Thursday, June 21, 2018

#Week3 #OpenNTalk- Asafoetida "The Magical Spice"- 8 Amazing Health Benefits



It is week 3 of #OpenNTalk Blogging league, and I am so excited to share the amazing power of natural substance with this series.

And in today’s post, I will share again something that is completely natural and purely magical. it is true that,

It is always fascinating to me learn about the health benefits and amazing healing properties of routine kitchen ingredients and spices. Spices are used not only for thousands of years as food flavouring agent to enhance the sensory quality of food, they possess excellent therapeutic and medicinal properties as well. 

 Asafoetida is one of them.  Asafoetida or Ferula asafoetida is a herbaceous plant that belongs to Umbelliferae family. It is an oleo-gum-resin obtained from the rhizome and root of the plant. As the name suggested, it has a typical fetid smell and a nauseating taste. It is also called the "devil's dung". This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles.

 According to National Institute of Health, Asafoetida has excellent antidiabetic, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties and has been used traditionally for the treatment of different diseases such as a whooping cough, ulcer, epilepsy, bronchitis, asthma and stomach-ache. Because of these numerous therapeutic and curative power, this spice is also referred as the "food of the gods".

History and distribution

Asafoetida is native to central Asia, Eastern Iran to Afghanistan and today it is grown chiefly in Iran and Afghanistan, from where it is exported to the rest of the world. Though it is not native to India, it has been used in Indian cookery and medicine system for ages.
What are the traditional medicinal uses of Asafoetida? What are its health benefits?  And how can we select a good quality asafoetida and store it? And how can we make some easy nutritious recipes with asafoetida?  Read on to know more.

Traditional medicinal uses of Asafoetida

The different parts of asafoetida plant have been used as a traditional medicine worldwide since ancient time. Such as in:
·         Afghanistan – the hot water extract of the dried gum taken orally for treating hysteria, whooping cough and ulcers.
·         China- the decoction of the plant is used as anti-helminthic medicine.
·         Egypt- hot water extract of the dried root used orally as an anti-spasmodic, analgesic and diuretic medicine.
·         USA- the fluid extract of resin has been used as a powerful brain and nerve stimulant.
·         Saudi Arabia- dried gum is used for treating respiratory infections.
·         India- it has been reputed as a drug, which expels wind from the stomach and counteracts any spasmodic disorders.
Asafoetida has lots of health benefits. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of Asafoetida.

Health benefits of Asafoetida


Asafoetida for gastrointestinal tract

It is an effective remedy for several diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. It is an essential ingredient for most of the digestive powders. In case of flatulence and distention of the stomach, asafoetida is dissolved in hot water and pad of cloth steeped in it may be used for fomenting the abdomen.
According to scientific studies, Asafoetida has been found to be an excellent homeopathic remedy for treating IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) and works wonderfully to relieve the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome. In 14-week double-blind trial study, about 100 people with IBS syndrome received Asafoetida D3 or Placebo. The results showed that participants taking the homeopathic remedy asafoetida improved to a greater extent than those taking a placebo.

Another scientific study shows that asafoetida prominently enhanced the pancreatic Lipase activity and also stimulated the pancreatic amylase. This way it supports the digestion and digestive enzymatic activity.

Asafoetida helps in prevention of cancer

Asafoetida has anti-cancerous properties and plays a good role in the prevention of cancer. According to a report published in Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, Asafoetida has potent anti-tumour and ant metastasis effects on breast cancer and it could be a potential source of the natural antitumor product.
In this study, the researcher observed that asafoetida was effective in decreasing the tumour weight and tumour volume in treated mice. Apart from anti-tumour effect asafoetida decreased lung, liver and kidney metastasis and also increased the areas of necrosis in the tumour tissue respectively.

Asafoetida has the antihypertensive effect

Asafoetida has significant hypotensive properties and helps in reduction of mean arterial blood pressure. Research using animal subjects has shown that Ferula asafoetida gum extract significantly reduced the mean arterial blood pressure. The research concluded that gum extract seems to contain relaxant compounds that have a positive effect on blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

Asafoetida for treating women's aliments

Asafoetida is very useful in the treatment of several problems concerning women such as sterility, the unwanted abortion, premature labour, leucorrhoea, and painful, difficult menstruation. Owing to great anti-flatulent and digestive properties, it has been used in the post-delivery period with beneficial results.

Asafoetida for asthma and respiratory symptoms

Scientific studies were shown that asafoetida has a relaxant effect on tracheal muscles, because of its constituent's umbelliprenin. This relaxant effect helps in bronchodilation and helps in relieving the symptoms of asthma. Also, the volatile oil in the asafoetida gum is eliminated through the lungs, making this an excellent remedy for asthma.

