, Hingu, Heeng, Giant Fennel and Jowani Badian. The name Asafoetida is derived from the Persian word for “resin” and the Latin word for “stinking”. The herb is a native of Persia, but has been cultivated in Europe and India for over 2,000 years. Asafoetida is grown mostly in the mountains of Iran and Afghanistan, and is mainly cultivated in nearby India from where it is exported to the rest of the world.
Asafoetida is the dried latex (gum oleoresin) exuded from the living underground rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula. The resin-like gum comes from the dried sap and is used as a spice. The resin is greyish-white when fresh but dires 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 percent asafoetida resin, along with rice flour and gum arabic.
Asafoetida is a perennial herb that grows wild from about 1 to 2 meters (40 to 80 inches) and up to 6 to 12 feet high with a circular mass of 30 to 40 centimeter leaves. It is found in large natural forests where little else grows. It has fine leaves and pale greenish-yellow flowers produces in large compound umbels. Fruits are oval, flat, thin, reddish brown and have a milky juice. Stem leaves have wide sheathing petioles. Flowering stems are 2.5 to 3 meters high and 10 centimeters (4 inches) thick and hollow, with a number of schizogenous ducts in the cortex containing the resinous gum. The roots are thick, massive and pulpy and also yield a similar resin to that of the stems, it is said the roots look like carrots. All parts of the plant have a distinctive stinky smell. The juice of the plant is not collected till the plant is at least four years old. In the spring, March and April, just before the flowering occurs, the stalks are cut close to the root. The plant can yield up to 2 pounds of resin out of the root once it is pulled out and dried up. Asafoetida has a pungent, strong fetid smell when raw, but in coked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminescent of leeks.
In Indian and Persian cuisines this herbs is used to flavor pickles and it often finds its way into foods of these nations as a condiment. To cook with asafoetida, one would heat oil or butter in a pan and then add a small amount of the asafoetida dried herbs to the fat to saute. Dishes featuring vegetables or lentils are the usual ones in which ferula assa-foetida organic herbs are used to best effect. For those who cannot eat onion or garlic yet enjoy the taste, asafoetida herbs can take their flavorful place. Because of its strong scent when uncooked, it is wise to store it in an airtight container so that it does not impart its aroma to other nearby food products.
ASAFOETIDA USES, HEALTH BENEFITS & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
AN AYURVEDIC MEDICINE
In Ayurvedic medicine, Asafoetida is used to treat a variety of ailments. Asafoetida is used in the treatment of hysteria, nervous disorders, flatulence, flatulent colic, digestion, and spasmodic affections of the bowels. It is also used to treat whooping cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma as well. In Ayurvedic, Western, and Chinese medicine this resin is effective in treating worms and other intestinal parasites. Asafoetida has reputation for expelling wind from the stomach and relieves stomach spasms. In the 19th century it was commonly used to treat hysterical women with mood swings, depression, a digestive weakness. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is highly regarded as a condiment and medicinal remedy for various conditions. Traditional Chinese herbalists say this resin enters the liver, spleen, and stomach channels where it stimulates the intestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Asafoetida has digestive, sedative, stimulant, antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue (promoting menstrual discharge), and vermifuge (expelling worms or other parasites in the intestines) properties.
Asafoetida 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 dosakaya, mamidikaya or tomato pappu. as well as in numerous vegetable dishes. It is especially widely used in South Indian cuisine, which is mainly vegetarian, and is often used to harmonize sweet, sour, salty and spicy components in food. It is used to hallmark the taste of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu sambar, a saucy dish made with cereals and lentils. The spice is added to the food at the time of Chaunk / Popu/ tadka. Sometimes dried and ground Asafoetida (in very mild quantity) can be mixed with salt and eaten with raw salad. In its pure form, its odor is so strong the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby if it is not stored in an airtight container. Many commercial preparations of Asafoetida utilize the resin ground up and mixed with a larger volume of wheat flour. The mixture is sold in sealed plastic containers with a small hole at the bottom, allowing the diluted spice to be dusted lightly over the food being cooked. However, its odor and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil or ghee, acquiring a taste and aroma reminiscent of sauteed onion and garlic.
MEDICAL APPLICATIONS OF ASAFOETIDA
Antiflatulent: Asafoetida reduces the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut, reducing flatulence.
Fighting Influenza: Asafoetida was used in 1918 to fight the Spanish influenza pandemic. In 2009, scientists at the Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan reported that the roots of Asafoetida produce natural antiviral drug compounds that kill the swine flu virus, H1N1. In an article published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Natural Products, the researchers said the compounds "may serve as promising lead components for new drug development" against this type of flu.
