The names that have accompanied and still accompany this plant are certainly not the best advertising for the spice that derives from it. It belongs to the genus Ferula and is commonly called asafetida or fetid fennel, when not even with ancient and popular names such as dung of the devil.
The spice of asafoetida is obtained from a latex extracted from this plant of Indo-Persian origin, which has an intense pungent odor that can recall cooked garlic, even if the flavor, once added to dishes, is very reminiscent of leek.
The spice of asafoetida
Generally asafoetida sold in stores in the form of powder, is used as a spice to round off the flavor of ratatouille and vegetable dishes, or as a digestive.
It is found in Asian dishes based on lentils and other legumes, often associated with turmeric, together with which it contributes to make dishes savory and large quantities of legumes more digestible, avoiding intestinal fermentations and flatulence.
Although used almost exclusively in vegetarian dishes, in Afghan, Pakistani and Kashmira cultures, it is widely used in sheep meat dishes due to its ability to stabilize flavors and harmonize salty and sweet in the same dish.
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The properties of asafoetida
In the countries of origin it is sold in the form of resin with such a strong smell that it can easily contaminate the surrounding foods and other spices in the house. it must be kept well insulated.
It is an integral part of various local medicines even if generally avoided by certain branches of traditional Buddhist, Jain and Hindu cuisines due to its intense smell that even exceeds that of garlic and onion, in itself considered too strong and stimulating foods. .
In these traditional medicines asafoetida is considered useful against numerous forms of constipation and bloating; is used for treat various types of abdominal problems, ranging from indigestion, inflammation to infections and trauma; is a well-known folk remedy for treat asthma and bronchitis especially in children; it's a antimicrobial it's a flu shot natural, so much so that it has been used against some types of epidemic influences in the past.
The main active ingredient of asafoetida isferulic acid, a known antitumor, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, hepatoprotective and antioxidant agent.
Contraindications of asafoetida
Asafoetida is considered a safer and safer spice and herbal principle very few non-serious contraindications. Asafoetida occurs only in a small percentage of the population it can cause headaches, stomach acid, intestinal dysfunction, gastric reflux.
As they are known its contraceptive qualities and it has always been used as an inducer of abortion, the consumption of asafetida it is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as ferulic acid can easily pass into breast milk and induce blood loss and blood circulation problems in the infant (its rubefacient and carminative qualities increase exponentially in young children).
For these reasons, consumption of asafoetida is not recommended in children under the age of five and in people who have recently undergone surgery.
Overdoses of asafoetida have in some cases been linked to the onset of epilepsy and nervous system problems. Finally, it is not recommended to consume asafoetida together with antihypertensive and anticoagulant drugs.
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