10 Mindblowing Health Benefits Of Asafoetida(Hing)
Asafoetida is the well known ‘Hing’ used in every Indian kitchen. It is native to Afghanistan and India. This spice is obtained from the dried gum of the plant. Raw asafoetida has a very strong an unpleasant smell, it is bitter in taste too. Then why is it used in food? This is because it imparts an awesome flavour to cooked food. It found its way to various Indian dishes and pickles!
Food adulteration has always been an issue. Asafoetida is adulterated by adding wheat flour and gum of another tree called Kikar.
How to check if the asafoetida is pure or not?
Adulterated Asafoetida when dropped in water, sinks and settles down whereas pure asafoetida dissolves completely in water and makes it milky. Pure asafoetida can also be burnt.
Health benefits asafoetida has to offer:
Asafoetida has several health benefits as it is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and anti-flatulent in nature. It is also a laxative.
Hing or asafoetida is being used in treating digestive disorders and flatulence since ancient times. The main reason why it is added in daily meals is that whatever eaten should get digested properly. It aids digestion due to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It prevents constipation as it is a very good laxative. It provides relief from an upset stomach, intestinal worms and also from irritable bowel syndrome. If you happen to suffer from flatulence, add a pinch of it in buttermilk and drink that. It will provide relief and also cleanse the digestive system.
2) Relieves headache
To treat headaches, granules of asafoetida can be added to water and consumed.
3) Helpful in treating respiratory problems
It is used in treating asthma and bronchitis. It helps in releasing phlegm and relieves congestion of the chest. Being antimicrobial in nature it is a remedy for treating colds and flu in kids, treating chronic bronchitis, dry cough and whooping cough. Studies have shown that medicine made from the roots of the asafoetida plant can be used as a new drug against swine flu and H1N1 virus.
4) Helpful for diabetics
Hing is used to treat diabetes. This is so because hing/asafoetida helps the cells of pancreas in secreting more insulin and thus decreases the sugar levels in the blood. Bitter gourd, a great veggie for those suffering with diabetes, when cooked with hing can be really effective in lowering the blood sugar levels.
This spice acts as an anti-coagulant and protects against formation of cholesterol and triglycerides and it helps in lowering blood pressure. But care should be taken when one is already consuming high blood pressure medicines.
Asafoetida being a powerful anti-oxidant, protects the cells of the body from free radical damage. Studies say that the anti-cancer property of this spice stops malignant cells from growing.
7) Treats skin ailments
It is applied directly onto the skin to treat corns and calluses. Several skin care products have asafoetida in them.
8) For contraception
It also has contraceptive properties and is thus used in traditional medicine for the same.
9) To counter alcohol abuse
Long term consumption of alcohol can cause severe liver damage and death. In order to fight the damage, asafoetida can come to the rescue. Its phytochemicals plus anti-inflammatory nature are beneficial in protecting the liver.
10) Helpful in menstruation
Asafoetida resolves the problems related to menstruation like excessive, irregular and painful periods.
So many health benefits this strong-odoured spice has to offer. Nevertheless, adding it to food makes the food very inviting!
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