What is Asafoetida ?
Asafoetida is an important medicinal plant and is a member of the Apiaceae family. Its binomial name is Ferula assa-foetida. This plant is a native species to the deserts of Iran and mountains of Afghanistan and is mainly cultivated in tropical areas. This plant is used in gum form and powder. The Asafoetida powder is used more as a leading spice in the other spices or added as a flavoring in foods sauces and also is used as a drug in the medical consumption such as Anti-parasite, carminative, laxative and is useful for asthma bronchitis, whooping-cough and also its ability to protect the gastrointestinal system, improve menstrual symptoms, reduces inflammation, boost the immune system, eliminate respiratory issues, prevents reproductive disorders, improve mood swings and nervous disorders, and ease pain.
- Asafoetida Plant: There is a perennial herb genus called Ferula exudes a particular type of sap from its taproot. That sap is a dried latex or resin that is called Asafoetida. This plant grows 1 to 1.5 m tall with a circular mass of 30–40 cm (12–16 in) leaves and also the leaves are much cut and dust. The stem leaves have wide sheathing petioles. Flowering stems are 2.5–3 m (8.2–9.8 ft.) high and 10 cm (3.9 in) thick and hollow, with a number of schizogenous ducts in the cortex containing the resinous gum. Flowers are pale greenish yellow produced in large compound umbels and will appear in Group umbrella form at the end of the stem. Roots are thick, massive, and pulpy. They yield a resin similar to that of the stems.
- Asafoetida fruits: Fruits are oval, flat, thin, reddish brown and have a milky juice. The Fruits of this plant has two seed in dark brown and black. They are oval, slightly wider and very smelly.
- Asafoetida flavor and taste: All parts of the plant have the distinctive fetid smell and very bad. Maybe we could tell that Asafoetida's flavor reminiscent of leeks. Asafoetida has bitter taste and pungent smell.
Where is Asafoetida plant growing?
The Asafoetida plant is originally / initially grown and cultivated in the deserts of Iran and mountains of Afghanistan and now there are Asafoetida plants in all tropical and Mediterranean climates including India. Most of Asafoetida in Iran grows in Khorasan, Baluchistan and southern regions of the country, such as Kerman.
Asafoetida & Nutrients
The Asafoetida is an enough source of the nutrition, minerals, protein, Calorie, dietary fiber, antioxidants. So the Asafoetida can help and raise the immune system against diseases.
Per 100 g of Asafoetida includes:
- Minerals: Potassium – 50 mg, Calcium – 690 g.
- Principle: Calorie - 297 Kcal, Protein – 4 mg, Carbohydrates – 44 g, Total Fat - 1 mg, Total Carbohydrate -68 mg, Dietary Fiber – 4 mg, Cholesterol – 0 mg.
Therefore, the Asafoetida can help and raise the immune system against diseases.
Asafoetida & Protections from Disease
The Asafoetida is one good source of the nutrients so it can be useful for our health and can also help or treat some diseases:
- Digestion: Asafoetida is helpful in digestion and abdominal injury.
- Asthma: Asafoetida is helpful in curing of asthma, bronchitis, common cold and other respiratory problems.
- Anti-toothache: If somebody is suffering from the problems of toothache, dental caries, applying the powder of asafoetida and clove gives great relief in reducing pain immediately.
- Anti-pain and inflammation: The application from the powder of asafoetida gives relief from the pain of insect bite. It is also helpful in reducing the toxic effects as well as pain and inflammation. If you create a paste based of asafoetida, you can apply it directly to the spot of the bug bite to speed healing and reduce inflammation, which should also eliminate your desire to constantly scratch it!
- Bad breath: The Asafoetida is very useful for bad breath if you add with ginger powder.
- Headache Relief: Asafoetida has long been relied on to soothe the pain of headaches. By improving blood flow in the capillaries and eliminating excess free radicals, asafoetida can eliminate the tension and pain of headaches and migraines quite effectively.
