Asafoetida (Ferula or smelly) - is a perennial herb of the family Umbelliferae, it reaches a height of 2 meters, while the root system is well developed. From the latex of the roots get an exotic spice, also called asafetida, and has a sharp unpleasant smell (it is at times superior to the smell of garlic and onions). Homeland hing consider Asia (Iran, Afghanistan, India), where she is in the ground and grow. In the 70-ies of XX century, this plant has been found in Kazakhstan and the Caucasus, but, unfortunately, asafoetida thickets were destroyed in fighting with wild drug plantations, though she no relation to narcotic substances has not. Asafoetida has long been known, and its healing properties. In Ancient Rome, it was used as a carminative.
Currently, asafoetida is exclusively Asian spice, in Europe it is very rare.
Getting spice asafetida a very long and laborious process, it can take 2-3 months. For her collection Collect special expedition as asafoetida grows only in the mountains. From one plant receive an average of 1000-1100 grams of thick resin (milky juice of the roots).
The ready-made spice asafetida represents the yellow grains of various sizes, which are connected by a dirty yellow (or yellow-brown) mass. All together it looks like lumps of indeterminate shape. Sometimes the resin is dried and ground to a powder (mixed with rice flour), which is slightly softens the sharp odor.
Properties hing is very unusual. Its taste is often described as "disgusting" and pungent. The smell like the smell of garlic. The peculiarity of this fragrance is unusual volatility - the smell permeates everything in its path: the clothes, hands, walls, dishes. Taste hing retained in the mouth for several hours, it is not removed with water, alcoholic solution. If the room temperature is more than 22C, the smell of spices hing permeates everything for a few minutes and lasts more than a day, even with ventilation facilities.
Use asafoetida spice in cooking
Use asafoetida as spices can afford only true gourmets. Given its properties above, the question arises - why endure this torment from the use of this spice? The fact that a small amount of frying oil resin hing its taste and smell are mitigated. When used correctly in combination with other spices (ginger, cumin, turmeric, black mustard) taste of the spices become noble and delicate. Usually in the form of asafoetida spice used in the preparation of indigestible fat mutton dishes. In India, there is a saying that, asafoetida help digest and nails. With this seasoning harvested various canned goods.
Asafoetida is used in the microscopic doses, it can not be combined with onion and garlic. This spice increases appetite, improves digestion, tones the body and does not leave breath.
Medicinal properties of asafoetida
Asafoetida has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The famous medieval scholar, philosopher and physician Avicenna, in his treatise "The Canon of Medicine" mentions Untreated properties asafoetida as a remedy for herpes and abscesses. Even in ancient Rome and Greece were known soothing properties of asafoetida and its aid in digestion. When making a Roman military campaigns, they ate a mess of pottage, which gave a lot of energy, but it causes bloating. Adding food hing help fight flatulence, it has been a relief for soldiers. Alexander the Great brought the spice to Europe, where it is mainly used as a medical device.
Asafoetida is used as a medicine, and in Russia, "full Russian illustrated dictionary herbalist" 1989 mentions the use of the resin of the plant as a means of improving digestion and helps with pain and hysteria neurotic origin.
Currently, asafoetida is little known in Europe and Russia, where it replaced the onion and garlic, and is used mainly in Asia.
Asafoetida, as already mentioned, is mainly used to improve digestion and as a carminative (from flatulence). Spice helps to digest a heavy meal and has antispasmodic properties. Asafoetida also acts as a mild laxative and helps get rid of intestinal parasites. In Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of Vedic medicine, asafoetida is known as bactericidal and anthelmintic.
The resin of this plant produced pharmacological agents used in the treatment of nervous diseases (hysteria, seizures). It is well known that inhalation of asafoetida flavor helps prevent hysterics. Since ancient times, asafoetida is used in various types of pain (dental, ear). It helps in the treatment of arthritis, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, for this purpose it is used externally in the form of a paste.
There are anti-aging properties and asafoetida, its effect is mentioned in the "Kama Sutra", which states that this spice rejuvenates the organs are destroyed by old age. Asafoetida helps with gynecological diseases, especially in painful menstruation and infertility. In the postpartum period, the resin of the plant is used as a tonic means.
The spice is used in diseases of the respiratory system - asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough is made from a mixture of asafoetida, white onion juice and honey, which is taken orally.
Contraindications to the use of asafoetida are fever, pregnancy, skin rashes and stomach acidity.