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13 Asafotida Benefits and Side Effects

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Asafotida Benefits and Side Effects
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Asafotida benefits have been celebrated for centuries in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda. This strongly smelling spice, obtained from the resin of the Ferula plant, is also known as Hing in India. Aside from its use in cooking, there are various significant health benefits from taking asafotida, including its use as a laxative, expectorant, carminative and anti-inflammatory. With a smell that is potent enough to discourage even the most ardent garlic lovers, asafoetida is one of those ‘superfoods’ that you never knew existed. This is a yellowish powder that has been obtained from the dried sap of a plant known as ferula. In some cases, it may not emit a very good smell at first, but do not let this deceive you. Asafoetida has been used in Indian cuisine for a very long time and it imparts a distinct garlic onion-like taste to food.

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In this article, we will explore in detail the incredible benefits of asafoetida, a spicy ingredient that has been valued for centuries in health practices. We will look at 13 reasons why asafoetida is good for health; the component helps in digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutritional Value of Asafotida

Here is a table with the nutritional value of Asafotida, with lines and borders:

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100g
NutrientsAmount Per 100g%Daily Value*
Calories297
Total Fat1g1%
Total Carbohydrates68g25%
Dietary Fibre4g14%
Protein4g8%
Calcium690mg53%
Iron39mg217%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Here Are 13 Asafotida Benefits

Supports Digestion and Relieves Bloating

Asafotida benefits include that it has been widely used for the digestion process since time immemorial. , it has been employed as an ayurvedic remedy for various digestive disorders, including indigestion, bloating, and gas. Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology revealed that the group of people who took asafotida capsules for two months had better digestion and less bloated stomachs than the placebo group.

May Help Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms

Patients with IBS suffer from discomfort in the abdominal region, flatulence, and occasional constipation or diarrhoea. Asafotida benefits may extend to managing IBS symptoms. One recent study conducted for phytotherapy research revealed that after using asafotida supplements for two weeks, the participants of the study claimed that they felt a marked improvement in IBS symptoms.

Potential Antioxidant Properties

It is also rich in antioxidants among the health benefits that can be obtained from Asafotida. It also contains phenolic compounds like tannins and flavonoids, which possess higher antioxidant activity. Free radicals are elements that can harm cells and lead to diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and antioxidants can help to prevent this.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

It has been suggested that inflammation is the primary cause of numerous chronic diseases. Asafotida benefits extend to its anti-inflammatory properties. Several scientific papers state that asafotida possesses anti-inflammatory properties in test tubes and animal studies; however, further research with people is required.

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May Promote Heart Health

One more asafotida benefits is that it may influence the functioning of the individual’s heart. Some research regarding the effects of asafotida on animals has shown that this spice assists in reducing blood pressure due to its ability to cause dilation of blood vessels. However, as far as human research is concerned, there are still deficiencies in this field.

Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Properties

Next on the list of asafotida benefits is the fact that it contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Scientific investigations carried out in test tubes have revealed that asafotida possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties that can be effective against different bacteria and yeast, such as Streptococcus, E. coli, and Candida albicans.

Potential Anticancer Activity

However, there is insufficient evidence regarding the effects of asafotida in terms of cancer, though some studies have suggested that it may possess anticancer activity. Research conducted in animals and test tubes has also shown that asafotida has potential cytostatic effects that may inhibit the growth and proliferation of some types of cancer, including breast and liver.

Neuroprotective Effects

It is also known that Asafotida benefits brain health. Research conducted on animals has also shown that the drug can reduce memory loss and nerve injuries in the brain, possibly due to its antioxidant effects.

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May Help Manage Asthma Symptoms

For individuals with asthma, asafotida benefits may include its ability to relax airway smooth muscles. Experimental investigations with animals demonstrated that asafotida possesses a relaxing effect on these muscles, and therefore, may alleviate asthma. But these are results from animal studies, and more human trials are required to validate these results.

Potential Blood Sugar-Lowering Effects

Asafotida benefits may include its potential to help manage blood sugar levels. In another study in rats, asafotida extract was effective in lowering fasting blood sugar, a property that could come in handy in the treatment of diabetes. However, these effects have been reported in animal studies, and more research is required to determine the effects on humans.

Anti-Obesity and Weight Management

A paper published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology has suggested that some of the possible Asafotida benefits include its effects on controlling weight and reducing fat deposition in people with diabetes. The one that was conducted revealed that asafotida had a positive impact on body weight, the number of abnormal fat cells, and the size of adipocyte cells as well.

Anthelmintic (Deworming) Properties

Asafotida benefits extend to its potential anthelmintic (deworming) properties. Another research made in the Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources also showed that an aqueous extract of asafotida possesses an anthelmintic effect against various worms, which may suggest its use as a natural anthelmintic.

Also Read:10 Sugarcane Juice Benefits You Might Not Know About

May Stimulate Digestive Enzymes and Bile Production

One of the key benefits of asafotida is its ability to stimulate digestive enzymes and bile production. This spice has been found to stimulate the secretion of saliva, amylase activity in saliva, and bile output in the stomach which aids in the digestion of dietary fat.

Potential Side Effects of Asafotida

While asafotida is generally considered safe for consumption in small amounts, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects, especially when consumed in larger quantities.

According to research, large doses of asafotida may cause the following side effects:

Digestive Issues

Taking too much asafotida may cause some side effects like stomach upset, gas buildup, and diarrhoea.

Mouth and Throat Irritation

Since asafotida has a very strong, sharp smell, it is advisable to handle it carefully, since it can result in mouth and throat inflammation in some people.

Headaches and Nervousness

It has also been reported that when one takes large quantities of asafotida, he or she may feel a headache as well as nervousness or even restlessness.

Also Read:7 Bajra Pearl Millets Benefits: Good For Heart & Gut Health

Menstrual Effects

Asafotida is not safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women because it can disrupt the menstrual cycle, and could lead to a miscarriage or other pregnancy complications.

Convulsions

It can be harmful to the nervous system, and therefore should not be used in patients with nervous system disorders or a history of seizures, as it may cause convulsions because of the compounds present in the resin.

Methaemoglobinaemia in Children

The use of asafotida in children should be avoided as it has the potential to oxidise fetal haemoglobin to a dangerous compound known as methaemoglobin.

However, it is imperative to stress that these side effects may occur only in case of asafotida abuse or improper administration. Nonetheless, the impacts of asafotida are believed to be safe for almost all people when ingested moderately and in conjunction with a balanced diet.

But again, if you are a person with some sort of ailment, or if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking some medications for any reason, it is advisable to seek a doctor’s advice before you start using asafotida or any other supplement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, asafotida, this little spice that has a unique smell and taste, is not only a spice. With a list of health benefits that includes improved digestion, and anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity, it should be part of your wellness regimen. Try this great spice in your meals and begin to enjoy the asafotida benefits for yourself. What sets this spice apart from the rest is the fact that it can be used in virtually every dish. It can be added to your regular meals and can give a different taste, in addition to having possible positive effects on your health. As mentioned above, asafoetida has versatile uses in the management of IBS, brain health and even as an antioxidant.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is compiled information from generic and public sources. It is in no way a substitute, suggestion, or advice for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. BeatoApp does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Mohd Aasif Ahmad

Mohd Aasif Ahmad

Passionate health scriber with an ability to simplify complex medical topics. Dedicated to providing readers with accurate and actionable information for better well-being. Aspiring individuals to make informed decisions about their health. With a wealth of experience in fitness writing, I strive to deliver accurate and practical information.

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