Asafoetida or hing is the dried gum extracted from rhizome or tap root of plants belonging to Ferula species. It is mainly available in Iran, Afghanistan and cultivated in India. Its strong fetid odour is the reason for the name Asafoetida. It gives a pleasant flavour when cooked in dishes or when used in seasoning, for which even powdered form of hing can be used. It is also known as food of the gods, stinking gum and Devil’s dung.
Based on principles of Ayurveda, hing or asafoetida is light to digest and has properties of deep tissue penetration. It is hot to taste and has hot potency. It mitigates kapha and vata. But it vitiates pitta.
Medicinal properties of Asafoetida or Hing according to Ayurveda:
For intestinal parasites: Asafoetida is very useful in expulsion of intestinal parasites. It is administered in the form of enema along with water.
For cough and Cold: This gum is massaged over chest to relieve chest congestion. It can be taken with warm water during cough and cold.
For digestive problems: Hing helps in indigestion, flatulence and bloating of stomach. Hence it is used in Indian cuisine to make the food easy for digestion. It increases appetite and promotes good circulation of blood.
For erectile Dysfunction: Ayurveda acharyas recommend applying hing on male genital organ to increase hardness. Asafoetida can be used internally to increase blood circulation to male reproductive system and improve duration of erections. Thus hing can be the best ayurvedic remedy for erectile dysfunction.
For Cystitis: Asafoetida reduces inflammation of bladder and reduces pain in cystitis
For Heart diseases: It improves blood cholesterol levels and helps to maintain heart health.
For women health: Use of Asafoetida reduces menstrual cramps and helps in easy flow of menstrual blood. It helps to cleanse the uterus after delivery.
For fever: Hing helps to reduce fever.
The main ayurvedic preparations using hing are Hingvashtak churna, hingvadi vati, Hingukarpura gutika, rajah pravartini vati
- Hing should be fried in pure ghee before administering in digestive system disorders .
- Raw hing has to be used in respiratory diseases.
- Hing has to be first dissolved in little water before using.