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Asafetida: what is this spice, useful properties and uses

Since ancient times, a huge role in cooking played by spices. They can give even the simplest dish a refined taste and a unique flavor. Today in the world there are more than a hundred varieties of spices. In order to choose them correctly, you need to have at least the basic skills in cooking. Among all kinds of spices, the most unusual is asafetida. It is mainly popular among fans of Asian cuisine. Therefore, the product is still little known among fans of savory dishes.

What is this spice?

Asafetida is the root resin of the perennial herbaceous plant ferula asafetida. It grows mainly in the mountains of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran. The spice uses the "milky" juice of the root, which hardens as it leaks out, turning it into resin. It is then milled and mixed with rice flour for a better consistency.

Experienced gourmets say that only five-year-old plants should be processed. It is at this age that the root reaches its maximum peak regarding its useful properties. In appearance, asafetida spice is a loose, powdery mixture of grayish-white color. It is often used not only in cooking, but also in medicine as an expectorant and anti-inflammatory.

What is the taste and smell

The seasoning has a very specific flavor - a concentrated mixture of onion and garlic. Many people even replace these vegetables with it. But it tastes much milder than onion and garlic. If the spice is not mixed and added to dishes in its pure form, its concentrated smell can literally turn heads. That is why it is combined with rice flour. In the right proportions, the aroma of asafetida can whet one's appetite in a matter of seconds.

The flavor of this spice is no less peculiar than its smell. It can fundamentally change the taste of a dish, and its aftertaste can remain in the mouth for a long time and be beyond the control of any rinses or menthol candies. It tastes too pungent, very tangible and intrusive. To experience it fully and to realize the role of being in a dish, a minimal proportion should be added. In large quantities, it can altogether overpower the taste of the main ingredients. But after its use, onion and garlic do not smell like vegetables.

Asafetida can change its taste a little if you mix it competently with turmeric, curry and other oriental spices.

Composition and calories

It is known that there are no minerals in the uncomplicated composition of asafetida. This guarantees safety for human health. It consists of 60% ferulic acid, 35% carbon monoxide and 10% essential oils. It is this high concentration of oils that gives it its concentrated aroma.

Careful research has revealed that the spice has absolutely no calories. This fact allows you to safely use it for those who sit on a diet. The product also has a wide list of useful substances such as carotene, riboflavin, manganese, chromium, fiber, phosphorus, coumarins, copper, zinc, iron and magnesium.

Useful Properties of Asafetida

Asafetida is loved and appreciated not only for its unique culinary properties. In Asian countries, this product is known as a cure for many diseases. It is known that inhabitants of Eastern countries have long been treated with it for joint pain, respiratory diseases and eye ailments. The spice also has the property to rejuvenate the body and tone it up. The range of uses in the treatment is so wide that many are still unaware of how and under what circumstances it can be used.

The benefits and harms of asafetida

For women

Many women over time notice changes in their bodies that affect their appearance and overall well-being. Fatigue, nervous tension and many other external factors often contribute to this. But asafetida can improve a woman's health:

  1. After a certain age, a woman's hormonal background changes. This restructuring does not go away without a trace, but manifests itself with various symptoms that cause discomfort. This is the menopause, which some people fear and some people ignore. Spice helps to get rid of headaches and nervous tension during this period. Regular use of the product alleviates the symptoms of such ailments, improving the quality of life.
  2. Women have more metabolic disorders than men. During such periods, toxins and possibly poisons resulting from the decay of other harmful substances stagnate in the body. Asafetida, despite the slowed down metabolism, helps to eliminate all the nasties from the body. It begins its work in the gallbladder, from which bile is clearly poorly excreted. It is at this stage of digestion that the spice first neutralizes and then helps to gradually eliminate toxins and waste products.
  3. As sad as it sounds, women age faster than men. There are exceptions. But bad ecology, unhealthy food, lack of sleep and fatigue deprive the weaker sex of resources faster than the stronger sex. And these resources are collagen reserves and many other indicators of youth. Spice is able to neutralize free radicals and prevent the aging process. The face disappears, blood circulation is restored, and a healthy blush appears on the cheeks.

For men

For men, this spice can not only play the role of an enhancer of stunning flavors, but also help with health problems. Even if there are no problems, the spice will help prevent them.

