Asafoetida Health Benefits, Medicinal Uses, Side Effects – Ayurveda

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 called as Hingu in Sanskrit and also in many other languages. 


Botanical name: Ferula narthex / Ferula foetida / Ferula asafoetida
Family: Umbelliferae
Hindi name: Heeng, Hing
Kannada name: Hingu
Telugu name: Inguva
Bengali, Marathi name: Hing
Gujarathi name: Badharani
Tamil name: perungayam
Malayalam name: Rungayam
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

Ferula asafoetida plant flowers

Classical categorization:
Charaka samita:
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
Vagbhata: Pippalyadi

Distribution: Afghanistan, Baltistan, etc

Ferula narthex inflorescence

Asafoetida medicinal qualities:
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.

Asafoetida benefits:
Asafoetida benefits - Ayurveda

हिङ्गु वातकफानाह शूलघ्नं पित्त कोपनम्॥१५२॥
कटुपाकरसं रुच्यं दीपनं पाचनं लघु । – Astanga Hridaya Sutrasthana 6th chapter / 152

Hingu is
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
Useful in
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) is balances colic pain, carminative and palatable.

Part used: Resin
Dosage: Asafoetida powder – 125 – 500 mg per day, or as directed by Ayurvedic doctor.

Heeng - Ferula foetida

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.

Famous Ayurvedic medicines prepared with Heeng:
Ashta Choornam – very famous carminative medicine.
Phalasarpis – useful in gynaecological disorders
Kankayan Vati – useful in bloating, piles etc.

Treatment measures for over-dosage of Heeng:
In case of the poisoning caused due to hingu, tamarind which is dissolved in water is given. Sheetopachara is given i.e. food and drinks prepared from the cold potency drugs are given. Even by administering ghee, the poisoning caused due to hingu will be cured. – Vaidya Sara Sangraha

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  1. plz send details for amla oil,

  2. Naqshbandi says:

    Can HING effect sexual life in men.

  3. Sir, can Asafoetida be taken raw after meals as a digestive help. I read somewhere that Asafoetida should always be roasted before taking it. If so should the Asafoetida Powder be roasted plainly in a pan or does it need to be roasted in some kind of fat like Ghee? Thank you.

  4. Dr.krishna says:

    sir can you help me with the detailed phytochemical analysis report of Hingu?

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