Asafoetida | Ferula asafoetida

Other Names

A Wei, Asafétida, Ase Fétide, Assant, Crotte du Diable, Devil’s Dung, Ferula Asafoetida, Ferula Assa Foetida, Ferula assa-foetida, Ferula foetida, Ferula pseudalliacea, Ferula rubricaulis, Férule, Férule Persique, Food of the Gods, Fum, Giant Fennel, Heeng, Hing,Steckenbraut, Stinkasant, Teufelsdreck


Also called a Gingko tree, Asafoetida is a native to China. Having existed for about 225 million years, it is one of the oldest species known on the planet. The wild populations are rare and exist only in two regions of China. Today it is now cultivated in the United States and other parts of Asia.

Asafoetida is derived from a species of giant fennel and has a unique fragrance and flavor. It is a popular spice for Asian cooking.

The resin-like gum is extracted from the stem and roots. Asafoetida is a perennial, herbaceous plant that grows up to two meters high with a mass of about 30-40 leaves. Flowering stems can be up to 3 meters high with a number of ducts in the cortex containing the resin. Its flowers are pale and greenish yellow that are produced in large compounds.

The fruits are oval, thin and flat and are reddish brown with milky juice. The roots are massive, thick and pulpy. All parts of the plant have a similar, distinctive fetid aroma.


Asafoetida is composed of volatile oil, resin, gum, coumarins, azulene, essential oil, umbelliferone and vanillin. Asafetida is composed of approximately 4% to 20% volatile oil, 40% to 60% resin, and 25% gum. Asaresitannol, Coumarins, Azulene, Resin, Essential Oils, Umbelliferone, Vanillin

Collection period

June to August

Used Parts

Gum resin of the root


Asafoetida is used to fight asthma, bloating, bronchitis, cancer, constipation, convulsions, heart failure, hysteria, intestinal gas, menstrual problems and nerve disorders. It is also recorded to prevent antispasmodic conditions, corns and calluses, and is a diuretic and expectorant. It also helps in cases of hoarseness, irritable colon, nail biting, stimulating, toning, stomach upset, whooping cough, worms and depression.

  • Antispasmodic,

  • Asthma,

  • Bloating,

  • Bronchitis,

  • Cancer,

  • Constipation,

  • Convulsions,

  • Corns and Calluses, When Applied Directly To The Skin,

  • Diuretic,

  • Expectorant,

  • Heart Failure,

  • Hoarseness,

  • Hysteria,

  • Intestinal Gas,

  • Irritable Colon,

  • Menstrual Problems,

  • Nail Biting,

  • Nerve Disorders,

  • Reassuring

  • Stimulating,

  • Stomach Upset,

  • Toning,

  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis),

  • Worms

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


Asafoetida has an unpleasant scent and tastes bitter. It is sometimes referred to as “devil’s dung”. People use it as a resin and as medicine. It is produced by solidifying juice that comes out of cuts made in the roots.

The correct dose depends on the consumer’s health, age and other factors. It is sometimes applied directly onto the skin for calluses. It is also used as fragrance in cosmetics and as flavouring in food. It is also used in substances to repel cats, dogs and wildlife.


The gum resin is used as a preservative, flavouring and fragrance. It has been used for remedies for many years though these reports are not enough to support therapeutic claims.

Side Effects

Asafoetida is usually safe in amounts found in foods and beverages. In some cases, Asafoetida can cause the swelling of the lips, intestinal gas, burping, headache, diarrhea, blood disorders and convulsions.

It has to be noted that it is unsafe for infants because it may cause blood disorders. Likewise, among pregnant women, it is unsafe because it might cause miscarriage.





  • Literature Search Unit (Jan 2013). Ferula Asafoetida: Stinking Gum. Scientific literature search through SciFinder on Ferula asafetida. Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine.·

  • Vandevi Hing (Asafetida)·


  • Используется также название Покрытосеменные.·

  • Об условности указания класса двудольных в качестве вышестоящего таксона для описываемой в данной статье группы растений см. раздел «Системы APG» статьи «Двудольные».·

  • Русское название вида — согласно статье «Ферула» в Большой советской энциклопедии.·

  • Блинова К. Ф. и др. Ботанико-фармакогностический словарь : Справ. пособие / Под ред. К. Ф. Блиновой, Г. П. Яковлева. — М.: Высш. шк., 1990. — С. 251. — ISBN 5-06-000085-0

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