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Asafoetida (Ferula assafoetida) quite deservedly also goes by the nickname of devil’ s dung. Fortunately, asafoetida tastes nothing like it smells. In Ayurveda, it is used as cure for stomach ailments and even gas. It is also one of the key medicines for balancing vata dosha.

Dried sap is extracted from the stems and roots and then is processed into a powder. Sometimes rice flour and/or gum arabic is added to help keep it in powdered form.

In Indian cooking, it is known as hing and often serves as a major component in a number of dishes. In Western cooking, asafoetida is frequently used to deepen the flavor of savory dishes. Also, it is frequently added to dishes, such as beans and lentils, that are likely to produce gas in the gut.

Western medicine has recently become interested in the herb to help fight flu, to aid digestion, to help with asthma and bronchitis, and as an anti-microbial substance.

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About Jerald Cumbus