Detailed Product Description
Asafoetida /Asafetida Heeng/Hing
It is an growing to 2 m tall, with stout, hollow, somewhat succulent stems 5-8cm diameter at the base of the plant. The leaves are 3040 cm long,tripinnate or even more finely divided, with a stout basal sheathclasping the stem. The are yellow, produced in large compound .
Asafoetida has a pungent garlic smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of reminiscent of leeks.
This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles. Its odor is so strong that it must be stored in airtight containers; otherwise the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby. However, its odour and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil or ghee, acquiring a taste and aroma reminiscent of sautéed onion and garlic. In India, it is used especially by the merchant caste of the Hindus and by adherents of Jainism, who do not eat onions or garlic. It is used in most vegetarian and lentil dishes to both add flavor and aroma and reduce flatulence. It is mainly grown in Iran and Afghanistan. The Indian companies Laljee Godhoo, Laxmi Hing (R M Kanani & Co - Gujarat) are the world's largest producers of compounded asafoetida.
Impact on health and medical applications
Asafoetida has certain medicinal uses and most commonly is used as a digestive aid. It is reputed to lessen flatulence and is often added to lentil or eggplant dishes in small quantities. It is also said to be helpful in cases of asthma and bronchitis. A folk tradition remedy for children's colds: it is mixed into a pungent-smelling paste and hung in a bag around the afflicted child's neck. In Thailand it is used to aid babies' digestion and is smeared on the child's stomach in an alcohol tincture known as "mahahing". John C Duval reported in 1936 that the odor of asafoetida is attractive to the wolf, a matter of common knowledge, he says, along the Texas/Mexico border.
Asafoetida has also been reported to have contraceptive/abortifacient activity, and is related (and considered an inferior substitute to) the ancient Ferula species Silphium.
Asafoetida oleo-gum-resin has been reported to be antiepileptic in classical Unani as well as ethnobotanical literature.