What Is Hing (Asafoetida)?
Hing or heeng is an Indian spice made from the Ferula Assa-Foetida plant. It is known for its strong and unmistakable flavour. It also enhances the flavour of other herbs and spices when used in cooking. Hing or asafoetida is also called ‘devil’s dung’, ‘stinking gum’, jowani badian, and ‘food of the Gods’ in different parts of the country.
1. Relaxes Menstrual Pain
Most women might feel their periods are a nightmare due to the pain and constant heavy bleeding. Asafoetida benefits by reducing menstrual discomfort and pain in the abdominal area and back.
Hing benefits by regulating the flow of blood efficiently due to its blood-thinning properties. It also regulates the production of progesterone, promoting smooth blood flow and pain alleviation, thereby regulating your menstrual cycle.
2. Relieves Respiratory Issues
Hing has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that assist in keeping germs out of the respiratory system.
Hing's properties help to treat dry cough and asthma. It also aids in relieving chest congestion and the discharge of phlegm.
3. Reduces Headache
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of hing contribute to the relaxation of pulsating blood vessels in the brain. Furthermore, hing is an antidepressant that relieves chronic migraines and stress-related headaches.
4. Controls Blood Pressure Levels
Asafoetida is a natural blood-thinner that may aid in the reduction of blood pressure. It is packed with coumarin, a chemical that assists in increasing and regulating blood flow and avoiding clot formation.
5. Great Hair Conditioner
Because of its moisturising effects, asafoetida can help tame dry and frizzy hair. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties aid in hair development and growth.
Also Read: 10 Ayurvedic Herbs for Hair Growth
6. Decreases Atherosclerosis and Cholesterol Levels
Hing lowers cholesterol levels by boosting the body’s metabolism. It aids in reducing blood vessel inflammation, which is usually brought on by atherosclerosis and the accumulation of cholesterol plaque in blood vessels.
Hing During Pregnancy
Very little quantity or just a pinch of asafoetida benefits pregnant women. On the other hand, overdosing on asafoetida is harmful for pregnant women. Because of its intense flavour, consuming raw asafoetida can also produce morning sickness and vomiting.
Burping, swollen lips, gas formation, throat infection, and diarrhoea are all hing side effects brought on by overeating asafoetida. In addition, asafoetida is not suitable for pregnant women with high blood pressure as it interferes with regulating blood pressure.
Hing Benefits for Skin
Hing is a dryness repairing agent. Pollution and stress cause dryness and damage to the skin. Asafoetida makes your skin smooth and supple. It removes all obvious indicators of skin dryness, including dullness, cracking, peeling, wrinkles, freckles, and pigmentation.
It has anti-acne properties that prevent acne-causing germs from settling on the skin. In addition, it creates conditions unfavourable for bacterial development on the skin. As a result, hing can resolve any acne that is already present.
Asafoetida is a whitening ingredient that enhances fairness and reduces the appearance of dark spots, acne scars, and oiliness. It limits tyrosine production in the skin naturally. Tyrosine encourages melanin synthesis in the skin, which causes premature ageing, darkening, and dullness. As a result, you can display blemish-free, glowing, youthful skin.
- Asafoetida is a radiance booster that gives the skin an everlasting glow. It enhances the amount of oxygen delivered to face tissues, making them more vibrant and plump. As a result, you can maintain fair skin with a pink tinge that sparkles nicely. The finest effect of its radiance-boosting property is the complete elimination of under-eye dark circles.
- Apart from clearing the skin of blemishes, Asafoetida can also help with skin allergies. In just a few weeks, Asafoetida can heal a variety of skin sensitivities caused by sun exposure or dryness.
- Hing works as an anti-ageing agent. Its benefits include reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots on the face.
- Asafoetida medicinal uses also include treating insect bites and stings as it is a natural healing remedy. Hing can swiftly relieve painful bug bites and stings because of its anti-inflammatory qualities. Not only will the treatment ease pain, but it will also reduce swelling and redness.