Asafoetida is a potent anti-bacterial agent

Asafoetida has great anti-bacterial properties. According to a report from applied biology and biotechnology, the scientist has used two types of Asafoetida (red and white) to screen the anti-microbial activity against 5 different bacterial strains and result concluded that both extract of F. Asafoetida shown the strong antibacterial activity against all the bacterial strains. And that's why asafoetida can be used as a great anti-bacterial agent against various bacterial infections; mainly it works great in infections related to digestive system.

Asafoetida has neuroprotective properties

Traditional usage and some recent findings suggested that asafoetida can exert the neuroprotective and nerve stimulating effect on nervous system. It has been used in Ayurveda for treating epilepsy, anxiety and mood disorders for ages. According to a scientific study conducted for evaluating the neuroprotective effect of asafoetida indicate that gum resin of asafoetida in lower doses has the neuroprotective effect on nervous system and increase the survival rate of them, however, in higher concentration, it is toxic for neurons.

Asafoetida has analgesic action

Pain is a seriously unpleasant sensation that diminishes the quality of life. It has been observed that commonly used analgesic often causes undesirable side effects and today the search for new and natural analgesic compounds has been a priority of pharmaceutical industry.
Asafoetida is one of the great natural substances that have analgesic action. In a comparative study with two other drugs (Morphine sulphate and sodium diclofenac), asafoetida has shown a good analgesic effect with a dose of 50mg/kg and the maximum effect was observed after 60 min of drug administration. It has been believed that analgesic and anti-inflammatory action of asafoetida may be due the presence of phenolic compound such as ferulic acid. However, its active component and their mechanism of action need to be elucidated by further studies

Nutritional value of Asafoetida

Asafoetida comprises of resin (40-65%), gum (20-25%), and volatile oil (4 to 20%). The resin portion is known to contain asaresinotannols A and B, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, and four unidentified compounds. The volatile portion contains pinene, cadinene, and vanillin.
Asafoetida is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It consist of carbohydrate 67.8% per 100 grams, moisture 16.0%, protein 4.0%, fat 1.1%, minerals 7.0% and fiber 4.1%. Its mineral and vitamin content includes substantial calcium besides phosphorus, Iron, carotene, riboflavin and niacin.

Of course, Asafoetida is a spice that adds distinct flavour and taste to various routine dishes and used widely in vegetarian cuisine to harmonize the sweet, sour, salty and spicy component in food. Apart from that, asafoetida is commonly combined with lentils or other legumes to reduce gas post meal and keep flatulence in check.

Though asafoetida is not a spice to use in everything, but it compliments most commonly used Indian vegetables like cauliflower, peas, potato and often used as a tempering for curries and lentils. Here I am sharing three super easy and nutritious recipes with Asafoetida. I remember my mom serving these dishes quite often as we were growing up and how delicious it was.

How to choose and store Asafoetida

Asafoetida is easily available at any Indian or Middle Eastern grocery store. It is not expensive and can be readily purchased online. Sometimes, asafoetida is adulterated with soapstone or other earthy material which can adversely affect one's health.
We can distinguish the adulterated asafoetida from pure one by performing these simple tests.

Test 1

Purpose- to know the impurity of stone or other earthy material.
Method- adds some water to asafoetida sample and shakes it vigorously. Earthy material or soapstone will settle down at the bottom.


Test 2

Purpose- to know the purity of asafoetida
Method- Take 1 gram of asafoetida in a test tube and add 1 teaspoon water. Mixed thoroughly by shaking, a milky white solution with no sediments indicates the pure asafoetida. But in case of adulteration with a chemical, the mixture turns to be coloured.
Also, as another test you can burn the asafoetida sample on a spoon if the sample burns like a camphor, it indicates the sample is pure (pure asafoetida burns like aromatic camphor)

Storage

Asafoetida is commonly available in powder or granulated form and it should be stored in an airtight container away from light, heat and air. Otherwise, its sulphurous odour will affect other food and spice.

Asafoetida side effects

·         Usually, asafoetida considered safe for most people when consumed in the amounts typically found in foods.  However, it may cause certain side effects in susceptible individuals such as swelling of lips, nausea, headache, diarrhoea, convulsions, blood disorders and other side effects.

  • ·         It might cause a miscarriage; avoid using it if you are pregnant.
  • ·         Avoid using it if you are breastfeeding. It might cause bleeding disorders in the nursing infant.  Always ask your doctor before using it.
  • ·         It might increase the risk of bleeding; avoid using it if you have any bleeding disorders.
  • ·         If you are suffering from any pre-existing disease conditions like diabetes, hypertension or any Gastrointestinal issues or infection, and taking prescribed medication for the same, always consult your doctor before consuming it.
  • ·         Asafoetida might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking it at least 2 weeks prior scheduled surgery.

