Asafoetida which is also known as devil’s dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods], giant fennel, hing and ting is a perennial herb that belongs the family Umbelliferae, also called Apiaceae.
A dried latex gum is extracted from underground rhizome. This herb can grow up to a height of 1 to 1.5 m high. This plant is a native of Persia in Iran. The smell of this power is unpleasant and pungent. It is used in cooked dishes. It is used in leeks.
The resin of this plant is grayish white in color and turns dark amber upon drying. The flowers are hermaphrodite in nature. This plant is pollinated by insects. This plant is self fertile.
Uses of Asafoetida
– This is used as a digestive aid, condiment and in pickles.
– Its odor is strong and can be maintained in tact when stored in airtight containers.
– The aroma is lost, if kept in open. Upon heating in oil, the flavor becomes pleasant.
– It has Antiflatulent properties.
– It is used to treat flu.
– The roots of this plant are a natural antiviral drug.
– It is known to kill swine flu virus and H1N1.
– It is known to help treating asthma and bronchitis and common cold.
– This is an antimicrobial and treats whooping cough.
– This has contraceptive or abortifacient activity.
– It is used as an antiepileptic.
– This plant is an antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative, Sedative.
– In cooking, it is used in vegetarian and lentil dishes for added flavor and aroma.
– It is also used a moth trap and in many areas like Jamaica, to repel spirits.
– This is used as a powder or a solid in cooking.
– It is also used in pickles.
– It is known to treat impotency.
Growing/Caring conditions for Asfoetida
• This plant grows well in hardy zone of 8.
• The blooming period is from May to July.
• The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
• This plant needs well-drained soil.
• The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
• This plant needs full sun.
• This plant needs dry or moist soil.
• This plant can tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c.
• Sow the seeds when they are ripe in a green house.
• Sow the seeds in autumn.
• When seedlings are large enough, transplant them outdoors.
• Provide mulch to the plant especially during winter.
• Divide in autumn.