Asafoetida: Why This Stinky Herb Is so Beneficial

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The Indian cooking spice asafoetida is a gum obtained from a type of giant fennel. It has an offensive smell akin to that of rotting garlic and sweaty feet, but an appetizing savory, umami taste
  • With its onion-garlic flavor, you can use it as a substitute for either of those ingredients. Many recommend using it in bean-based dishes, as it helps prevent gassiness
  • Asafoetida has antibacterial, antiparasitic and antiviral properties. In 2009, researchers discovered certain compounds in the herb were more effective at killing the H1N1 influenza virus than the commercial antiviral drug amantadine
  • Asafoetida also has antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative and sedative properties, just to name a few. Historical uses include the treatment of nervous conditions, bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough and more
  • This smelly herb can also be useful for the prevention and treatment of various gut ailments, and for feminine health issues such as sterility, premature labor, painful and excessive menstruation and leucorrhoea 

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