Wound Healing: In Thailand and India, Asafoetida is used to aid digestion and is smeared on the abdomen in an alcohol or water tincture known as mahahing. Asafoetida in this tincture form was evidently used in western medicine as a topical treatment for abdominal injuries during the 18th and 19th centuries, although when it came into use in the West and how long it remained in use is uncertain. One notable case in which it was used is that of Canadian Coureur des bois Alexis St. Martin, who in 1822 suffered a severe abdominal injury from an accidental shooting, which perforated his right lung and stomach, and shattered several ribs. St Martin was treated by American army surgeon William Beaumont, who subsequently used St Martin as the subject of a pioneering series of experiments in gastric physiology, thanks to the fact that when St Martin's wounds fully healed, it left an open fistula into the stomach which enabled Beaumont to insert various types of food directly into St Martin's stomach and record the results. In his account of his treatment of and later experiments on St Martin, Beaumont recorded that he treated the suppurating chest wound with a combination of wine mixed with diluted muriatic acid, and 30 to 40 drops of tincture of Asafoetida, applied three times a day, and that this appeared to have the desired effect, helping the wound to heal.
Asthma & Bronchitis: Asafoetida 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.
Antimicrobial: Asafoetida has a broad range of uses in traditional medicine as an antimicrobial, with well documented uses for treating chronic bronchitis and whooping cough, as well as reducing flatulence.
Contraceptive / Abortifacient: Asafoetida has also been reported to have contraceptive/abortifacient activity, and is related to (and considered an inferior substitute for) the ancient Ferula species Silphium.
Antiepileptic: Asafoetida oleo-gum-resin has been reported to be antiepileptic in classical Unani, as well as ethnobotanical literature.
Balancing Vata & Kapha: In Ayurveda, asafoetida is considered to be one of the best spices for balancing the vata dosha. It mitigates vata and kapha, relieves flatulence and colic pain. It is pungent taste and at the end of digestion. It aggravates pitta, enhances appetite, taste and digestion. It is easy to digest. (Reference: Ashtanga Hridaya Su chapter 6).
REGIONAL USES OF ASAFOETIDA
In the Jammu region of India, Asafoetida is used as a medicine for flatulence and constipation by 60 percent of locals. It is used especially by the merchant caste of the Hindus and by adherents of Jainism and Vaishnavism, particularly in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, who do not eat onions or garlic. It is used in many vegetarian and lentil dishes to add both flavor and aroma, as well as to reduce flatulence.
OTHER USES OF ASAFOETIDA
Bait: John C Duval reported in 1936 that the odor of Asafoetida is attractive to the wolf, a matter of common knowledge, he says, along the Texas-Mexico border. It is also used as one of several possible scent baits, most notably for catfish and pike. May also be used as a moth (Lepidoptera) light trap attractant by collectors when mixed by approximately 1 part to 3 parts with a sweet, fruit jelly.
Rituals & Repelling Spirits: In Jamaica, Asafoetida is traditionally applied to a baby's anterior fontanel (Jamaican patois mole) to prevent spirits (Jamaican patois duppies) from entering the baby through the fontanel. In the African-American Hoodoo tradition, Asafoetidais used in magic spells, as it is believed to have the power both to protect and to curse. In ceremonial magick, especially from The Key of Solomon the King, it is used to protect the magus from demonic forces and to evoke the same and bind them.
RITUAL USES OF ASAFOETIDA (Ferula foetida)
Folk Names: Assyfetida, Devil's Dung, Food of the Gods
Part Uses - Incense: Gum
Substitute: Tobacco, Valerian
Scent: Overpowering, rotten meat, dung
Planet: Mars (Saturn)
Element: Fire (Earth)
Powers: exorcism, purification, protection
Magical Uses: Burn in small amounts in exorcism and protection incenses. Also use in protection sachets, but only if you want to smell odd. Destroys manifestations or spirits if thrown onto a fire or into the censer during magical rites. Sometimes used as an amulet to keep away colds and fevers, and for this purpose is usually worn around the neck. Used ritually for consecration, endings, exorcism, overcoming opposition, protection, psychic protection, release, spell breaking. The old grimores relied heavily on Asafoetida as an ingredient in spells of exorcism and black magic. Its smell is so offensive, however, that its use has been almost eliminated in recent years.
Unfortunately, though Asafoetida is undoubtedly powerful, it also has a particularly horrid odor. Just the slightest suggestion of the fragrance has caused vomiting, Use with care and in a well-ventilated area.
ASAFOETIDA DOSAGE INFORMATION
Asafoetida comes in various forms and is an ingredient in many products. For best results, read and follow product label directions.
Typical Asafoetida contains about 40 to 64 percent resin, 25 percent endogeneous gum, 10 to 17 percent volatile oil, and 1.5 to 10 percent ash. The resin portion is known to contain asaresinotannols 'A' and 'B', ferulic acid, umbelliferone and four unidentified compounds.
ASAFOETIDA SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS
There are no known safety issues or interactions associated with Asafoetida when taken in the recommended doses.
The only safety issue noted is when used as a spice. It is said by some that it takes a brave person to use Asafoetida as a spice on your food.
