Asafoetida popularly known as Hing is a hard, resinous gum exuded from the tap root of several species of Ferula plant that's greyish-white when fresh but darkens with age to yellow, red and eventually brown. Asafoetida is considered to have originated from central Asia, eastern Iran to Afghanistan, where it grows from 600 to 1200 m above the sea level. The resin is difficult to grate and is traditionally crushed using stones or with a hammer. It is a perennial herb and is also known as devil's dung, giant fennel or stinking gum. Giving significance to these names, Asafoetida has a very strong and pungent smell, but it adds up a delicate flavor to your dishes when cooked with other spices. It is also known as 'food of the Gods' because of its distinct aroma.
Asafoetida is mainly of two types, one being white (milky white asafoetida) and the other one being blackish (black asafoetida). White asafoetida consists of the strong smell and has a crystalline form and has more medicinal value. The blackish one is used in cooking and has an unusual taste, mainly because of its distinct aroma and flavor that it gives to the dish. It is available in the various variables in the market. To remove the impurities it is dissolved in water and then boiled till all the water is evaporated. Although Asafoetida is not native to India, it is being used in Indian cooking and medicines since ages.
This potent-smelling spice is used in Indian cooking for flavoring, food preservation, and fragrance. From a nutritional perspective, Asafoetida provides protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorous, iron, niacin, carotene, and riboflavin. Though it has a bitter taste, consuming it brings you numerous health benefits. 100 gram of Asafoetida offers portions of different nutrients like Iron, Calcium, Carbohydrate, Dietary Fiber, Proteins, Phosphorus and some amount of fats. It has also acquired a prominent place in traditional Indian medicines because of its numerous curative and therapeutic properties.
Hing & benefits of Hing
Hing has been used since ancient times as a home remedy for indigestion and other stomach problems. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties alleviate upset stomach, intestinal gas, intestinal worms and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These anti-inflammatory compounds also help in relieving menstrual issues, irregular periods and painful abdominal cramps.Being a potent respiratory stimulant and expectorant, Hing helps release phlegm and relieve chest congestion naturally. To get rid of the dry cough, whooping cough, and bronchitis, consume a mixture of hing, honey and ginger. It lowers your blood sugar level and helps in controlling high blood pressure. Hing is packed with coumarins, compounds that aid in improving your blood flow and thinning of blood thereby prevent blood clotting. Additionally, this spice lowers your blood cholesterol levels as well as triglycerides in the body. Hing can work wonders in fighting pain associated with a headache and migraine. As Hing is known to be a powerful anti-oxidant, this herb when consumed on a regular basis is known to protect the body cells from free radicals thereby protecting you against cancer. Thus, you should always try to have the ideal intake of hing in your diet so as to get the maximum health benefits.