Hing or Asafetida form a vital part of the Indian cuisines, especially used as a tadka in dals and curries. Hing is obtained from the dried latex that gets discharged from the rhizome or root of the plant ferula asafoetida. It is a perennial herb which goes by the scientific name Ferula foetida and Ferula assafoetida. Ayurvedic medicine strongly vouches by hing owing to its carminative, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative and diuretic properties.
Valuing its indispensable medicinal and therapeutic properties hing is also referred to as the ‘Food of the Gods’. The vast reserves of Sulphur compound give hing a unique pungent odour and a bitter taste. The powerful diuretic, anti-spasmodic and analgesic properties of the hing extract can be inhaled for treating respiratory problems like whooping cough and asthma.
The stem and leaves of the plant are dried, and the extracts are valued for its amazing aphrodisiac effect. An age-old home remedy practised by our grandmother is to apply a paste of hing on the chest and under the nose region, where the distinct aroma vaporizes and enter the body treating common cold and cough.
The wealth of nutrients in Hing includes carbohydrates, fibre, potassium, calcium, iron and a host of volatile essential oils such as α-pinene, α-terpineol, β-pinene, luteolin, vanillin α- pinene, azulene and umbelliferone.
The strong aroma of hing, when added to dishes, renders a distinct flavour to dals, vegetables and legumes making it easy to digest. The potent anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, laxative, anti-flatulent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties in Hing aids to manage digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), flatulence, bloating, indigestion and other gastrointestinal woes.
Hing For Pregnant Women
Hing can be consumed by pregnant women in very small quantities when added with other dishes without any side effects. However, pregnant women should avoid taking raw hing as it is very harmful and not advisable.
Is Hing Effective To Apply On Navel During Pregnancy?
Hing is effective for pregnant women for easing abdominal cramps when applied on the navel.
How To Do
Mix a pinch of hing with a few drops of mustard oil and massage it on the navel. This will offer instant relief from the pain associated with flatulence and bloating. It is the easiest remedy for people who don’t like the taste of hing.
However, hing in large amounts has proved to be unsafe for pregnant women and eating raw hing may cause nausea and vomiting because of its pungent and strong flavour. Adding excess of hing may also lead to swollen lips, gas, throat infection and stomach upset. Pregnant women with high blood pressure should totally restrict hing as it can have negative effects on blood pressure control. The worst of all, hing has abortifacient property, hence can lead to miscarriage if taken in large quantities.
Other Benefits Of Hing
The goodness of dietary fibre in hing acts as a digestive aid and stimulate the digestion process. The anti-flatulent and anti-inflammatory properties of hing help in treating digestive issues like gas, acidity and stomach burn and restores the gut health. Regular addition of hing in your meal plan assists in lowering the risk of IBS.
The strong anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and expectorant properties of Hing plays a vital role in treating several respiratory problems like asthma, whooping cough, pneumonia, bronchitis and cold.
Hing being a natural aphrodisiac enhances the hormonal activity and improves blood circulation and acts as a sexual stimulant.
Hing works as a natural blood thinner, lowers passing of heavy blood clots and makes flow smooth and easy thereby lowering menstrual cramps.
The goodness of coumarins and anticoagulant property of hing prevent the blockage in the heart and plaque formation in the arteries and promotes heart health.
This humble spice comes with a plethora of health benefits and medicinal properties. Hing is valuable in treating digestive problems, improves respiratory and cardiac health, boosts fertility and lessens menstrual cramps. However, it is not advisable to take raw hing in huge amount for pregnant women as it has adverse effects.