  1. Men who like to eat well often eat fatty foods. And many men don't have time for exercise or minimal physical activity. As a result, the body suffers, as obesity and unbearable strain on the pancreas and liver begins. Asafetida helps to break down fatty foods, promoting fast digestion. By consuming the spice regularly, you can avoid pancreatitis, cholecystitis, and improve your well-being.
  2. It is proved that the spice improves the potency. It is also a good way to improve your health and well-being, which is why it is important for you to be able to use the spice regularly. It is not necessary to overdo it and add it to all dishes. Everything should be in moderation.
  3. Since men are often engaged in physical activity, they may be prone to various injuries. Asafetida helps to quickly start the regeneration of damaged tissue cells, healing wounds and participating in the treatment of sprains of tendons.


Pregnant women are contraindicated many medicines. But they are also prone to all kinds of diseases and ailments. What if the drugs are prohibited and the treatment can not be postponed. A natural remedy, asafetida, can help in this situation.

  1. If a pregnant woman fell ill with a cold, the usual antiviral drugs can harm the health of the child. Asafetida in small doses will be able to put her on her feet without harming the fetus. Many women in the East are grateful for this ability of this spice.
  2. Even pregnant women cannot control their emotional state. It is all the fault of the hormonal background, which changes and is not under control. Spice helps to calm the nervous system and cope with a negative emotional state.
  3. Toxicosis is a companion of many women in pregnancy. It is a natural reaction of the body to such drastic changes. Many people do not know what to do in such a case. But experienced oriental women have already learned that the healing properties of asafetida can cope with this illness, raise the appetite and neutralize most of the toxins in the liver.

When breastfeeding.

Consuming asafetida while breastfeeding your baby, you need, first of all, to think about his health. Long experience of the inhabitants of the East has proved that from this spice can be passed to the child with the mother's milk only benefit.

  1. It is known that children absorb milk better than adults. But sometimes children can have weak appetites because of individual differences. If the mother consumes the spice, the child's digestion will improve, and the appetite will be healthy and natural for such a small age.
  2. The intestines in infancy are still weak and prone to the development of dysbacteriosis. More often than not, it is because of this that babies cry at night, and not because of their first teeth. Spice, which comes with the mother's milk to the baby's body, helps to neutralize harmful bacteria and normalize the microflora.
  3. The quality of breast milk depends on the quality of food consumed by the mother. Since spice contains a huge number of vitamins and minerals, they will all enter the body of the child, strengthening his immune system.

For children

A child's growing body, regardless of age, needs vitamins and micronutrients. By adding asafetida to his diet, you can provide him with an additional source of useful components, and sometimes prevent ailments and diseases.

  1. Children often have a weakened immune system. This can end up with three weeks of bronchitis and school absences. But the spice helps "get back on your feet" without any strong medications and antibiotics. The product in the East has long been considered a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agent. It is a great way to boost a child's immune system.
  2. Some children are too emotional, often crying because of arguments with friends or teachers. The spice has a positive effect on the not yet fully formed nervous system. A child who uses it regularly becomes calmer and more positive.
  3. Often children take a long time to form their intestinal microflora. After contact with a cat, many have worms, which cause discomfort to both baby and mother. Asafetida directly fights parasites by neutralizing them. If you use it regularly, it initially creates an unsuitable atmosphere for their appearance.

For weight loss

Oriental spice has proved itself excellent for weight loss. How is it able to influence the body, what are its benefits for the diet?

  1. The essential oils that are contained in asafetida are able to directly fight fats by breaking them down into cells, and only then let them into the bloodstream. Many people have noticed that the weight loss process becomes faster with this spice.
  2. Many people want to lose weight quickly. Sometimes it is even possible. But it is worth remembering that with such a drastic change, the skin sags and loses tone, stretch marks appear. Since the spice fights free radicals and helps the production of collagen and elastane, it can prevent such an unpleasant cosmetic defect.
  3. If you introduce asafetida into your diet permanently, you can not only lose weight, but also never gain weight again. Naturally, it is necessary to fundamentally revise your diet.
Video: What is asafetida good for Expand

Asafetida in medicine

It turns out that not only supporters of folk medicine, but also representatives of pharmacology have a positive attitude toward asafetida. This once again proves the favorable properties of the spice. To apply it competently for various diseases, it is worth taking note of several effective recipes.