Conclusion

 Tough Asafoetida is an amazing spice that offers numerous culinary and health benefits. Like any other home or herbal remedy, it may cause some side effects is some people. If you are suffering from any pre-existing disease condition or had a known history of any side effects from spices, it is always recommended to take a professional medical advice before adding this powerful and beneficial substance to your diet.

Did you have observed any other health benefits of this spice? Please share with us!
Sources:


This post is published for #OpenNTalk Blogger’s league hosted by Gleefullblogger andwigglingpen.com  in association with summerbarnVedantika Herbal  and Nyassa




I am a Team Member of Team 5 “Roaring tigress”, our hashtag is #RoarwillRock,

 my team leader is Surbhi from http://prettymummasays.com/  and other members of the team are


 And,  next to me, Riddhi from http://www.ritzyglitzy.in/ join this league, and sharing her post, so do not forget to stay tuned!
















44 comments:

  1. Quite a detailed treatment given to Heeng... loved reading the insights here. :)

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

    #NISSATalks #OpenNTalk

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for your visit and sharing your thoughts Arvindji!

      Delete
  2. Asafoetida has plant origin...never knew that!
    Learnt a lot about the history, origin and benefits of the Asafoetida. Thankfully I use it with every "tadaka"!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks dear for visit and sharing your thoughts!

      Delete
  3. And we thought heeng only offered a distinct taste to our daal. I knew it has medicinal properties but not so many. Thanks for sharing.
    #OpenNTalk #BloggerBabes

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    1. Thanks dear, I am glad you find it informative.

      Delete
  4. This is a detailed post. I never knew the side effects yaa. Thanks for sharing this one with us :)
    I always thought hing adds that balanced flavor to tur dal :) will keep these pointers in mind.
    #OpenNTalk #InvincibleGang

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for your visit and I am glad you liked it!

      Delete
  5. This is a detailed post about asafoetida. Didnt know about so many benefits of it. Thanks for sharing.
    #Bloggingdivas #oPenntalk

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Deepa, for your visit. I am glad you liked it!

      Delete
  6. Never knew the humble heeng has so many benefits.
    #OpenNtalk

    #CrossBorderSisters

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  7. Asafoetida is indispensable in my kitchen but never knew the worst side effects of Heeng. Thanks for enlightening me n other readers. #BlogAMile #OpenNTalk

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  8. Let’s just say, you are changing the way I look at Indian spices. And my respect for them has only grown! ��
    Thanks for writing such a detailed post...

    #CrossBorderSisters #OpenNTalk



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment has made my day. I am glad you find it informative.

      Delete
  9. Wow!! So much of informative things about asafoetida. Thanks for sharing. #BloggerBabes #OpenNTalk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Swarupa, I am glad you liked it.

      Delete
  10. Quite detailed post about the asafoetida. No doubt in it that this spice is quite useful. After reading I come to know more about it.
    #OpenNTalk #CrossBorderSisters

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bhawna, I am glad you find it informative.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. very informative post. I use half a pinch in almost everything i cook. :)

    – Anami from #InvincibleGang for #OpenNTalk #Week3

    ReplyDelete
  13. #NISSATalks

    Very informative & helpful post dear.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a very detailed post explaining the pros and cons of hing. #zarahatkeblogreads #CrossBorderSisters #OpenNTalk

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  15. Asafoetida is really important to add in food and really good for our body. Such a detailed post. .#jamss2018 #OpenNTalk

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  16. i knew that it was good, but didnt know abt it so much in detail. very informative and useful.

    – Princy from #InvincibleGang for #OpenNTalk #Week3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dear, I am glad you find it informative.

      Delete
  17. Very Informative. #jamss2018 #OpenNTalk

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  18. Very Informative. #jamss2018 #OpenNTalk

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  19. So many benefits of Hing... Never knew all this.

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  20. I only knew that asafoetida was helpful in digestion. Never knew so many health benefits because of it. This is an informative post.

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  21. wow it has some amazing health benefits! My hubby has asthma problem. Hope it will help him too.

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  22. This is such a helpful post. I am going to save it. I wasn't aware that asafoetida can treat cancer

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  23. This looks a useful post. Will shrey try

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  24. The detailed study on heeng is really commendable .. Till date only knew its digest e benefits.. But, it was an eye opener and a bliss to my knowledge bank.

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  25. I always avoided it because of the smell and the strong taste it has in the food i think i should start using it but after i stop breastfeeding and i force fed asafoetida while pregnancy and after i conceived and now i look at the side effects of it and im shocked.Im so thankful for your post it really helped me.

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  26. I use asafoetida in my tempering, it tastes good

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  27. Being a vegetarian I use a lot of hing in my kitchen. But seriously didn't know about these many benefits. You did a great research. Good one! #roarwillrock

    ReplyDelete