Health Benefits of Asafoetida

asafoetida
People use asafoetida resin, a  for a variety of disorders

Asafoetida is used for breathing problems including ongoing (chronic) bronchitis, H1N1 “swine” flu, and asthma. It is also used for digestion problems including intestinal gas, upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable colon. Other uses include treatment of “whooping cough” , and hoarse throat.

Some people use asafoetida for hysteria, insanity, convulsions, and as a nerve stimulant for ongoing mental and physical fatigue with depression (neurasthenia).

Women sometimes use asafoetida to restart their menstrual periods after menstruation has stopped for some reason.

Asafoetida is sometimes applied directly to the skin for corns and calluses.

In manufacturing, asafoetida is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages. Asafoetida is also used in products meant to repel dogs, cats, and wildlife.

How does it work?

There is some scientific evidence that the chemicals in asafoetida might help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and also might protect against high blood levels of certain fats including cholesterol and triglycerides. Chemicals called coumarins in asafoetida can thin the blood.

Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Asafoetida Seeds

asafoetida-seeds

Scientific name:  Ferula assa-foetida

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils. Prefers a deep fertile soil in a sunny position. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Plants have a long taproot and are intolerant of root disturbance. They should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible. Monocarpic, the plant takes some years before it flowers and dies after flowering. The plants usually flower afterabout 5 years. The whole plant, especially when bruised, has an unpleasant smell like stale fish.

Propagation

Seed – best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn. Otherwise sow in April in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.

 

Kokh asafoetida: Kokh Hing : The Tears of the Sun

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The Bitter Asafoetida Plan is usually found ,in the southern part of Iran , grown and harvested in different areas. The first tears ( Sap) from the plant is called Kokh, much in demand for traditional healing medicine and connoisseur, its a highly prized commodity for two reasons. Its hard to get as very little is produced and the second being that its extremely pungent .

After the Kokh tears then the plant produces the regular sap which is thick viscous liquid.Which is used to manufacture Compounded Asafoetida , Bandhani Hing and the like.

Since pure asafoetida is extremely expensive and pungent . Most manufacturers blend it with various other ingredients to make it easy to use for cooking .

To source this raw material do drop in a mail .

 

 

 

 

 

Typical Pure Asafoetida trade names

KAZAKHI NUKRA

PINAKSHIR SARKASH

HADDA IRANI

KAZAKHI PASTE

PINAKSHIR DRY

PINAKSHIR PASTE

 

AFGHANI HING

KAZAKHI SARKASH

TAJIKI SARKASH

TAJIKI PASTE

UZBEKI NUKRA

UZBEKI HALWA BEST

UZBEKI DANA

UZBEKI HALWA

UZBEKI SILTH

UZBEKI PASTE

KAZAKHI DANA

SHEERA

HINGRA – RED

HINGRA

Standards for Asafoetida in India

COMPOUNDED ASAFOETIDA GRADING AND MARKING RULES

  1. Short title, application and commencement :-

(1) These rules may be called the Compounded Asafoetida Grading and Marking Rules, 1984.

(2) They shall apply to Compounded Asafoetida produced in India.

(3) They shall come into force from the date of their publication in the official Gazette.

 

  1. Definitions :- In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires:-

(1) “Agricultural Marketing Adviser” means the Agricultural Marketing Adviser to the Government of India

. (2) “Schedule” means a Schedule appended to these rules

(3) “Authorised packer” means a person or a body of persons who have been issued a Certificate of Authorisation under rules 3 of the General Grading and Marking Rules, 1937 in relation to compounded asafoetida.

 

  1. Grade designation:- The grade designation to indicate the quality of the compounded asafoetida shall be as set out in column 1 of Schedule I.
  2. Definition of quality :- The quality of the compounded asafoetida shall be as set out in columns 2to 6 of Schedule I against each grade designation.
  3. Grade designation mark :-

(1) The grade designation mark shall consist of a label, supplied by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser specifying the grade designation and bearing the design consisting of an outline map of India with the word ‘’ AGMARK’’ and the figure of the rising sun with the word “Produce of India” and “Hkkjrh; mRikn” resembling the mark as set out in Schedule II.

(2) The grade designation mark to be used on plastic container or tin container shall consist of a paste on label or lid specifying the commodity and grade designation.

(3) The grade designation mark to be used on B-twill jute bags shall consist of a rectangular tieon label specifying the commodity and grade designation. 6. Method of packing :-

(1) Compounded asafoetida shall be packed in sound, clean, dry plastic container or lacquered `tin container or B-twill jute bag with polythene lining or polythene bag or any other container as may be approved by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser from time to time. The net weight of the compounded asafoetida packed in a container shall be 5 gms, 10 gms, 15 gms, 20 gms, 25 gms, 50 gms, 100 gms, 200 gms, 500 gms, and kg and thereafter in multiples of 1 Kg.

(2) The container shall be securely closed and sealed in such a manner as may be approved by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser.

(3) Each package shall contain compounded asafoetida of the same grade designation.