Asafetida in Medicine

With flatulence

When such problems with the intestines arise, a mixture of asafetida, cardamom and fennel is used. All these ingredients should be taken in equal quantities. Pour the resulting mixture with hot water and insist for at least two hours. When the infusion cools and becomes warm, use it during the day in small sips. Such a procedure can be repeated for 3 days in a row, after which the symptoms of flatulence disappear.

For toothache

If the tooth hurts, take half a teaspoon of asafetida and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. These two components should be mixed and heated in a water bath. Combine the resulting consistency with water in equal proportion and rinse your mouth several times a day.

For parasites

In Eastern countries, asafetida is often used in the presence of parasites in the body. The spice is excellent against helminths, pinworms and giardia and solves this problem, automatically eliminating dermatosis, scabies and other skin diseases. To do this, you need to prepare a solution. Take a pinch of the spice, pour half a glass of water and stir. Take such a cold solution every day, for two weeks. This method together with parasites removes toxins and detoxes from the body.

For sore throat.

With a purulent sore throat and the absence of fever, you need to take asafetida and turmeric in equal proportions. Pour the resulting mixture with warm water and stir well. Gargle with this solution at least 4 times a day. In a day you will noticeably reduce inflammation and sore throat.

Problems with the reproductive system

This can be associated with a long absence of pregnancy. But such an ailment many people have managed to solve with the help of this spice. It is necessary to take goat's milk, honey and a pinch of asafetida. After mixing carefully the components, heat it in a water bath and bring it to a homogeneous liquid. Take the resulting solution of 1 tablespoon a day for a month.

If you have high blood pressure

The spice has the amazing property of thinning the blood and promote the normalization of blood circulation, thereby reducing blood pressure. For this, it must be mixed in equal proportions with dried ginger, a spoonful of honey, cinnamon and the juice of half a lemon. Add warm water, stir all the ingredients well and drink at once. After a while, the blood pressure accompanied by the headache will go down.

For asthma.

To relieve dry cough, bronchitis or asthma, you can use a recipe using asafetida. You just need to mix 1 teaspoon of the spice with half a cup of water, stir the resulting mixture and smear it on your chest. Covered with a warm blanket, lie under it for at least 30 minutes. After doing the procedure for three days, you can notice a significant improvement.

For menstrual pain

Menstruation is often accompanied by severe pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. But the spice can help and relieve the unpleasant condition. It is necessary to take fenugreek powder, a pinch of salt and asafetida in equal proportions. Before using the resulting mixture, warm it a little beforehand over low heat.

For pain in the ears

Anyone can face pain in the ears because of an infection. But asafetida can help, you only need to prepare an effective medicinal recipe. To do this, take coconut oil, melt it, add a pinch of asafetida and mix. After the oil mixture has cooled, put it in the ears 2 times a day.

Cosmetic use

Asafetida has proved itself positively in cosmetology. But it is worth immediately noting that the owners of oily type of skin from this product should refuse and do not apply in this area. The spice can activate the sebaceous glands, so it is more suitable for dry or fading skin. Also, the spice has a rejuvenating effect, slows aging and prevents the appearance of deep wrinkles. Many have noted the effectiveness of using it to eliminate freckles, blackheads and scars. In the recipes described below, there are ingredients that, when combined with asafetida, enhance the effect of each other.

Asafetida Use in Cosmetology

For acne

Such an unpleasant phenomenon as acne sometimes takes away the desire to look in the mirror. But asafetida has proven that it is possible to cope with this cosmetic defect and prevent its next appearance. You need to take 1 teaspoon of the spice, 5 tablets of activated charcoal and a handful of chamomile flowers. Chamomile brewed in half a cup of boiling water, the activated charcoal is crushed. When the decoction becomes warm, mix all the ingredients, take a cotton pad and lubricate the pre-cleaned face. Do this procedure several times after each drying of the skin. In the morning, instead of the traditional washing with running water, wipe your face again with the cool decoction. Wipe off the remains of activated charcoal with normal cleansed water. Such treatment of acne should last at least a month.


Scars on the face can remain for many reasons. In any case, such a defect makes few people happy. Instead of expensive treatments, you should try proven methods using asafetida spice. It is necessary to take 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. After mixing all the ingredients, warm them slightly in a water bath. Using a soft cosmetic brush, apply the resulting mixture lightly to the affected area of the face. After half an hour, wash the mask off and moisturize the skin with a nourishing cream.


