Asafoetida (Hing) for Better Digestion and Circulation
It is famous for its anthelminthic, stimulant, carminative (relieving flatulence), antiseptic, analgesic and anti-spasmodic properties.
Precautions: high fever, hyperacidity, rash, hives, pregnancy, high Pitta.
Hing is a tall perennial herb with robust carrot shaped roots growing wild in Kashmir, Punjab and Himalayas.
Part used is aromatic gum resin obtained from incision in the living rhizomes or roots.
Asafoetida is of pungent taste, hot in action and is Vata balancing. It tastes like garlic and onion together and is very potent. The container with Hing should be closed tightly unless you want your kitchen to smell like onion and garlic.
When cooking, you have to find the amount of Asafoetida which is right for you, but usually 1/16 teaspoon or less of pure herb will do. It often is sold mixed with rice flour that makes it easier to use.
As a spice:
Asafoetida should always be fried in a little oil for a few seconds for the resin to dissolve in the fat and then added to the food.
Asafoetida helps in indigestion, loss of appetite, flatulent colic, constipation, and spasm. It is often used with ginger, cardamom and rock salt for lentils and beans, making them easier to assimilate and decreasing gas.
As a medicine Asafoetida should not be taken without doctor’s control since by prolonged use even in moderation doses it gives rise to acrid irritation in the throat.
- Constipation. A pinch of Asafoetida along with Ghee with the first morsel of the food in the morning.
- Worms. A doctor can choose to give Asafoetida as an enema.
- Chronic flatulence. Take Asafoetida fried with Ghee and other spices.
- Whooping cough and Asthma. Inhalation of Asafoetida smoke called Hinguadi churna with Black gram may relieve spasmodic attacks.
- Acne. Apply externally with Ghee and salt.
- Cold (with no high fever). Apply with Ghee to feet to bring instant heat to the body.
- Analgesic. Apply as a paste for abdominal pain, arthritic pain, or painful joints.
TODAY’S TIP: Onion and garlic are tamasic (grounding but dull) in nature and make one prone to ignorant choices in life. Some sources recommend taking Asafoetida as an alternative to them due to similar taste. Although Asafoetida is tamasic as well, it is still better than garlic and onion because of the tiny amount we need for proper digestion.