Asafoetida – marriage of convenience, not love

According to the principle, the drug should be effective, not tasty, I once bought onion cough syrup. When I heard what the options were, I decided that onion syrup is the most disgusting one and therefore certainly would be the most effective. As soon as the pharmacy door closed behind me, the cognitive fog thinned and I knew I had done a terrible mistake. I drank the syrup. The cough passed. So maybe there is something to it 😉 ?

Since then I have never swallowed a single drop of onion syrup, but every now and then I take some natural miracle, not necessarily tasty, but effective.

When I sniffed asafoetida for the first time, I knew it would be hard. It is not without reason that this dried latex is called devil’s dung. The producer of asafoetida, which I have in the kitchen, says on the packaging „popular in Indian cuisine, has a characteristic garlic-onion aroma”. The aroma is indeed characteristic and hard to bear. So why torture yourself? Because it works. How can it be helpful?

I can certify that it works great for indigestion, flatulence, a feeling of heaviness and stagnation or „overflow” in the intestines, in short, it helps with weak agni, or digestive fire, strengthening it. So if needed, you can use just a pinch of it washed down with a solid amount of water

But it’s not only a medicine but also a spice, which is great for lentils or beans, depriving them of bloating properties.

However, it turns out that the benefits of asafoetida go beyond the support of the digestive system. It also has a beneficial effect on the respiratory, excretory, nervous, and circulatory systems. And all that thanks to its stimulating, carminative, antispasmodic, analgesic, and antiseptic effects. However strange it may seem to anyone who smells this bright yellow powder, according to herbal literature, it also acts as an aphrodisiac.

In The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, Vasant Lad and David Frawley also recommend the use of asafoetida in the form of a paste applied externally in the case of stomach aches, joints, or arthritic pain. The authors do not specify the proportions, I did not try to make such a paste myself, but I would mix the powder with water and maybe a little oil to get a paste and that’s it.

Asafoetida can be bought online (as everything is now :)). It is often sold in combination with fenugreek.

Next time, instead of going to your home medicine cabinet, look at the spice shelf. It will definitely be good for you!

Polish version/ Wersja polska


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