Additional notes (click to expand)

Other use

Asafoetida has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition. It has been used as a medicinal herb that acts mainly on the digestive system, cleansing and strengthening the gastro-intestinal tract. The gum-resin contains a volatile oil that is as persistent in aroma as garlic. They leave the body via the respiratory system and aid the coughing up of congested mucous. The pungently flavoured gum-resin that is obtained from the root is alterative, anthelmintic, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, carminative, deobstruent, deodorant, expectorant, laxative, sedative and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of simple digestive problems such as wind, bloating, indigestion and constipation, and also for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, bronchial asthma and whooping cough. It is also used as a circulatory stimulant, lowering blood pressure and thinning the blood. The resin has a synergistic effect on other herbal preparations such as camphor, valerian and nux-vomica. It is used in tincture as a mild cardio-tonic. As an aphrodisiac.
Plants for a Future (2016) at link

Leaves and young shoots can be cooked as a vegetable. The plant has a foetid odour, but this disappears when it is boiled. The cabbage-like folded heads are eaten raw as a delicacy. It needs to be steeped in order to remove a bitterness. A starch extracted from the roots is used to make a porridge. A gum-resin from the root is used as a food flavouring. It is an essential ingredient of Worcester sauce. The resin obtained from this plant is probably the foulest-smelling of all herbs, with a sulphurous garlic-like odour. It is so nauseating to some people that it has been nicknamed 'dung of the devil'.
Plants for a Future (2016) at link

Geographical distribution

  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia, Iran

Ferula assa-foetida L.

Genus: Ferula
Species: assa-foetida L.
Common names: Asafetida; Asafoetida; Devil's Dung
Pharmacopoeia Londinensis name: Assa foetida
Distribution summary: Iran
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H4 - Hardy; average winter
Habitat: Frequently on sandy soils
Garden status: Not currently grown
Flowering months: July
Reason for growing: Other use

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