  1. Method of Marking :-

(1) The grade designation mark shall be securely affixed to each container in a manner approved by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser.

(2) In addition to the grade designation, every container bearing a paste on label, tie-on label or lid printed with grade designation mark shall be clearly and indelibly marked with following particulars, namely:- (a) Name of the commodity, (b) Serial number of lot, (c) Month of packing. (d) Place of packing, (e) Name of the packer (f) Net weight, and (g) any other particular as may be specified by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser.

(3) The sale price of the commodity shall clearly be indicated on each container.

(4) Every container shall also indicate the approximate composition of edible starch or edible cereal flour used in compounding.

(5) An authorised packer may, after obtaining the prior approval of, and in a manner approved by the Agricultural Marketing Adviser, Mark his private trade mark on a container provide that the private trade mark does not represent quality or grade of compounded as asafoetida different from that indicated by the grade designation mark affixed to the container in accordance with these rules.

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE-I (See rules 3 and 4)

Grade designations and definition of quality of Compounded as asafoetida (Bandhani Hing)

 

Definition of quality Special Characteristics

 

Grade designation ——————————————————————- General requirements

Total ash*           *Ash insoluble                  Alcoholic              *Moisture

Percent                in dilute HCL                    extract                 percent

by weight             weight                            with 90                   by weight

percent of alcohol

_________________________________________________________________________

(Maximum)             (Maximum)                (Minimum)             (Maximum

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Extra Special    6.0                            1.00                                10.0                         12.0

Special              8.0                            1.25                                  8.0                          12.0

Standard          10.0                          1.50                                 5.0                           12.0

 

Regulation 5.9.29 Asafoetida

 

 

ASAFOETIDA (Hing or Hingra) means the oleogumresin obtained from the rhizome and roots of Ferula alliaces, Ferula rubricaulis and other species of Ferula. It shall not contain any colophony resin, galbonum resin, ammoniaccum resin or any other foreign resin. Hing shall conform to the following standards, namely:

 

  • Total ash content shall not exceed 15 per cent by weight.

 

  • Ash insoluble in dilute hydrochloric acid shall not exceed 2.5 per cent by weight.

 

  • The alcoholic extract (with 90 per cent alcohol) shall not be less than 12 per cent as estimated by the U.S.P. 1936 method.

 

  • Starch shall not exceed 1 per cent by weight.

 

 

Hingra shall conform to the following standards namely:-

 

  • The total ash content shall not exceed 20 per cent by weight.

 

  • Ash insoluble in dilute hydrochloric acid shall not exceed 8 per cent by weight.

 

  • The alcoholic extract (with 90 per cent alcohol) shall not be less than 50 per cent as estimated by the U.S.P. 1936 method.

 

  • Starch shall not exceed 1 per cent by weight.

 

Compounded asafoetida or Bandhani Hing is composed of one or more varieties of asafoetida (Irani or Pathani Hing or both) and gum arabic, edible starches or edible cereal flour.

 

 

It shall not contain:-

 

  • colophony resin,

 

  • galbanum resin,

 

  • ammoniaccum resin,

 

  • any other foreign resin,

 

  • coal tar dyes,

 

  • mineral pigment,

 

  • more than 10 per cent total ash content,

 

  • more than 1.5 per cent ash insoluble in dilute hydrochloric acid,

 

  • less than 5 per cent alcoholic extract, (with 90 per cent of alcohol) as estimated by the U.S.P. 1936 method.

 

 

Asafoetida the spice trail

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The Mountains bordering Afghanistan in Iran during winter 

What is asafoetida, is a gum , is it a sap , what is it….., here began the mystery of our venture to Asafoetida.

Research on the internet shows up a rhizome from which Asafoetida is extracted , and used for food in India and neighbouring countries, for medicines in the middle east and the like. But the look at any Asafoetida spice container , you would see , wheat flour , gum arabic ,  what are these doing in a spice container .

Asafoetida comes in a myraid variety of types

Afghani, Irani, Tajaki, Kazakhaki…. the works. Exotic names like Pinakshir, Sarkash , Hadda, Watani, Dana, RZ quality, XL are a bunch of trade names denoting various types of Asafoetida harvested worldwide. Temperature , altitude, types , rainfall , each factor in a different type and  taste of Asafoetida.

It was familiar in the early Mediterranean, having come by land across Iran. Though it is generally forgotten now in Europe, it is still widely used in India. It emerged into Europe from a conquering expedition of Alexander the Great, who, after returning from a trip to northeastern ancient Persia, thought they had found a plant almost identical to the famed silphium of Cyrene in North Africa—though less tasty. Dioscorides, in the first century, wrote, “the Cyrenaic kind, even if one just tastes it, at once arouses a humour throughout the body and has a very healthy aroma, so that it is not noticed on the breath, or only a little; but the Median [Iranian] is weaker in power and has a nastier smell.” Nevertheless, it could be substituted for silphium in cooking, which was fortunate, because a few decades after Dioscorides’ time, the true silphium of Cyrene became extinct, and asafoetida became more popular amongst physicians, as well as cooks.