The health benefits of Asafoetida include its ability to aid in digestion, disorders of stomach and lungs, appetizer, Anti-flatulence, Anti - gastritis, Anti-cancer, Anti - earaches,
It seems that the list of benefits from asafoetida never stops so you can get more information about asafoetida & protections from disease through on the Internet network if you search a bit.
Asafoetida produces a gum gathered in summer from the roots of plants at least four years old and just before flowering. The oldest plants are the most productive. The stems are cut off, and successive slices are made through the roots. The liquid then dries to form a resin and a fresh cut is made. The process is continued for about 3 months from the first incision; a single plant may yield up to 1 kg of resin before it dries out. The fresh gum is a soft, semiliquid mass that undergoes a gradual color change from shimmering yellowish-white to reddish-brown. People use asafoetida resin, a gum-like material as medicine for diseases treatment and also used as a spice. The Asafoetida gum is Indigenous to eastern Iran and western Afghanistan.
Asafoetida powder is known as Hing that is one of main products of asafoetida. The asafoetida powder is used as a leading spice in the other spices such as Chili powder or added as a flavoring in foods, sauces and also asafoetida powder is used as a drug in the medical consumption such as digestion problems, increase urine flow, bloating and etc.
Supplier and Exporter of Asafoetida
Glad to inform you that Ario Co is one of the main suppliers of Asafoetida with PREMIER quality in Iran. Our main purpose is supplying and exporting products with high quality to be provided customers satisfaction. We are the main exporter of various Medicinal Plants for the global markets, wholesale markets, distributors, retailers and supermarket chains. Ario works in close relationship with Iranian growers and farmers using sustainable farming standards, especially GLOBALGAP, BRC, HACCP and ISO so our Medicinal plants all are organic, are safety, healthy and without disinfecting, pesticide and etc.
In the time, we are ready to supply you with our best quality goods and services.
Asafoetida is pungent, exotic and certainly a spice like no other. This special root plays a central role in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as various traditional remedies from throughout these regions. Buy natural, top quality and 100% organic asafoetida powder and you’ll be equipped with one of the most exciting natural flavour enhancers in the world. If you love to make curries, dahls and lentil-based dishes, fragrant fried foods or tangy homemade pickles, asafoetida is frankly an essential acquisition! And if you just love to try new things, or have more options in the kitchen, then you won’t want to miss out on this precious root spice.
Asafoetida is the dried latex (gum oleoresin) exuded from the living underground rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula (three of which grow in India), which is a perennial herb (1 to 1.5 mtr. High).
Origin & Distribution
The species are distributed from the Mediterranean region to Central Asia. In India it is grown in Kashmir and in some parts of Punjab. The major supply of asafoetida to India is from Afghanistan and Iran.There are two main varieties of asafoetida ie. Hing Kabuli Sufaid (Milky white asafoetida) and Hing Lal (Red asafoetida). Asafoetida is acrid and bitter in taste and emits a strong disagreeable pungent odour due to the presence of sulphur compounds therein.The white or pale variety is water soluble, whereas the dark or black variety is oil soluble.Since pure asafoetida is not preferred due to its strong flavour, it is mixed with starch and gum and sold as compounded asafoetida mostly in bricket form. It is also available in free flowing (Powder form) or in tablet forms.
Asafoetida Hing Is King!
It may be perceived as malodorous but only until it is added to your food. And its health properties far outnumber its pungent flavour. Add a pinch of it to your meals, it will do you much good, says Gayatri Peshawaria.
Inguva in Telegu, Perungaayam in Tamil, Kaayam in Malayalam and Badhika in Sanskrit, asafoetida is indispensable in any self-respecting Indian kitchen. Popularly known as hing in India, asafoetida gets its name from Persian aza for ‘resin’ and Latin foetidus for ‘stinking.’ Pronounced as ‘asa-fur-tee-da,’ it is a resin-like gum, which is greyish white when fresh but darkens with age (also, when dried) to yellow, red and, eventually, brown. With greenish-yellow flowers produced in large compound umbels, it comes from the sap of the stem and the pulpy roots of the Ferula species. It is sold in blocks or pieces and, morefrequently, as a fine yellow powder, crystalline or granulated.
