BOTANICAL NAME: Ferula asafoetida
FAMILY NAME: Umbelliferae
Asafoetida has several varieties which are distributed from the Mediterranean region to Central Asia. It is grown in Iran and Afganistan. The other species, known botonically as Ferula Northex, grow abandantly in Kashmir, Western Tibet and Afganistan. It forms a good substitute for Asafoetida.
Asafoetida is a resinous gum of a toll perinial herb, with robust carrot shaped root. It is dirty yellow in color with a pungent smell. It is used as a flavoring agent and forms a constituent of many spice mixtures.
Asafoetida consist of:
- Carbohydrates - 67.8%
- Moisture - 16%
- Protien - 4 %
- Fat - 1.1 %
- Minerals - 7%
- Fibre - 4.1%
Its minerals and Vitamins contents include substantial calcium besides phosphorus, iron, carotene, riboflavin and niacin.
Calorific value of Asafoetida is 297.
Asafoetida has been held in great esteemed amongst indigenous medicines from the earliest times disorders in India. It is reputed as a drug which expells wind from the stomach and counteracts any spasmodic disorders. It is a nervine stimulant, digestive agent and a sedative.