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Herb Information
Name: Asafoetida
Biological Name: Ferula asafoetida

Umbelliferae

Other Names: asafoetida, asafetida, assafoetida, devil's dung, food of the gods
History:

Early records mention that Alexander the Great carried this spice west in 4 BC. Used as a flavoring in the kitchens of the ancient Rome, this pungent, resinous gum is used widely in Indian vegetarian cooking.

Remedies For

Asafoetida is a useful antidote for flatulence. It is also claimed to be useful for the treatment of bronchitis and hysteria. Here are some traditional use of asafoetida in healing:

Asafoetida is used for stomach pains:
There are anecdotal evidence that strong stomach pains can be cured by taking asafoetida. 

Asafoetida prevents insect bites: 
It repels mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects. It is described as the ultimate insect repellant. (More effective if you add some garlic to the mixture.)

Headache Remedy:
A folk remedy very popular in Kazakstan is decoctions from pieces of the dried gum. It is often prescribed to patients suffering from excruciating headaches. John Heinenman, in his book, "healing Herbs and Spices" reported that asafoetida was found effective for tension headaches. He put 1/8 teaspoon crumbled dried asafoetida in 1-1/2 cups hot water and let simmer for 15 minutes before drinking. People using this reported positive effects against tension headaches.

Preventing Snakebites:
Afghan people would rub small chunks of asafoetida over their boots to keep away deadly snakes or vipers in the environment they lived in.

Description: 

Asafoetida is the resinuous exudation from two species of the giant fennel. Its extremely foul odor has earned it the name, "devil's dung."

Ferula asafoetida, a perennial of the carrot family, grows wild to 12 feet high in huge natural forests. The plant is indigenous to Iran, Afghanistan and in the north of India. 

There is a smaller species called Ferula narthax. The whole plant exudes the characteristic strong smell. The milky resin comes from both the thick stems and the root, and it dries into asafoetida.

Dosage:

Tincture: Put 2 oz. of the brown root gum powder in 6 oz. alcohol; let stand for 2 weeks and shake once daily. Strain and pour the liquid into another bottle suitable for storage.

Use 15-20 drops in 6 fluid ounces for severe stomach pains and similar gastrointestinal distresses

Safety: No information available.

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