Hing for Gas Relief in Adults
Gas formation in the digestive tract might cause bloating in your stomach after a heavy meal, resulting in discomfort. When you inhale oxygen while eating or eat certain foods, or when microorganisms in your large intestine break down some undigested foods, gas enters your digestive tract.
However, certain miracle spices can provide rapid relief from gas problems. Hing or asafoetida is at the top of that list. Hing for gas relief in adults has long been popular for its therapeutic powers, and it also improves the flavour of a variety of foods. It provides immediate relief from a majority of stomach problems. Foods that are difficult to digest should be accompanied with hing.
The aromatic spice has anti-flatulent and anti-inflammatory properties that help with gas, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome. Consume some hing if your digestive system is giving you trouble and you’re suffering from indigestion.
Hing for Weight Loss
You can consume hing in a variety of ways to aid weight reduction. Hing has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts metabolism, assists digestion, and keeps blood sugar levels in check.
An increase in metabolic rate aids better digestion and instant weight reduction. In addition, because it is high in antioxidants, using hing daily can help shield your body from free radicals.
Hing Water Benefits
Hing water helps you avoid a variety of health problems. The benefits of hing water include:
- Hing water relieves respiratory problems and protects you from developing a cold.
- It activates the pancreatic cells, which generate more insulin, lowering blood sugar levels.
- Hing water helps relieve menstrual discomforts like abdominal cramps and back pain.
- Hing water might help you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism.
- Hing's anti-inflammatory properties aid in relieving headaches.
- Hing benefits for the stomach include boosting digestion by regulating the digestive process and restoring the stomach’s pH level to normal.
Asafoetida uses include curing digestive issues like gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable intestine. Other applications are the treatment of whooping cough or pertussis, chest infections, and a scratchy throat. It can also treat respiratory issues such as the H1N1 swine flu, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.
Asafoetida Medicinal Uses
Asafoetida medicinal uses include managing mania, convulsions, insanity, and acting as a nerve stimulator for depression-related mental and physical weariness or neurasthenia. In addition, women whose menstrual cycle has stopped for any reason can occasionally use asafoetida. For calluses and corn, asafoetida is sometimes applied directly over the skin.
Asafoetida is also traditionally used in treating different diseases and conditions like:
- Whooping cough
- Intestinal parasites
- Itching in the anus
- Burn injury
- Opium poison neutralisation
- Painful periods
- Weak digestion
Hing Side Effects
- The levels of asafoetida commonly used in cooking are safe in most cases. However, it might create stomach upset and digestive issues if used excessively.
- Gas, diarrhoea, headaches, anxiety, liver damage, and tongue swelling are all possible side effects of asafoetida.
- Pregnant women, children, or nursing mothers should avoid asafoetida as it can harm them.
- People taking blood pressure medicines or blood-thinning therapies should avoid asafoetida supplements as these can reduce blood pressure or make the blood thinner.
- Asafoetida is usually paired with wheat or rice flour when used as a spice. As a result, items containing asafoetida may not be gluten-free.
- Poonam Mahendra and Shradha Bisht, July 2012; Ferula asafoetida: Traditional uses and pharmacological activity - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459456/
- Augustine Amalraj and Sreeraj Gopi, July 2017; Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5506628/
- Arshiya Sultana, Asma K. , Khaleequr Rahman , Rahman Shafeequr, 2015; Oleo-gum-resin of Ferula asafoetida: A traditional culinary spice with versatile pharmacological activities - http://www.isca.in/rjrs/archive/v4/iIVC-2015/4.ISCA-IVC-2015-13PCS-003.php
- Chia-Lin Lee, Lien-Chai Chiang, September 2009; Influenza A (H1N1) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26752076_Influenza_A_H1N1_Antiviral_and_Cytotoxic_Agents_from_Ferula_assa-foetida