Asafoetida is the dried sap obtained from the roots of Ferula plants. While it’s native to Afghanistan and Iraq, asafoetida is commonly used in Indian cuisine, where it’s dried, ground into a spice, and referred to as hing. Its odor is so strong that it must be stored in airtight containers; otherwise, the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby. However, its odor and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil or ghee.
Health Benefits of Asafoetida (Hing)
1. Helps Reduce Bloating And Other Stomach Problems
Asafoetida or Hing is an age-old medicine for stomach problems including gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), intestinal worms, and flatulence, thanks to its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate such health issues. Consume a dash of hing daily by adding it into gravies and dals. Another option is to dissolve some hing in water and drink it daily.
2. Helps Relieve Asthma
Dry cough is due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antibiotic effects. It also helps in relieving chest congestion and releasing phlegm. All you need to do is prepare a paste using asafoetida and water and apply it to your chest. You can also mix asafoetida and dry ginger powder along with some honey. Consume this mixture to get relief from respiratory issues.
3. May Lower Blood Pressure Levels
Asafoetida is known to be a natural blood thinner and may help in lowering blood pressure levels. It is power-packed with coumarin, a compound that aids in improving blood flow, thereby preventing clots’ formation.
4. May Relieve Menstrual Pain
Being a natural blood thinner, it helps blood flow smoothly without hampering any part of your body. It also boosts progesterone secretion that promotes easy blood flow, thus providing relief from pain. Mix a pinch of asafoetida, fenugreek powder, and a pinch of salt in a cup of buttermilk and consume it during periods.
5. Reduces Headaches
Blood vessels in the head, which in turn reduces headaches. All you need to do is to heat a pinch of asafoetida in some water. Drink this solution a couple of times a day to see effective results.
Skin Benefits of Asafoetida (Hing)
1. Reduces Acne
Acne is a common skin problem that we all deal with now and then. Applying asafoetida on the infected part mixed with fuller earth and rose water can help in reducing acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in combating acne production, while its antibacterial properties help reduce the growth of rashes and pimples on the skin.
Asafoetida helps increase the supply of oxygen to the facial tissues, which adds a glow to your face.
2. Treat Corns and Calluses
Known for its moisturizing properties, asafoetida can be used to treat corns and calluses.
3. Make the Skin Color Light
Tyrosine is responsible for the dark patches and premature aging of the skin. Asafoetida limits the production of Tyrosine in our body, making the skin look fairer and brighter.
4. Moisturizes the Skin
The moisturizing properties in asafoetida are excellent for dry skin. It reduces dullness and pigmentation in the skin to a visible extent.
5. Anti-Aging Properties
The anti-aging properties of asafoetida make it a perfect choice to use as the main ingredient for a face mask that fights wrinkles.
Hair Benefits of Asafoetida (Hing)
1. Act as a Good Conditioner
Experiencing trouble with dry and frizzy hair? Mix asafoetida, yogurt, and almond oil and apply it to your hair as a hair conditioner. Its moisturizing properties act as an excellent hair conditioner agent.
2. Restores the pH Balance in the Scalp
Asafoetida has properties that help restore and replenish the pH balance in your hair and make it healthy and strong.
3. Reduces the Hair Fall
Asafoetida is also known to reduce hair fall.
How to use Hing for Cooking Purpose
Hing has various benefits, including being able to reduce ailments of the stomach. Let us look at how to use hing in the cooking process.
- If you are using hing in the form of lumps, crush it using a crusher, mix it with water to form a paste, and then add it to your recipe. This way, you can get a fresher taste with a rich aroma. Use only a little of this powder as it would be much stronger than the already powdered forms.
- For those of you who like the strong aroma, roast the hing in hot oil for a few seconds and then add the vegetables or the dal. Remember to be quick in the roasting process as hing can burn very easily.
- Uses of asafoetida can be seen while making many soup and meat dishes. Steep a pinch of hing in a cup of hot water and add it to your dish towards the end to retain that unique flavor.
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