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10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Asafoetida (Hing)

Asafoetida, popularly known as hing in India, is a flavouring spice used in culinary and traditional medicines for centuries to treat or prevent multiple diseases. It has several promising activities such as improved digestion, memory enhancement, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, antiobesity, anticancer and many others. [1]

Scientifically termed as Ferula asafoetida, hing is known for its strong, tenacious and sulfurous odour. It is an oleo gum resin extracted from the root and rhizome of the plant. Asafoetida is also rich in nutrients like fibre, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin, carotene and riboflavin.

Asafoetida has some negative effects too. A large dose of it can cause methemoglobinemia, swelling of the mouth, diarrhoea, anxiety and flatulence. Also, its intake is not suggested during pregnancy. [2]

In this article, we will discuss some of the essential health benefits of this tangy ingredient. Take a look.

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1. Treats Respiratory Disorders

The anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral activities of asafoetida can be effective in treating respiratory problems such as asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis and dry cough. It acts as a respiratory stimulant and relieves chest congestion. [3]

How to use: Mix asafoetida with dry ginger and honey. Consume thrice a day to relieve chest congestion.

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2. Aids Stomach Problems

Asafoetida can enhance the bile acid secretion and functions of digestive enzymes produced by the small intestine and pancreas. It helps treat problems such as indigestion, stomach pressure, intestinal gas, loose stool, worms in the tract and irritable bowel syndrome.

How to use: Add half tsp of asafoetida in warm water and consume in empty stomach to relieve bloating or indigestion.

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3. Relieves Headache

The anti-inflammatory property of this flavouring spice reduces the inflammation in the blood vessels present in the brain, thus helping in reducing headache. Asafoetida is also an anti-depressant that helps relieve stress and anxiety which may contribute to migraine pain.

How to use: Add a pinch of asafoetida to a cup of water and consume thrice a day to reduce headache. You can also smell the mixture for relief.

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4. Alleviates Toothache

Asafoetida gives instant relief to the pain caused due to tooth problems. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of asafoetida alleviate tooth pain and fight cavity and oral infections. It also helps treat bleeding gums. [4]

How to use: In a teaspoon of lemon juice, add a pinch of hing and microwave for around 20-30 seconds. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and place on the affected area.

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5. Eases Earache

The antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties of asafoetida can help relieve ear pain caused due to ear infections or disturbance in otitis media. Asafoetida also has an antinociceptive effect that blocks the detection of pain stimulus and provides relief. [5]

How to use: Slightly warm up coconut oil and add a dash of asafoetida. Use this mixture as an ear drop to ease the earache.

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6. Prevents Cancer Risk

A study has shown that asafoetida is effective against decreasing tumour weight and volume. The antioxidant property of asafoetida combats against the cancer-causing cells and protects the body from free radicals. It also helps prevent the metastasis in lungs, liver and kidneys and prevent the spread of cancer in the body. [6]

How to use: Use asafoetida in dishes like curries or dal.

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7. Manages Blood Pressure

Hing has potent hypotensive effects. The antihypertensive property of this dried gum resin helps reduce arterial blood pressure by thinning the blood. Asafoetida also has relaxant compounds that interfere with many muscarinic receptors and with mobilisation of calcium ions. This helps smooth contraction of muscles and manage blood pressure. [7]

What to do: In a glass of warm water, add around a half teaspoon of asafoetida and drink every morning in an empty stomach.

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8. Good For Nervous System

Hing has neuroprotective and nerve stimulating effects. It facilitates the healing of peripheral nerves and acts as a nerve stimulant in the management of peripheral neuropathy. As it can stimulate the nervous system, it is widely used as a home remedy for convulsions and hysteria. Asafoetida is also beneficiary for children health and helps treat nervous disorders in children. [8]

How to use: Include asafoetida in daily diet.

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9. May Be Effective For Male Sexual Issues

Asafoetida is valued in Persia as "food of the gods". Male health issues like premature ejaculation and impotency can be cured with the help of hing. It helps enhance the blood circulation and thus, helps men with erection, increased libido and other fertility problems.

How to use: Prepare curries, gravies and stews by adding asafoetida to the food.

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10. Cures Menstrual Issues

Hing treats several health problems faced by women such as Irregular periods, sterility, pain, premature labour, excessive menstruation, unwanted abortion and leucorrhoea. It is also used to treat vaginal infections and digestive issues post-delivery. Asafoetida is also known to stimulate the secretion of progesterone.

How to use: Fry asafoetida in ghee and mix with goat's milk and a teaspoon of honey. Drik it thrice a daily for one month.

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