- January 30, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Agriculture
Context – With many uses listed by researchers, perhaps it is time to go for Asafoetida
- Asafoetida has been known since the Mahabharata times, and has been imported from Afghanistan.
- The Bhagavata Purana says that one should not eat hing before worshipping deity.
- Indian historical records suggest that we have been importing asafoetida since the 12th century BCE.
- Wikipedia suggests that Jewish early literature mentions it as Mishnaha.
- It is a thick gum, or a resin, which comes from the perennial taproots of the Ferula family.
Applications of asafoetida
- Asafoetida has a wide range of applications in the field of medicine. It has been suggested to fight viruses such as influenza.
- Ayurveda specifies three types of Dosha, or deficiencies in the body, namely Pitta, Vata and Kapha each of which has specific functions.
- Asafoetida is believed to be one of the best spices to balance the VataDosha.
- Asafoetida is also good to stop hiccups.
- The herb might play as an anticancer agent, and also against some women’s ailments.
- The chemical constituents in the herb that play roles as antioxidants, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial and antiviral and even anti-HIV.
- The cold desert climatic conditions in the Lahaul–Spiti area in Himachal Pradesh are remarkably similar to those in the Iran and Afghanistan, and wondered whether asafoetida cannot be grown in India too.
- This led the IHBT to import its seeds from Afghanistan and began growing the plant in the research centre under the guidance of the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources.
- The experiment was a success. Two types of asafoetida resins became available – the milky white type and the red type.
Constituents of Asafoetida
- The raw herb has about 70% carbohydrates, 5% proteins, 1% fat, 7% minerals, and has compounds of calcium, phosphorus, sulphur and various aliphatic and aromatic alcohols.
- It is the sulphide content in the fat that leads to the fecal odour.
To know more about asafoetida, please refer December 2021 DPN.