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Asafoetida Powder

Rajib Singha
Asafoetida powder is one of the most popular ingredients in numerous Indian cuisines. Apart from its culinary uses, this stuff is also known for its healing properties.
The ferula is a perennial plant, that is among the native flora of Iran. This plant has a variety of other species of plants. And the dried latex of these plants that is obtained is what is known as asafoetida. The stalks of these plants are cut close to the roots, and the milky fluid is allowed to drain out. This fluid is dried to obtain this product.
In some parts of the world, this stuff has been popularized as 'Devil's dung', given to its pungent, foul odor that is somewhat similar to rotten feet. But this smell remains until it is cooked, as then its strong flavor meows out and gives the recipe a flavor that is similar to that of onion and garlic.
It is recommended to use the yellow asafoetida powder, rather than eating the product in its raw form.

Asafoetida Powder Benefits

  • The most important benefit of using this product that I would like to put forth, is associated with toothache. Perhaps, one of the most gruelingly painful dental problem is a toothache. The pain is no less than that which can be caused by stabbing many needles at different places in the body. It mimics an electric shock, striking without warning. 
So when medical help in unavailable, you can reduce this kind of pain with the help of a simple paste of asafoetida and lemon juice. Simply keep the paste on the aching tooth and relax. After sometime you would feel the pain to have reduced and not so severe as before.
  • One smart household use of asafoetida powder is for repelling away insects like mosquitoes, flies, etc. You can even sprinkle the powder around your gardens to keep away stray dogs, rodents, etc.
  • Menstrual symptoms can be as frustrating as they are painful. These symptoms may be relieved to some extent by including asafoetida powder in the food.
  • The most common use of this stuff goes in the treatment of flatulence. It is able to treat this problem by reducing the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut.
  • Men suffering from impotency can also benefit from its use. Spermatorrhoea and premature ejaculation can also be improved with its use.
  • In some parts of the world, the asafoetida powder is used to make tea, in order to treat problems like common cold symptoms, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and even yeast infections.
  • Asafoetida helps in relieving the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough. The product is antimicrobial in nature thus, helps in improving the symptoms of all these ailments.
  • The antispasmodic property of the powder allows it to be used in dealing with bowel spasms, which is a common problem with many.
  • Intestinal worms can be gotten rid of by having the asafoetida powder.
  • People suffering from hypertension can experience relief in their episodes of high blood pressure, and parents can treat nervous disorders in their children, by including this product in food.

Asafoetida Side Effects

  • Raw consumption of the asafoetida may cause nausea and vomiting
  • Regular or continuous use of any form of the product may give rise to throat irritation, diarrhea, gas problems, and burning sensation while urinating
  • Other side effects may include a number of pregnancy disorders.
And this was all for some important uses and health benefits of the asafoetida powder. As far as the side effects are concerned, they can be easily avoided by using the product in the right way; that is not too much and not too frequently.