Asafoetida or Ferula Foetida

Asafoetida

Asafoetida (Ferula Foetida, or Ferula Asafoetida, हिङ्गु in Sanskrit, हींग in Hindi)     (V- P+ K-):  

It is bitter and pungent in taste, ‘Virya (Potency, by which it acts on the body, during its stay in the body)’ is Hot, and ‘Vipaka, The Post Digestive Effect, after its interaction with The Body Enzymes)’ is Katu (Pungent). Due its peculiar smell, bitter and pungent taste, also called Devil’s Dung.

Bio-Chemically, it consists of Gum, Useful Volatile Oils (Mostly Ferulic Acid), Fibres, Proteins. It is a Rich Source of Calcium, and also consists of Traces of Iron.

Medicinally, it is Sedative, Expectorant and Laxative. Relieves Spasms (Anti-Inflammatory), Colic Pain, Indigestion, Flatulent. Useful Remedy for Cholera, Chronic Cough (Dry & With Sputum), Bronchitis, Pneumonia. It is a Stimulant for Respiratory and Nervous System (Hysteria, Paralysis, Convulsions). Also, Asafoetida is Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, Useful in Hepatotoxity (Liver Damage), Anti-Tumour, Anti-Cancer.

(Cholera is severe Bacterial infection of Small Intestine (Usually due infected water), may lead to Vomiting-Diarrhoea).

Few medicinal benefits:
  • Indigestion:
  1. Add/Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of heeng powder to a ripe banana and eat.
  • Low and High Blood Pressure:
  1. Simply sprinkle a small amount to your meal preparations (Lunch and Dinner).
  • Kidney problems:
  1. Add 1/5th – 1/6th teaspoon of Asafoetida powder to 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger juice, add a pinch of ‘Sendha Salt’ to a glass of lukewarm water and sip. Take it in the morning after your ‘Usha Paan’, once a day for few weeks, or till the time your kidney metabolism starts getting back to normal. As the medicine has high Hot Potency, may reduce the dose further, or add half a teaspoon of Pure Desi Cow Ghee (With Hot water).  Or, we can consume the mixture with 1 – 1 ½ teaspoon of Desi Cow Ghee, instead of water.
  • Flatulent, Dyspepsia, Intestinal worms:
  1. Take 1/4th teaspoonful each of Asafoetida, crushed Carom Seeds (Ajwain) and Vidanga (विडंग), add all to a glass of warm water, and have it twice a day (So it will be two glasses in a day, one glass in the morning and other in the evening).
  • Opium Ingestion:
  1. Let the patient eat Asafoetida now in the same proportion!
  • Hysterical Fits (or even, Conversion Disorder):
  1. Add Asafoetida to water, and let the patient inhale the vapours.
  2. A Pinch of Asafoetida with a Teaspoon of Jaggery.
  • Plan to eat really heavy meal in a party:
  1. Take ½ – 1 teaspoon of ‘Heengashtak churna’ ½ an hour before meals.
  • Sciatica-Nerve pain (Bones-Joints-Muscle Pains):
  1. Fry a Pinch of Asafoetida in Liberal amount of Pure Desi Cow Ghee, and have it once or twice a day.
  2. A Pinch of Asafoetida, added to double amount of Pushkarmool, taken with Nirgundi Decoction.
  3. Make a decoction of small amount of Asafoetida (1/10th of a Teaspoon!), divide the decoction into 2 parts and take 1 part morning and other evening.

As a flavouring agent, heeng powder may be dissolved into hot oil (sesame or mustard oil only!), and this mixture may then be added drop by drop to the dishes. 

Don’t consume Raw Heeng:

It is nauseous, and might cause burning sensation. Roast it in Desi Cow Ghee (or, Buffalo ghee), and use it as an ingredient in preparing pickles, soups, vegetables and pulses. Since it increases ‘Pitta’, it should be used with caution in cases of Hyperacidity, Hypertension, Red Skin rashes, Haemorrhage, Piles etc. (i.e. The ‘Pitta’ vitiated ailments). 

Test of pure Heeng:

Adulterated Heeng will sink and settle in a glass of water. Pure Heeng, leaving sediments, will completely dissolve in water, forming milky liquid. Pure Heeng is inflammable.

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