Benefits of Hing or Asafoetida

An Overview

Hing or Asafoetida, also known as Hingu in Hindi, Ingu in Kannada, Inguva in Telugu, Perungayam in Tamil is an indispensable culinary ingredient common to every Indian kitchen. It is one of the perennial herbs belonging to the Umbelliferae or Apiaceae family, that grows to the height of 1.5 to 2 mt tall. cooking, occupies an important place in home remedies too. Asafoetida is a latex gum obtained from several perennial plants belonging to the genus Ferula, it is mainly obtained from a species called Ferula Asafoetida (botanical name). Asafoetida gum has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses. Asafoetida is native to Iran and Afghanistan, though it is not native to India, it is considered a prize condiment and has been used from ancient times both in traditional medicine and in cookery.

Hing has found its way in the holistic treatments of Ayurveda and Unani medicines. Ayurveda strongly recommends hing for its positive effects on aiding in digestion. A smear of the tincture of hing is topically used to relieve abdominal pain. Traditional remedies suggest hing for treating flatulence, respiratory problems and as an effective ingredient for improving reproductive health in both men and women.

In many places, a paste of ‘hing’ is gently smeared around the chest and under the nose area so that its aroma enters the body and cures cold and flu. Hing is highly beneficial in curing digestive disorders and flatulence. When the hing is boiled in water, it becomes diuretic in nature, cleanses kidneys and urinary bladder and prevents the body from anyurinary infection. When the hing water is ingested regularly, it strengthens the bones and joints and cures stomach acidity.

Benefits of Hing

Loaded With Dietary Fiber

Hing being loaded with fiber aids in digestion and maintains the regular bowel movements in the body. It lowers hyperglycemia and is extremely effective in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. It also helps in maintaining proper body weight.

Rich in Carbs

Being a rich source of carbohydrates, hing promotes metabolism. It is extremely beneficial in maintaining digestive health, promoting heart health and in improving brain function. It is a powerful mood regulator and helps in preventing obesity.

May help reduce symptoms of IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic digestive condition that’s characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and gas, as well as constipation, diarrhea, or both. Due to its potential effects on digestion, asafoetida is thought to help reduce symptoms associated with IBS.
Two small studies in adults with IBS found a significant improvement in reported IBS symptoms after 2 weeks of taking asafoetida supplements. Yet, another study found that this supplement had no effect on IBS symptoms (14).
Overall, the available research is quite limited.

Good source of antioxidants

Asafoetida has been found to be a good source of antioxidants. These compounds help protect your cells against potential damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. As a result, antioxidants may also help protect against chronic inflammation, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Specifically, asafoetida has been shown to contain high amounts of phenolic compounds, such as tannins and flavonoids, which are known for their potent antioxidant effects

Acts As A Good Hair Conditioner

Asafoetida can do wonders for dry and frizzy hair; thanks to its moisturising properties. Make a hair mask using yogurt, almond oil and hing and apply on your hair. Leave it for an hour before washing it off with lukewarm water.(

May Help Bring A Glow On Your Face

Asafoetida helps increase the supply of oxygen to facial tissues that gives your skin a radiant glow. Mix asafoetida with water or rose water to form a paste; you can add some sandalwood powder too. Apply this on your face regularly to get effective results.

Helps Relieve Asthma

asthma, bronchitis, dry cough, et al 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 to prepare a paste using asafoetida and water and apply on yourchest. You can also mix asafoetida and dry ginger powder along with some honey. Consume this mixture to get relief from respiratory issues

For Gas, Acid Reflux & Indigestion

Asafoetida is an amazing spice to treat flatulence and expelling wind. Many suffer from gas when they consume lentils. Whenever you cook dals and pulses, adding asafoetida prevents the problem and helps in quick digestion. Add asfoetida when you are doing the tadka. A small pinch of asafoetida will go a long way and if you add too much, the dish will turn bitter and will have the strong smell of asafoetida that you will never be able to get rid off.

Powerhouse of Iron

Iron being one of the essential nutrients in hing is a potent blood purifier. It increases hemoglobin and red blood cell count of the blood. It also treats anemia, improves concentration, reduces fatigue and boosts overall immunity of the body.

High on Potassium

Hing is a good source of potassium. Potassium being an electrolyte balances the effects of sodium and is effective in maintaining blood pressure. It is highly beneficial for bone and joint health. It prevents the arteries from narrowing, thus reducing the chances of heart attacks and improving cardiovascular health.

Moderate Source of Calcium

Calcium is extremely beneficial in improving bone and dental health. Hing, being moderately rich in calcium is effective in strengthening the teeth and bones, reduces risk of kidney stones and colon cancer and aids in preventing diseases like osteoporosis, osteomalacia and osteopenia.

May protect brain health

Several animal studies have indicated that asafoetida may help safeguard against memory loss and nerve damage in the brain.

May ease asthma symptoms

Animal studies have shown asafoetida to have a relaxing effect on airway smooth muscles, which is important for the treatment of asthma.

May lower blood sugar levels

One study in rats found that 22.7 mg of asafoetida extract per pound (50 mg per kg) of body weight helped reduce fasting blood sugar levels

Abundance of Essential Oils

The two varieties of hing have a number of volatile oils like α-pinene, α-terpineol, β-pinene, luteolin, vanillin α- pinene, azulene, umbelliferone etc. The essential oils have significant anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties which act as a natural remedy for cough and cold congestion, asthma, prevents dental problems and cleanses the intestinal flora.

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