A certain type of people have freckles on the face in the spring. But for some, this cosmetic feature is permanent in nature. To get rid of them, you need to take lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of sour cream and some parsley, pre-chopping it in a blender. Having mixed all the ingredients, the resulting mixture should be applied to the face. Keep it on your skin for 10-15 minutes, wash and apply a nourishing cream.

When hair loss.

This is a discomfort for many people. And in case of baldness, you can even get depressed. Asafetida is ready to help in this situation, if it is used competently, independently making a compress for the hair roots. It is necessary to brew burdock root, which can be purchased at any drugstore, and add to the broth 2 teaspoons of spice. To enhance the effect, you can add burdock oil, but then you will have to rinse your head very carefully. The resulting mixture should be rubbed into the skin for 5 minutes. Then wrap your head with a cellophane bag and a towel. After 40 minutes, wash your hair with shampoo. Such a compress is desirable to apply every other day or at least 2 times a week. After a month hair loss will be significantly reduced.

With fading skin

With age, the amount of collagen in the layers of the epidermis decreases, the skin begins to age, so modern cosmetology uses all possible ways to compensate for the lost resources. But it tends to be quite expensive and requires consistency. Instead of spending on expensive remedies and procedures, you can use a gift from nature in the form of asafetida. To do this, you need to take 1 teaspoon of the spice, crushed in a blender cranberries together with the juice and 1 teaspoon of almond oil. After mixing all these ingredients, the resulting mixture should be applied to the cleansed face before going to bed every other day. The result can be seen from the first application. Only you should not abuse this method, so as not to cause addiction, so it is better to take periodic breaks.

With peeling of the skin of the face

Dry facial skin is prone to peeling, especially in the cold period. Sometimes even moisturizing creams do not help to fully cope with the problem. Therefore, to achieve results, you have to connect additional methods. Mask with asafetida works wonders after the first applications, as it normalizes the sebaceous glands, contributing to the production of collagen. In this way there is a natural moisturizing of the lower layers of the epidermis. It is necessary to take 1 teaspoon of spice, a few drops of wheat germ oil and calendula decoction. After mixing all ingredients to a sour creamy consistency, apply it to the face and hold for 15 minutes. Lubricate your face with a nourishing cream. It is enough to use this recipe twice a week in a period of severe cold.

With split ends.

Almost any type of hair is prone to split ends because of the inevitable external mechanical damage. Therefore, periodically they should be cared for by applying a special mask. Asafetida is able to saturate the hair with its essential oils and vitamins. After several applications of such a mask, you will not have to cut off split ends, as they will look healthy. You need to take 1 teaspoon of spice, 2 teaspoons of clay, 1 tablespoon of castor oil and a quarter cup of hot milk. Mix all the ingredients into a homogeneous mass and apply to the ends of the hair. It is desirable to walk with such a mask for several hours until it hardens. After washing it, let the hair dry. You can use such a mask once a week.

With neglected cellulite

When a firm decision is made to get rid of annoying cellulite, not always the result justifies the expectations. Often this cosmetic defect is neglected, and one correct diet is not enough. To help you can come up with a mask with asafetida, which will help you get closer to a positive result. You should take 1 teaspoon of the spice, 2 teaspoons of coffee grounds and 2 tablespoons of honey. Mix all the components and get a homogeneous thick consistency. With massaging movements apply the mask to the problem areas and wrap it in clingfilm for half an hour. You can cover with a warm blanket. After washing the mask from the skin, treat these places with a massage sponge. The result will be noticeable in two weeks.

How to use asafetida in cooking

In its pure form, this unique oriental spice has too rich an aroma. In order to feel it in full, it is enough to dilute one small particle of it in a large saucepan with water or other products. That is why it is not used in its original form, but mixed with other ingredients.

How to use amfetida in cooking

In order to add spice to a dish, you need to have a lot of experience in this matter. We can safely say that this process is a whole art. After all, the application of one small grain of spice in a dinner designed for a large family requires a practiced skill. Therefore, to please the housemates with the flavors of the East, you should not look for asafetida in its pure form.