ASAFOETIDA SUPPLEMENTS & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
ASAFOETIDA HERBAL PRODUCTS
AYURVEDIC HERBS DIRECT PRODUCTS
Ayurvedic Herbs Direct: Vata Digest - Hingvastak, Banyan Botanicals, 500 mg, 90 Tabs
Indigestion and flatulence are two common symptoms of vata aggravation. The cold, dry and light qualities of vata weaken the digestive fire and inhibit the large intestines ability to properly absorb nutrients and maintain regularity. Hingvastak is the traditional formula used to balance vata due to its heating quality. The herbs enkindle the digestive fire, warm the intestinal tract and promote regularity. Each 500 mg tablet contains Cumin seed, Ajamoda seed, Black Cumin seed, Ginger root, Black Pepper fruit, Pippali fruit, Mineral Salt, Asafoetida, and Fenugreek.
Ayurvedic Herbs Direct: Para Cleanse, Banyan Botanicals, 500 mg, 90 Tabs
Para Cleanse is a synergistic combination of the most effective antiparasitic herbs in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. This formula helps rid the gastrointestinal tract of unwanted parasites and eliminates the toxins on which they feed. It is also useful for digestive complaints associated with foreign travel. Each 500 mg tablet contains Vidanga fruit, Neem leaf, Kataja bark, Ajamoda seed, Amalaki fruit, Bibhitaki fruit, Haritaki fruit, Black Pepper fruit, Ginger root, Pippali fruit, Asafoetida, and Fenugreek.
STARWEST BOTANICALS PRODUCTS
Starwest Botanicals: Asafoetida Powder (Ferula assa-foetida), 1 lb.
Asafoetida powder and a maximum of 60 percent fenugreek seeds.
HerbsPro: Asafoetida Extract, Natures Answer, 1 fl. oz.
Kalyx: Asafoetida Powder (Ferula assa-foetida), Starwest Botanicals, 1 lb: C
Kalyx: Chinese Asafoetida Herb 5:1 Extract Powder (Ferula sinkiangensis), 100 Grams: V (Special Order)
Kalyx: E Wei Ferula Foetida Resina (Asafoetida Resin), Cut & Sifted, NuHerbs, 1 lb: TC
Kalyx: Chinese Asafoetida Whole Herb (Ferula sinkiangensis): Plum Flower, 500 Grams (1.17 lb): V (Special Order)
Kalyx: Chinese Asafoetida Herb Powder (Ferula sinkiangensis): Plum Flower, 500 Grams (1.17 lb): V (Special Order)
Kalyx: King Bio Homeopathic Yeast Free, 2 fl. oz: HF
For yeast or fungal overgrowths in both male and female, and candida albicans infections, and the symptoms of fatigue, congestion, headaches, indigestion, poor bowel functions, achy joints, poor memory, sensitive emotions, changing moods, and mold sensitivity. Ingredients include Abies Nigra, Antimonium Crudum, Asafoetida, Baptisia Tinctoria, Borax, Candida Albicans, Lachesis Mutus, Phytolacca Decandra, Pulsatilla, Phosphoricum Acidum, Sticta Pulmonaria, Sulphur, Thuja Occidentalis. Each ingredient is in equal volumes of 12x, 30x, and LM1 potencies in a pure water base.
Kalyx: Liddell Homeopathic Sinus Congestion & Headache Spray, 1 fl. oz.: HF
Promotes sinus drainage and alleviates sinus congestion, sinus pressure and headache pain. A safe and effective homeopathic oral spray that is 100% natural with no artificial additives or preservatives. Ingredients include Antimonium tart 6X, arsenicum iod 200C, asafoetida 30C, baptisia 3X, echinacea ang 3X, eupatorium perf 3X, hepar sulph calc 30X, hydrastis 30C, kali bic 30C, kreosotum 30C, lachesis 200C, merc ido rub 6X, pyrogenium 200C, teucrium mar 3X, Inactive ingredients: Organic alcohol 20%, v/v, purified water.
Kalyx: Hylands Gas Homeopathic, 100 Tabs: K
Hylands natural relief for gas and upset stomach, relief of symptoms of flatulence, belching, and gas due to improper digestion or gastric distress and upset. Ingredients includes Nux Moschata 3X HPUS - relieves flatulent dyspepsia with excessive bloating, fever with a feeling of chilliness. Asafoetida 3X HPUS - helps to relieve flatulence and spasmodic contraction of the stomach and esophagus. Great distention with forcible belching of gas. Ignatia Amara 3X HPUS - sour belching, rumbling in bowels, cramps in stomach, throbbing in abdomen. Lycopodium Clavatum 6X HPUS - helps to relieve dyspepsia, bloating, rolling of flatulence and bitter taste. Incomplete belching rises only to pharynx and burns there for hours. In a base of Lactose (milk sugar), N.F.
Nutrition Basics: Asafoetida Herbal Information
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
For a full list of available products from Mountain Rose Herbs, click on banner below:
MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.