Asafoetida Powder: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits and Uses

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Asafoetida: What Is It?

Ferula asafoetida, a kind of perennial fennel plant, is the source of asafoetida, a hard, resinous gum. When used as a spice, it is mostly found in Indian and Iranian cuisine. The dried sap is taken from the roots and stem of a plant species that is related to the carrot family.

When young, the Asafoetida tree is grayish-white, but as it ages, it becomes darker and finally takes on shades of yellow, red, and brown. Since the resin is hard to grate, it is usually broken up with a hammer or between stones.

Nutrition Facts of Asafoetida

This material is made up of around 4–20% volatile oil, 40–60% resin, and 25% gum when taken as a supplement.

Ferula asafoetida’s essential oil component comprises a range of sulfur-containing odorous chemicals, a significant portion of which are sulfurous in nature. The oil contains phytochemicals such pinene, cadinene, and vanillin, while the resin contains phytochemicals like ferulic acid, umbelliferone, asaresinotannol, foetidin, and kamolonol.

A sprinkle of asafoetida powder in a dish will contribute zero calories, fat, cholesterol, salt, or sugar to your meal.

Health Benefits of Asafoetida Powder:

1. Relieving Asthma

Asafoetida is a strong expectorant and respiratory stimulant that may help clear congestion in the chest and aid expel mucus. It treats bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma in conventional medicine.

As a result of the volatile oil in asafoetida gum being expelled via the lungs, it may be a very effective therapy for lung conditions including asthma.

2. Reduces Blood Pressure

As a natural blood thinner, asafoetida may assist in lowering blood pressure. It contains a lot of coumarin, which thins the blood and helps to improve blood flow, which may help avoid blood clots.

Researchers have identified certain phytochemicals with beneficial cardiovascular benefits in the Ferula species. Studies conducted on animals have shown that the gum extract from Ferula asafoetida greatly lowers average arterial blood pressure. Thanks in part to these phytonutrients, the gum extract seems to include relaxant chemicals that are beneficial to blood pressure and cardiovascular health in general.

Also read: Healthy Spice and Herbs

3. Aids in IBS Treatment

Research has shown that asafoetida is a useful homeopathic treatment for those with IBS symptoms such cramps, bloating, intestinal gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

In a double-blind, 14-week trial, patients with IBS were given either asafoetida or a placebo. The asafoetida homeopathic medicine significantly improved the individuals’ condition compared to the placebo group, according to the results.

4. Blood Sugar Regulation

According to research on animals, asafoetida may be a useful and natural means of assisting in the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels.

Researchers saw a reduction in blood sugar levels in diabetic animal models when they administered this extract at a dosage of 50 milligrams per kilogram for four weeks. According to the study’s findings, asafoetida extract’s phenolic acids—more especially, ferulic acid—and tannins are probably what cause this impact.

5. FODMAPs Diet-Friendly

FODMAPs, which stand for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, are diet-friendly. These particular sugars are present in food but are not fully absorbed by the body. As a result, gut bacteria may readily digest them, which can lead to serious gastrointestinal (GI) issues.

6. Diminishes Flatulence

Wind from the stomach has historically been relieved by asafoetida. To put it another way, it’s a gas reduction or antiflatulent that’s used to treat and prevent excessive intestinal gas. For this reason alone, it’s often used with lentils and other legumes to control flatulence and lessen gas after meals.

Uses of Asafoetida and Fascinating Information

Even though asafoetida is not indigenous to India, it has long been used in Indian medicine and cooking, having been used as a spice in ancient Rome. These days, it’s mostly utilized in south and west India, especially by members of the Hindu merchant caste and those who practice Jainism and Vaishnavism, which forbid eating onions or garlic.

The Latin term foetidus, which means to smell particularly unpleasant, and the Farsi word aza, which means resin, are the sources of the common name “asafetida.”

The pungent, sulfurous scent of asafoetida was originally believed to soothe hysterics, and during the American Wild West era, it was mixed with other potent spices to treat alcoholism.

How to Use Asafoetida Powder:

Although your neighborhood grocery shop probably won’t have asafoetida, you can easily get it online for a reasonable price. Some specialty shops, particularly those that sell Indian or Middle Eastern goods, may also carry it.

The most popular forms of it are as granules or powder that you can just add to whatever you’re making. Additionally, it comes in lumps that need to be broken apart before utilizing. Even in its ground condition, this potent spice may be preserved for more than a year with careful storage.

Use asafoetida sparingly to give your food a distinct flavor and many health advantages. Usually, it’s used in pickles, vegetarian stews and soups, and a variety of lentil recipes. It tastes well in seafood meals as well. A few daring individuals even used it as a condiment.

It’s important to store asafetida, if you purchase it as a spice, in an airtight container away from heat, light, and air. This has a distinct sulfurous smell to it as well. It smells strong, like sulfur, as was already noted, but this normally goes away after it cooks.

Also check: Cumin Powder

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