Asafoetida, also called Hing, is an Indian spice commonly used as a flavoring agent for food. Asafoetida is also known to possess strong medicinal properties, which can help in the management of digestive and cardiac ailments. Hence, it has been highly recommended by the ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of digestive ailments such as bloating, gas, flatulence, and abdominal distension.

HOW IT WORKS

Asafoetida possesses strong healing properties that can help in relieving the symptoms of digestive disturbances. It also acts as an anti-cancer, antileukemic and an anti-neoplastic agent and helps to prevent cancerous changes in the healthy organs. It protects the normal cells and tissues against genetic mutations and thus, reduces the risk of cancer.

It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic agent and provides relief from joint diseases. The antiviral and antibacterial effects of this medicine are beneficial in the treatment and prevention of infections.

It acts as an antispasmodic and carminative agent and relieves abdominal cramps and bloating. The hepatoprotective and anti-hepatic toxic actions of this medicine help to reduce the risk of liver disorders. It also possesses natural tranquilizer and sedative properties, which are beneficial in the management of psychiatric disorders.

THINGS TO KNOW

Asafoetida is a resin derived from the roots of the Asafoetida plant by making small cuts. The juice coming out from the roots is later solidified and converted into the resin form.

INDICATIONS & USES

  • Convulsions
  • Epilepsy
  • Paralysis
  • Hemiplegia
  • Sciatica
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Muscle spasm
  • Low backache
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

RECOMMENDED DOSAGE

The recommended dosage of Asafoetida is 10 to 500 milligrams per day. It can be consumed on a regular basis in a dose of 5 to 30 milligrams per day for the prevention of diseases. The therapeutic dose recommended for the treatment of disorders is 10 to 125 milligrams per day. The maximum dose of this medicine is 250 milligrams per day.

BENEFITS & EFFECTIVENESS

Asafoetida can be used for the management of digestive and cardiac diseases. It can also be used to treat joint problems and cardiac disorders. It can also be used to treat neurological disorders such as paralysis, and hemiplegia.

Digestive disorders

Asafoetida boosts the functions of the digestive tract. It improves the digestion and reduces bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain. It also helps in relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. The antispasmodic action of Asafoetida reduces spasms and cramps in the abdomen. (1)

Asafoetida acts as a digestive stimulant and increases the appetite. It also increases the production of digestive juices and supports the breakdown, and assimilation of food.

It also improves the liver functions to secrete bile salts. It promotes the liver functions and produces a hepatoprotective action thus reducing the risk of hepatic disorders.

Asafoetida has carminative and anti-flatulent properties, which help in reducing gas, abdominal distension, flatulence, and bloating.

Neurological disorders

Asafoetida can be used in the management of conversion disorder or hysteria. It reduces the symptoms such as impaired coordination, hysterical aphonia, imbalance, convulsions, tremor, and fainting.

Sciatica caused due to the compression of the sciatic nerve can also be managed well using this medicine. It can reduce the radiating pain in the legs along the course of this nerves, numbness, and stiffness. (2)

Cardiac disorders

Asafoetida can boost the functions of the heart and reduce the risk of cardiac disorders such as hypertension and myocardial infarction. It controls the cholesterol levels in the blood. It works by reducing cholesterol absorption in the intestine and improving the cholesterol metabolism in the body. It also prevents the development of atherosclerosis by reducing cholesterol levels and inhibiting the deposition of cholesterol plaque in the arteries.

It also produces an anti-inflammatory action and prevents inflammation in the blood vessels thus ensuring a proper blood supply to the vital organs. It can be used to maintain a normal blood pressure. It works by preventing plaque deposition in the arteries thereby widening the lumen of the blood vessels. This helps in the smooth flow of blood, which helps to reduce the blood pressure. (3)

Joints disorders

Asafoetida has analgesic, antirheumatic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it is commonly used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.  It can reduce pain and swelling in the joints and cause a significant improvement in the joint movements. (4) It can also help to relieve low back pain and muscle spasms.

SAFETY & TOXICOLOGY

Asafoetida is safe when used in the recommended doses. It may cause a few side effects such as burning in the abdomen and hyperacidity when used by the patients having a history of gastritis.

Asafoetida can stimulate the contractions of the uterus and cause miscarriage. Hence, pregnant women should avoid using it. Also, Ferulic Acid present in Asafoetida can pass into the breast milk and cause bleeding disorders in the infants. Hence, it should not be used by the breastfeeding women. Asafoetida should not be given to the children under the age of 5 years.

Asafoetida can increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, patients suffering from a bleeding disorder should not use it. For the same reason, its use must be stopped at least 14 days prior to any planned surgery.

Overdose Side Effects

An overdose of Asafoetida may cause heartburn, hyperacidity, burping, loose motion, and headache.