Asafoetida Gum And Compounded Form (Ferula asafoetida) Overview
Ferula asafoetida is herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Central Asia and Eastern Iran to Afghanistan. It is commonly known as hing, heeng, asafoetida and asafetida. It is a gum that has a strong pungent smell. It is chiefly obtained from Ferula asafetida plant which have massive taproots or carrot-shaped roots, about 12-15 cm in diameter when they are 4-5 years old. The “Ferula” is the Latin name that means “carrier” and “Asa” means “resin” while “foetidus” means “smelling”.
Asafoetida is collected in the form of red brown lumps that is ground to make powder to use as spice. Mostly in the month of March-April, the upper part of rhizome root and stem are cut off. A milky juice is exudes from the cut surface and collected. This collection of resin and cutting of root or rhizome is repeated until the exudation will stop (generally 3 months after the first cut). It is bitter, sharp and pungent in taste and has similar flavor like onion & garlicand has special importance in vegetarian dishes and curries. Due to its fetid smell and pungent taste it has also given the name of devil’s dung. The people who cannot eat onion and garlic, use it in their cooking. It is a popular household remedy and it is used as an ingredient to many herbal and traditional prescriptions.
Forms of Asafoetida
Asafoetida is formed in two main forms in market i.e. brown powder form and yellow powder form.
- The brown powder is obtained from the dried gum that is crushed to make powder. It is extremely pungent and used in very small quantity in food.
- The yellow powder form is the diluted form of asafetida with flour and turmeric. Therefore it has a yellow colour and also used in less amounts in food.
How to store Asafoetida
Asafetida can be stored in an airtight container in powder form for a long period. Its degree of pungency directly depends upon its freshness as its essence fades out when its volatile oil evaporates. Therefore, storing it with regular care is needed.
How to cook Asafoetida
Diluted asafoetida powder is used to the proportion of a pinch or two to any food while the undiluted powder is used in much smaller quantity. It works best when fried for 5-10 seconds hot oil until its pungency become obvious. A small amount of asafoetida gives a gentle taste to egg, fish and cheese where onions would not be suitable. It enhances mushroom and vegetable dishes but gives a unique flavor to fried meat.
Benefits of Asafoetida
- It is used to flavor meat, pulses and prickles.
- It is also used as an antidote of opium.
- Thehot water extract is taken orally for hysteria and whooping cough.
- It is used as antispasmodic, diuretic, antiepileptic, anthelmintic, vermifuge and analgesic.
- Its extracts are used as an emmenagogue, expectorant, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, and a stimulant to the brain and nervous system.
- The paste made from the dried resin is applied to the chest for whooping cough.
- The gum is chewed by females for amenorrhea.
- The consumption of two teaspoons of bitter gourd juice combined with a quarter teaspoon of asafoetida powder is effective in managing Diabetes.
- It helps to enhance the voice and therefore taken by speakers to have sweet voice.
- It provides strength to the weak heart, helps prevent blood from clotting and enhances blood circulation.
- The small pieces of asafoetida are worn around the neck to ward off diseases such as colds and fevers.
Chemical constituents of Asafoetida
Asafoetida consists of carbohydrates, moisture, proteins, fats and fibers. It also consists of vitamins such as carotene, riboflavin & niacin and minerals like calcium, phosphorus & iron etc. The major active constituent of asafoetida is ferulic acid.
Available in Gum And Pure Form.
Compounded Asafoetida Also Can Be Furnished On Demand.