June 27, 2016

Asafoetida

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What other names is Asafoetida known by?

A Wei, Asafétida, Ase Fétide, Assant, Crotte du Diable, Devil's Dung, Ferula Asafoetida, Ferula Assa Foetida, Ferula assa-foetida, Ferula foetida, Ferula pseudalliacea, Ferula rubricaulis, Férule, Férule Persique, Food of the Gods, Fum, Giant Fennel, Heeng, Hing.

What is Asafoetida?

Asafoetida is a plant. It has a bad smell and tastes bitter. That probably explains why it is sometimes called "devil's dung."

People use asafoetida resin, a gum-like material, as medicine. Asafoetida resin is produced by solidifying juice that comes out of cuts made in the plant's living roots.

Asafoetida is used for breathing problems including ongoing (chronic) bronchitis, H1N1 "swine" flu, and asthma. It is also used for digestion problems including intestinal gas, upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable colon. Other uses include treatment of "whooping cough" (pertussis), croup, and hoarse throat.

Some people use asafoetida for hysteria, insanity, convulsions, and as a nerve stimulant for ongoing mental and physical fatigue with depression (neurasthenia).

Women sometimes use asafoetida to restart their menstrual periods after menstruation has stopped for some reason.

Asafoetida is sometimes applied directly to the skin for corns and calluses.

In manufacturing, asafoetida is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages. Asafoetida is also used in products meant to repel dogs, cats, and wildlife.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bronchitis.
  • Asthma.
  • "Whooping cough" (pertussis).
  • Hoarseness.
  • Hysteria.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Irritable colon.
  • Convulsions.
  • Nerve disorders.
  • Menstrual problems.
  • Corns and calluses, when applied directly to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of asafoetida for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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