On the supermarket shelves, it can be found only as a part of other spices, and this will be quite enough. This spice is so versatile that it is great for hot and cold dishes. It enhances the flavors of vegetarian and meat-based culinary masterpieces. Even cold salads with asafetida take on a whole new flavor. It is so widely used in cooking that it can be found in both soup and baked goods.

What can be used as a substitute?

As already mentioned, the Asian spice has an aroma reminiscent of a mixture of onion and garlic. What distinguishes it is a more subtle and mild taste, which, unlike the listed vegetables, is not able to irritate. Therefore, many people believe that they can replace asafetida with dried onion and garlic. However, you should not expect a similar effect. After all, the oriental spice is unique in its properties and characteristics, so it is impossible to replace it fully by anything. And there are no analogues in nature.

But still, if there is a great desire to add to a dish something similar to asafetida, it is worth remembering the recipe, which corresponds to half a teaspoon of spice:

  • 1 medium onion;
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic;
  • half a teaspoon of white pepper;
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic.

Also, half a teaspoon each of dried spices (you should take ginger, cardamom, turmeric, black mustard, chili and salt).

Grind all the ingredients well in a blender and add to the dish. Exactly this amount will be identical to a small grain of asafetida.

How to choose and store

When you come to the supermarket looking for asafetida, you should go straight to the healthy eating section. It is often sold mixed with rice flour or ground acacia resin. It is in this form that the spice cannot be concentrated, which means that there is no risk of overdoing it during cooking. If the spice is sold in open form, then there is a chance to assess it visually. Its color should be uniform, the consistency is loose, without lumps. Of particular importance is the country of the manufacturer. Asafetida made in Afghanistan is recognized as the best quality. But sometimes you can find good products from India. Some people try to grow asafetida at home, but this process requires a lot of effort. It is easier to buy it in the store.

Store the spice should be strictly observed. If you violate them, you can spoil the product, because asafetida will lose its flavor qualities. Oriental spice should be in a container with a tightly closed lid, otherwise its odor can spread throughout the house. If you had to buy asafetida in a glass jar, then it is in it and should continue storage, in no case pouring it into another container. The jar should be placed in a cellophane bag. This container should be in a dark and cool place. If you store the spice in bulk, then it retains its properties for about a year, if the pieces - several years.

Harm and contraindications

Despite its medicinal properties, asafetida, like any other product, can in certain cases harm the body and has some contraindications. They should be taken into account immediately, and then decide whether to use the oriental spice or not.

Harm and Contraindications

  1. Hives. Sometimes there are people who are particularly sensitive to the components of the spice. The reaction to the use of asafetida is manifested in the form of hives. In such cases, you should consult a doctor and temporarily exclude the product from the diet. But sometimes you have to give it up forever.
  2. Stomach upset. If the acidity of the stomach is not normal or if you have recently had a gastritis or ulcer, you should refrain from eating asafetida. The walls of the stomach may react badly to this product, if they have not yet recovered from the disease. And if the acidity is disturbed, heartburn may start.
  3. Chronic diseases. As practice has shown, people with chronic diseases of internal organs have experienced their exacerbations after consuming spice. Such diseases include cholecystitis, duodenal ulcer, intestinal microflora disorder, hepatitis B and chronic gastritis.
  4. High body temperature. Asafetida is an excellent remedy against colds and inflammation. But if the disease is accompanied by high fever, it is better to refrain from using the spice, as this can only make the situation worse.
  5. Gallstones in the gallbladder. On the one hand, asafetida can accelerate the choleretic process, improving the work of the liver. But in the presence of gallstones, the use of this spice can give quite the opposite effect. As a rule, this ends with severe pain and surgery to remove the organ. After all, the bile simply has nowhere to go due to the stones obstructing the path. This provokes a strong inflammation.
  6. Allergies. The use of such a concentrated spice can cause allergies in especially sensitive people. This can manifest itself as a skin rash and itching. In such cases, it is necessary to have a special medication for allergies.

Knowing how to use asafetida in cooking, medicine and cosmetology, you can not hesitate to use this unique product in your daily life. The main thing is to exclude all contraindications in advance, because everything that nature gives a person is priceless.

«Important: All information on the site is provided solely for introductory purposes. Before you use any recommendations, please consult with a specialized specialist before applying any of the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

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