Hing or Asafoetida
Hing aka Asafoetida, Silphium, Devli's Dung to name a few; latin name Ferula assafoetida, dates back to eighth century BC. It is a hard resinous gum that is ground and used in many Indian dishes as a replacement for onions or garlic and for preventing gas. It's strong smell is likened to stinky feet but it's health promoting benefits out-way the awful smell and (thank goodness) the smell dissipates as it cooks. Primarily it is used in dishes that cause gas, bloating and constipation so a wonderful addition to any bean, legume or cruciferous dish. Only a pinch is needed and can be added to oil, water or broth. Besides it's benefits for digestion and curtailing flatulence it has many medicinal benefits. It is useful for bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough and respiratory ailments, as well as toothaches, colick (in India a newborn's first taste is asafoetida to prevent colick and digestive disorders), a contraceptive, flu prevention, and reduces vata. When buying Asafoetida you will usually find it is mixed with wheat and other anti-caking agents but a wheat-free reliable source, mixed with the herb fenugreek is found at www.ayurveda.com and comes in a 1 oz. glass jar with a metal lid for $3.50. What is fenugreek - that will be another blog!
Whole Healing Ayurveda
The teachings of Ayurveda are as pertinent today as they were thousands of years ago.