Hing is a commonly found spice that is used in various Indian cuisines to add flavor and aroma. Hing or commonly known as asafetida is great for digestion, respiration and weight loss. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties which are good for your overall well being.
What is Hing & How it is Obtained?
Asafetida is the dried sap — or gum resin obtained from the roots or bottom stem of Ferula / asafetida plants.
It has a distinct pungent smell and a bitter taste due to the presence of Sulphur compounds. It’s commonly dried, ground into a coarse, yellow powder, and used for either culinary or medicinal purpose. The strong flavor has given it the title “devils dung”, stinking gum, jowani badian, and ‘food of the Gods’ in different parts of the country.
Types of Hing
There are 2 types of Hing:
- Red (lal) hing (Oil soluble)
- Kabuli Safeed hing (water soluble)
Note: Both are slightly processed for use.
Hing Nutritional Information
Hing is enriched with phytochemicals especially Ferulic Acid. It varies from 40 to 60% in Hing gum. Ferulic Acid has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antispasmodic, and antioxidant properties.
Nutritional facts Per 1 Tbsp
Ayurvedic properties of HING
- Taste: bitter & pungent.
- Potency: hot.
- Balance: Kapha and vaat.
- Property: light, oily, piercing ( enters in deep tissues).
Health Benefits of Hing
1. Aids digestive health and reduces belly fat.
- Hing helps improve digestion by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine
- It increases the acid production in the stomach and improves liver functions to secrete more bile salts. This helps in better digestion of carbs, proteins and fats.
- It also provides relief from constipation by promoting bowel movements due to its laxative property.
- It is recommended to add Hing to your regular diet to prevent a number of gastric problems.
- It helps in flushing out all the harmful toxins from your digestive tract.
- Hing also helps reduce abdominal fat and can be effective for the management of weight.
- Hing helps in reducing indigestion issues like gas, flatulence, bloating and abdominal distension.
2. Helps In Weight Loss.
Hing helps in increasing your metabolism & digestion. A higher metabolic rate & good digestive health means better weight loss.
3. Good source of antioxidants.
It contains high amounts of phenolic compounds, such as tannins and flavonoids, which are known for their potent antioxidant effects!
4. Loaded With Dietary Fiber.
It lowers hyperglycemia and is extremely effective in controlling blood sugar levels in the body.
5. Helps in promoting heart health and in improving brain function.
6. It is a powerful mood regulator, works as a antidepressant.
7. Powerhouse of Iron.
Hing is a potent blood purifier. It increases hemoglobin and red blood cell count of the blood. It also treats anemia , improves concentration, reduces fatigue and boosts overall immunity of the body.
8. High on Potassium.
Potassium being an electrolyte balances the effects of sodium and is effective in maintaining blood pressure. It is highly beneficial for bone and joint health.
9. Help people with Respiratory disorders & prevent cold & cough.
Hing helps in the removal of excess mucus, helping in relieving chest congestion and cough.
10. Reduces Headache.
It reduces the inflammation in the blood vessels of your head. Drink some hing water to get relief from stress related headache and chronic migraine.
11. Relief From Menstrual Pain & PCOD.
At times it gets really difficult to deal with menstrual pain. Hing is a great remedy to get rid of back and lower abdomen pain. It works as a blood thinner and helps in a smooth flow of blood in the body. This provides relief from period pain. Drink hing water during your periods to get relief.
12. It can lower bad Cholesterol levels.
13. Boosts Fertility And Reproductive Health in both male & Female.
14. Great for Skin Health.
Helps in reducing wrinkles, acne, dark spots.
15. Asafetida Powder for Hair Growth.
Hing helps in thick hair growth and to get shiny hair. It helps control dandruff too.
16. Checks on harmful viruses.
Some scientists claim that the hing extract can be used for preventing and treating Swine flu ( H1N1) virus. It was also used for combatting the Spanish influenza pandemic which occurred in the year 1918.
Uses Of Hing
- To get the best out of hing, remember to heat it in the cooking oil or ghee first before adding any other ingredient to it.
- Hing is used for making pickles and is used extensively in cooking.
- It is used to make dishes like sambar and dal, normally added at the time of tempering.
- Mix a pinch of hing with a few drops of mustard oil and massage it on the navel. This will offer instant relief from the pain associated with flatulence and bloating. It is the easiest remedy for people who don’t like the taste of hing.
- If you follow a gluten free diet , make sure to look for hing powder that’s blended with rice flour instead of wheat.
Hing can be consumed using any of the ways enlisted:
- Comes in powder or churna
- Capsules / tablets
- Hing water
Take a glass of warm water and add a pinch of hing powder to it. Mix and drink it.
If not in water, you can also consume hing in buttermilk.
Consumption of Hing.
The dosage of Hing (Hingu) varies from 10 mg to 500 mg medicinal usage.
Dietary Dosage= 5 mg to 30 mg per day.
Possible Side effects.
- Due to its hot-potency, hing should be avoided during pregnancy, breastfeeding or when suffering from bleeding disorders, gastrointestinal infections or ulcers.
- It is advised not to give hing to infants, or kids less than 5 years.
- The levels of asafetida commonly used in cooking are safe in most cases. However, it might create stomach upset and digestive issues if used excessively.
- Gas, diarrhea, headaches, anxiety, liver damage, and tongue swelling are all possible side effects of asafetida.
- People taking blood pressure medicines or blood-thinning therapies should avoid asafetida.
- Asafetida is usually paired with wheat or rice flour when used as a spice. As a result, items containing asafetida may not be gluten-free.
Do include this amazing magical “ingredient”, which is not only economical, but also very easily available.