Asafoetida

background

Asafoetida, or asafetida (Ferula assafoetida), is a plant native to Iran that has a strong sulfurous smell. The sap of the stem and roots is dried and crushed to form an onion-tasting powder that is frequently used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Jains (followers of the Jain religion, an ancient faith based on the teachings of the prince Mahavira, 599 - 527 BC) also use it as a substitute for onions.
There is currently little information available on the pharmacology and medicinal uses of asafoetida. Limited animal research suggests that asafetida may increase the calcium and zinc content in bone after exposure to radiation. However, there is currently insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of asafoetida for any indication.

Related Terms

Asafetida, Ferula assafoetida, Ferula assa-foetida, Ferula assa foetida, Ferula foetida, Ferula rubricaulis.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.