Asafoetida or commonly known as ‘hing’ in India. It is a spice extracted from ferula plants. Hing is obtained after a process of grinding the dried gum into a coarse powder. It is grown in Central Asia, eastern Iran to Afghanistan, and in India, it is found in Punjab and Kashmir.
Hing and its close relationship with the Indian kitchen
No Indian food is complete without the aroma of hing in it. For many centuries people have been using it to add flavor to the dish and the medicinal benefits.
The most common medicinal benefit of hing is that it helps in ingestion. It allows people who have digestion problems to cure it. A small pinch of hing works sufficiently for making your food digest properly. It is a great alternative for ginger and garlic for those who don’t eat them or have fast for religious purposes.
Health benefits of Asafoetida
Asafoetida aids in protecting your cell against the possible damage produced by free radicals, which are unstable molecules in nature. Which in return helps to prevent the body
A significant source of antioxidants from chronic diseases like heart disease, inflammation, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
It consists of many phenolic compounds like tannins and flavonoids, which are popular for their antioxidant effect.
Aids in minimizing symptoms of IBS
A chronic gastrointestinal known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome includes discomfort, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. As he helps in indigestion due to which it can also be considered that it can aid IBS.
For those who suffer from IBS, hing can be a great alternative for garlic and onion while cooking. As garlic and onion have fructans in a large amount which leads to indigestion, carbs which can cause GI issues in some people suffering from IBS.
Great for digestion
As we discussed earlier, hing helps to digest your food quicker. It improves our indigestion by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes. It helps in the digestion of fat by shooting up the Bile juice from the liver. It can also be used to prevent or diminish the gas after eating.
Lowers your blood pressure
Though there is not a lot of research on this topic on animals, it can be seen it can lower blood pressure. The reason behind it is that it relaxes the blood vessels.
Aids in cough and cold
It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which aid in curing cough and cold. It helps in relieving chest congestion. Those who are suffering from asthma are advised to consume it as it helps in curing asthma.
Side-effects of Asafoetida
Though the research conducted on humans showed no sign of discomfort after using hing, it contradicts when used on animals. According to animal research, large consumption of hing can cause headaches, mouth-swelling, diarrhea, anxiety, and gas.
Hing is not recommended to pregnant or breastfeeding women or young children as it can lower the blood pressure or make the blood thinner.
Hing or Asafoetida is a great spice to consume. Though it is commonly found in powder, some shops also sell it in a capsule manner. However, there is no guarantee whether it is effective or not.