Asafoetida is an ancient Indian culinary ingredient, loaded with immense health benefits. Its powder with buttermilk is a very famous Indian home remedy for bloating. It is known as Hingu in Sanskrit and also in many other languages.
Botanical name: Ferula narthex / Ferula foetida / Ferula asafoetida
Table of Contents
Vernacular names, Sanskrit synonyms
Hindi name: Heeng, Hing
Kannada name: Hingu
Telugu name: Inguva
Bengali, Marathi name: Hing
Gujarati name: Badharani
Tamil name: perungayam
Malayalam name: perungayam, kayam
Farsi name: Angajah, Angoj
Arabbi name: Hilteel
Sanskrit Synonyms and meaning:
Hingu, Sahasravedhi – effective in thousands of ways
Jatuka – similar to Laksha herb, having exudate
Bahleeka, Ramatha – Available in places like Bahlika and Ramatha
Ugragandha – has offensive smell
Jantughna, Jantunasaka – It kills worms
Deepaneeya – herbs that improve digestion power
Svasahara – herbs that are useful in asthma and other respiratory disorders
Sanjnasthapana – herbs that are useful to restore consciousness
Katuskandha – pungent tasting group of herbs
Sushruta: Pippalyadi and Ushakadi
Bh. P. Ni – Haritakyadi varga
Afghanistan, Baltistan, etc
Root – Fusiform
Leaves – Pubescent when young, Cauline sheaths are large, from which inflorescence comes out
Inflorescence – Terminal compound umbel
Fruit – Having vitte, reddish – brown in colour
Different species used for Hingu along with ferula foetida
Usually pebbles, mud, leaves and gum acacia are the things used as adulterants
The collection is done by laying bare the root stock to a depth of 4-5 cm of those plants which have not reached their flowering stage. Then it is cut off as a slice from the top of the root stock, from which at once a milky juice starts exuding, which is not collected. The root then is covered over by a domed structure called ‘Khora’ formed of twigs and covered with clay, leaving an opening towards the north, thus protecting the ex posed root from the rays of the sun. After six weeks, a thick gummy, reddish substance appears in more or less irregular lumps upon the exposed surface of the root, which is scarped off with a piece of iron hoop or removed along with a slice of root and at once placed in a leather bed, the tanned skin of goat.
Rasa (taste): Katu (pungent)
Guna (qualities): Laghu (light to digest), Snigdha (unctuous, oily), Teekshna (piercing, enters deep tissues)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion): Katu (pungent)
Veerya (potency): Ushna (hot)
Effect on Tridosha: Balances Kapha and Vata. Increases Pitta.
हिङ्गु वातकफानाह शूलघ्नं पित्त कोपनम्॥१५२॥
कटुपाकरसं रुच्यं दीपनं पाचनं लघु । – Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthana 6th chapter / 152
Chedaneeya – scrapes channels
Deepaneeya – carminative
Anulomana – restores normal movement of Vata, useful in bloating
Pachana – digestive
Teekshna (piercing, enters deep tissues)
Hrudya – good for heart, cardiac tonic. It is a very good natural blood thinning agent. It is also seen to be useful in high blood pressure.
Pittavardhana – increases Pitta.
Chakshushya – good for eyes, improves vision power
Shula – abdominal colic pain
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
Udara – ascites
Anaha – bloating
Krumi – worm infestation
Vibandha – constipation
Adhmana – bloating, gaseous distension of abdomen
Gulma – Abdominal tumor, bloating
हिङ्गु शूलप्रशमनं विद्यात् पाचनरोचनम्||२९९||
vātaśleṣmavibandhaghnaṃ kaṭūṣṇaṃ dīpanaṃ laghu|
hiṅgu śūlapraśamanaṃ vidyāt pācanarocanam||299|| – Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27
The gum resin of Hingu – Asa foetida( Ferula narthex Boiss) reduces colic pain, is carminative and palatable.
Qualities as per Bhojana kutuhalam
According to Bhojana Kutuhalam as mentioned in the section of sambhara, hingu helps in treating vitiation of vata and kapha doshas, bloating of the abdomen, colicky pain and aggravates pitta dosha. It is pungent in its post metabolic effect, loosens the stools, is dry in nature, checks splenic disorders, flatulence and hernia.
How to Use Asafoetida for Bloating?
Part used, Dosage
Part used: Resin
Dosage: Asafoetida powder – 125 – 500 mg per day, or as directed by Ayurvedic doctor.
Asafoetida side effects
Overdosage may cause Pitta increase, burning sensation, worsening of gastritis.
It is not indicated in conditions with Pitta dominance, like gastritis.
It is best to avoid its use during menstrual periods.
It is best to avoid this in bleeding disorders. It has blood thinning effect, hence it may delay clotting.
It is best to avoid this in children, pregnancy and lactation period.
People taking medicine for high blood pressure should take care while using Heeng, since it reduces blood pressure.
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Treatment for over-dosage
In case of poisoning caused due to hingu, tamarind which is dissolved in water is given. Sheetopachara i.e. food and drinks prepared from cold potency drugs are given. Even by administering ghee, the poisoning caused due to hingu will be cured. – Vaidya Sara Sangraha
Market available form
Why heeng -mixed with Maida or wheat flour and sold in the market?
Because, the original heeng might not be stable for long due to its semi solid consistency.
It is highly aromatic and judging how much to be added to dishes can be difficult. Hence, it is sold mixed with Maida or wheat flour.