ASFODIETA / HING
Asafetida, also known as hing, is a latex gum extracted from several species of a perennial herb, Ferula. It is available in the market as a solid brick or smaller pieces, as well as in tablet or powder form.
This potent-smelling spice is commonly used in Persian and Indian cooking for flavoring, food preservation and fragrance. Due to its strong odor, it is also called Devil’s dung. From a nutritional perspective, asafetida provides protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorous, iron, niacin, carotene and riboflavin.
Along with its culinary uses, asafetida has a prominent place in traditional medicine. Its health benefits come from its carminative, antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antispasmodic, expectorant, sedative, diuretic, vermifuge, emmenagogue, aphrodisiac and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Given its numerous therapeutic and curative powers, this spice is also referred to as the ‘Food of the Gods’.