Often referred to as ‘devil’s dung,’ asafoetida, when raw, has an overwhelming, pungent odour, like that of rotting onions or sulphur. Used especially as a digestive aid in food, as a condiment and in pickles, it is best stored in airtight containers to avoid affecting other spices kept nearby. However, its aroma becomes a lot milder and sufficiently pleasant when heated in oil or ghee. In cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavour reminiscent of leeks.
Grown in Kashmir and in some parts of Punjab, asafoetida is largely imported in India from Iran and Afghanistan. It comes in two main varieties- Hing Kabuli Sufaid, milky white in colour, and Hing Lal which is red. It is available in three forms, i.e., tears, mass and paste. Tears, the purest form of resin, is rounded or flattened, is greyish or dull yellow in colour. Mass asafoetida is the common commercial form, uniform in mass. The paste form contains extraneous matter.
In India, asafoetida is largely employed to add that strong onion-garlic flavour to vegetarian dishes and used especially by Brahmins and Jains who do not eat onions or garlic. Suited to many pickles, lentils, fish dishes and to season some papadums, asafoetida is also utilised in many South and West Indian dishes.
Recognized as the plant that helped Prometheus carry the stolen fire from the Sun to the Earth, asafoetida’s reality seems to be a bit different from Greek mythology. Familiar in early Mediterranean having come by land across Iran, it emerged into Europe from a conquering expedition of Alexander The Great. After the Roman Empire fell, until the 16th century, asafoetida was rare in Europe and, if ever encountered, it was viewed as a medicine. Largely popular, at one time, among physicians and cooks in Europe, today, it is largely forgotten in the continent.
Used in medicines because of its antibiotic properties, asafoetida is also known to treat impotency, hysteria, mood swings and depression. About 3-6 gm of the gum mixed with 2 tsp of honey, 1/4 tsp of white onion juice and 1 tsp of betel leaf juice, taken thrice daily, helps to keep away from respiratory disorders like whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis. An immensely effective remedy for flatulence, abdominal pains and digestive disorders, asafoetida is effective in kick-starting peristalsis to prevent constipation. It is also powdered and mixed with ghee and rice and served to women after childbirth to prevent the child from getting colic. The dried gum mixed with water relieves headaches, migraines and tension. When mixed with garlic, asafoetida is efficient in preventing snake bites and repelling insects. If given in the same quantity as opium ingested by the patient, asafoetida is known to counteract the effect of the drug. It is used in Europe and the United States in perfumes and for flavouring. Asafoetida is also useful in alleviating toothache. After being pestled in lemon juice, it is slightly heated. A cotton piece soaked in the lotion and placed in the cavity of the tooth, relieves the pain quickly.
Asafetida, also spelled asafoetida, gets its name from the Persian aza, for mastic or resin, and the Latin foetidus, for stinking. It is a gum that is from the sap of the roots and stem of the ferula species, a giant fennel that exudes a vile odour. Early records mention that Alexander the Great carried this “stink finger” west in 4 BC. It was used as a spice in ancient Rome, and although not native to India, it has been used in Indian medicine and cookery for ages. It was believed that asafoetida enhanced singers voices. In the days of the Mughal aristocracy, the court singers if Agra and Delhi would eat a spoonful of asafoetida with butter and practice on the banks of the river Yamuna.
Asafetida is a hard resinous gum, grayish-white when fresh, darkening with age to yellow, red and eventually brown. It is sold in blocks or pieces as a gum and more frequently as a fine yellow powder, sometimes crystalline or granulated.
Bouquet: a pungent smell of rotting onions or sulfur. The smell dissipates with cooking.
