Asafoetida- A Stinking yet Amazing Herb
Wonder from where does Asafoetida gets its name? Well, there is no other polite way to say it the name comes from a Latin word “foetid” which means “smelly.” Asafoetida has its own place in Indian cuisine. It is used most commonly to season dals (lentils), sambars, pickles and various other spicy vegetarian dishes. But the herb is known to be anti flatulent, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, laxative, nerve stimulant, expectorant and sedative. Here are the few health benefits of hing.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of asafoetida help alleviate digestion problems like upset stomach, intestinal gas, intestinal worms, flatulence, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dissolve small pieces of asafoetida in half a cup of water for quick relief from indigestion. It is also an excellent laxative and prevents constipation.
A host of women’s menstrual problems like pain, cramps, and irregular periods can be treated with asafoetida. The herb is also useful in the treatment of candida infection and leucorrhoea (thick white/yellow coloured discharge from the vagina).
Hing has been used since times immemorial to treat respiratory tract infections. It acts as a respiratory stimulant and expectorant to release phlegm and relieve chest congestion. Mix hing with some honey and ginger to alleviate problems like chronically dry cough, whooping cough, bronchitis, influenza, and asthma.
Studies have shown that antiviral drug compounds produced by the roots of the hing plant can kill H1N1, the swine flu virus and can be used for new drug development against the virus.
Asafoetida helps pancreatic cells to secrete more insulin. It thereby decreases blood sugar levels. Eat bitter gourd (karela) cooked with this smelly herb to lower your blood sugar levels.
Asafoetida contains coumarins which aid in thinning of blood and prevent blood clotting. This anticoagulant property of hind along with its healing powers protects against high triglycerides and cholesterol. It thus helps lower high blood pressure.
Asafoetida is recommended for hysteria, convulsions, syncope and other nerve disorders. It protects against these nerve ailments by stimulating the nerves.
Headaches and migraines have become a part of our hectic schedules. To alleviate these head-busters, dissolve hing in water and drink. A piece of hing mixed with lemon juice works wonders for an aching tooth.
Hing is a powerful anti-oxidant and protects the body cells from free radicals. According to studies, the anti-carcinogenic property of hing stops the growth of malignant cells.