Flavour: on its own, extremely unpleasant, like concentrated rotten garlic. When cooked, it adds an onion-like flavour.
Preparation and Storage
It is vital to keep asafetida in airtight containers as its sulfurous odour will effect other foods and spices. It is most commonly available as a powder or granules that can be added directly to the cooking pot. It is also sold in lumps that need to be crushed before using. This is a very powerful spice and even in its ground state lasts well over a year if stored properly, away from light and air.
Cooking with Asafetida
Use in asafetida in minute quantities, adding directly to cooking liquid, frying in oil, or steeping in water. Asafoetida is used mostly in Indian vegetarian cooking, in which the strong onion-garlic flavour enhances many dishes, especially those of Brahmin and Jain castes where onions and garlic are prohibited. It is used mostly in south and west India, though it does not grow there. It is used in many lentil dishes (often to prevent flatulence), vegetarian soups and pickles. It is also suited to many fish dishes and some pappadums are seasoned with asafoetida.
Health Benefits of Asafetida
Asafetida is known as an antidote for flatulence and is also prescribed for respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. Its vile smell has led to many unusual medical claims, mostly stemming from the belief that it’s foetid odour would act as a deterrent to germs. In several European countries a small piece of the resin would be tied on a string and hung around childrens necks to protect from disease. The shock of the sulfurous smell was once thought to calm hysteria and in the days of the American Wild West it was included in a mixture with other strong spices as a cure for alcoholism.
Plant Description and Cultivation
Asafetida is grown chiefly in Iran and Afghanistan from where it is exported to the rest of the world. In India it is cultivated in Kashmir. It is a perennial fennel that grows wild to 3.6 metres (12 ft) high, in large natural forests where little else grows. It bears fine leaves and yellow flowers. The roots are thick and pulpy and also yield a similar resin to that of the stems. All parts of the plant have the distinctive fetid smell. In March and April, just before flowering, the stalks are cut close to the root. A milky liquid oozes out, which dries to form a resin. This is collected and a fresh cut is made. This procedure lasts for about three months from the first incision, by which time the plant has yielded up to two pounds of resin and the root has dried up.
Asafoetida, Assafetida, Assafoetida, Devil’s Dung, Devil’s Durt, Food of the Gods (Persian), Laser (Roman), Stinking Gum
French: assa foetida, ferulr perisque
German: Asafotida, Stinkender Asant
Indian: hing, hingu, heeng
FREE SAMPLE SEEKER MAY PLS EXCUSE US.
History in the West
It was familiar in the early Mediterranean, having come by land across Iran, and was popular in any self-respecting classical kitchen. Though it is generally forgotten now in Europe, it is still widely used in India (commonly known there as Hing). It emerged into Europe from a conquering expedition of Alexander the Great, who after returning from a trip to north-eastern Persia, thought they had found a plant almost identical to the famed Silphium ofCyrene in North Africa – though less tasty. Dioscorides, in the first century, wrote that, “the Cyrenaic kind, even if one just tastes it, at once arouses a humour throughout the body and has a very healthy aroma, so that it is not noticed on the breath, or only a little; but the Median [Iranian] is weaker in power and has a nastier smell.” Nevertheless, it could be substituted for silphium in cooking, which was fortunate, because a few decades after Dioscorides time, the true silphium of Cyrene went extinct, and Asafoetida gained in popularity, by physicians as well as cooks.
After the Roman Empire fell, until the 16th century, asafoetida was rare in Europe, and if ever encountered, it was viewed as a medicine. “If used in cookery, it would ruin every dish because of its dreadful smell,” asserted García de Orta’s European guest. Nonsense, García replies, “nothing is more widely used in every part of India, both in medicine and in cookery. All the Hindus who can afford it buy it to add to their food.
Cultivation and manufacture
The resin-like gum which comes from the dried sap extracted from the stem and roots is used as a spice. The resin is greyish-white when fresh, but dries to a dark amber color. The asafoetida resin is difficult to grate, and is traditionally crushed between stones or with a hammer. Today, the most commonly available form is compounded asafoetida, a fine powder containing 30% asafoetida resin, along with rice flour and gum arabic.
Ferula assafoetida is an herbaceous, monoecious, perennial plant of the family Umbelliferae, also called Apiaceae. It grows to 2 meters high with a circular mass of 30–40 cm leaves. Stem leaves have wide sheathing petioles. Flowering stems are 2.5–3 meters high and 10 cm thick and hollow, with a number of schizogenous ducts in the cortex containing the resinous gum. Flowers are pale greenish yellow produced in large compound umbels. Fruits are oval, flat, thin, reddish brown and have a milky juice. Roots are thick, massive, and pulpy. They yield a resin similar to that of the stems. All parts of the plant have the distinctive fetid smell.
It may be interesting to note that assafoetida is consumed largely by those practitioners of specific forms of medidation or vegetarism whereby garlic and onion consumption are highly discouraged by virtue of their nature to excite the nervous system. For those believers, assafoedia replaces onions and garlic by taste and by content. (Source: Roshan T. T. Chikhuri, Safety and Health Consultant and Expert Facilitator in Community Health – Mauritius).
• Botanical Name: Ferula Asafoetida
• Family: Apiaceae
• Hindi name: Hing
• Part Used:Oleogum resin from rhizome and thickened root
• Form Available: Resin, dried granules, chunks, powder
• Packing: 50g, 100g
The smell of asafoetida is extremely unpleasant, like concentrated rotten garlic, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks. Its bitter taste and strong disagreeable pungent odour is due to the presence of sulphur compounds therein. It is available in three forms ie. ‘Tears’, ‘Mass’ and ‘Paste’. ‘Tears’, is the purest form of resin, rounded or flattened, 5 to 30 mm in diameter and a greyish or dull yellow in colour.
Asafoetida is a hard resinous gum, grayish-white when fresh, darkening with age to yellow, red and eventually brown. It is sold either as lumps or in powdered form. The former is the most common form of pure asafoetida.
Asafoetida is used in many ways in lentil and/or vegetable preparations. Three ways known to me are
a) Adding the powder/granules to the hot oil while making Tadka.
b) Adding the powder to the preparation just before turning the heat off and putting the lid on.
c) Adding water in which a piece of asafoetida has been dissolved to the preparation before putting the lid in the end.
2. Asafoetida is used as an important condiment in pickles, relishes/chutneys and papads.
Asafoetida is usually used only in minute quantities, because even a little of it goes a long way. Although its smell is strong (I like it actually) when raw, it turns into a pleasant aroma when cooked. Indian preparations with lentils and beans are quite unthinkable without the use of this spice. The reason being its medicinal properties.
Cultivation and Harvest
Asafoetida is mainly grown in Iran (the country of its origin), Afghanistan and in India. Can you guess where it is grown in India? In the land of saffron, Kashmir. Surprising, isn’t it? I didn’t know this until I started looking for information about this spice on the internet, thanks to Mythili.
The plant of Asafoetida is found in natural forests, where rarely anything else grows. It grows about 2 metres tall, and is useful only once it is about four years old. The older the plant, the more productive it is. The time to start harvesting the gum from the rather succulent stem and the root is just before flowering, which is in the months of March / April.
An incision is made in the upper part of the root/lower part of the stem and the exuding gum/latex is collected. Several incisions can be made in the root/stem till there is no more gum oozing. This process can last up to three months and one plant can yield up to 2 pounds of gum. The resinous gum is greyish-white when fresh, and darkens to a deep yellow/amber when dried. Chunks of asafoetida resin are broken off to be sold commercially. The gum is seldom sold in its pure form. It is often combined with Arabic gum, wheat/rice flour, turmeric, etc. and sold as Compounded Asafoetida.
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