By Syed Akbar
Ferula foetida or hing has been a part of Indian cuisine since times immemorial. It is used in a variety of curries and achaars to enhance the taste and nutritive value of the food stuff. Apart from its culinary benefits Ferula finds its use in a number of traditional systems of medicine the world over. Even modern medicine recognizes its great herbal value in reducing flatulence by sending out excess gas formed in the digestive track.
The resin or gum obtained from Ferula foetida is used by herbalists for stomach troubles including spasms. More importantly, it is recognized for its unique property to keep off hysteria attacks and curing impotency in men and sterility in women. Hing is also prescribed for respiratory health issues including asthma, whooping cough, nasal discharge and common cold.
Hing is obtained from Ferula foetida as well as Ferula asafoetida. It has a unique smell (alliaceous or garlic like odour) which does not go well with many people, and thus it is also called “Devil’s dung”. In fact, the Latin name asafoetida means bad smelling gum (asa, gum; foetida, ill smelling). Its pungent odour notwithstanding, Ferula is a wonder herb full of health benefits. It expels mucous from the respiratory track (expectorant), clears the bowels in case of constipation (laxative), provides relief from intestinal flatulence (through enema), stimulates the nerves (nervine stimulant) and acts as sedative for patients of hysteria.
If you are suffering from flatulence and heavy gas trouble, a little quantity of Ferula gum twice a day will provide relief from the problem. If the trouble persists Ferula enema is prescribed by herbalists. Modern doctors do not, however, favour enema.
In case of whooping cough, take three cm of Ferula gum and mix it with honey. Consume the mixture at least two times a day for a week.
For patients of hysteria vapours from Ferula gum will help bring them to normalcy. If you perceive an imminent hysteria attack, give the patient Ferula gum vapours. It prevents the attack.
Consuming a little quantity of Ferula resin will provide relief from toothache and gum troubles.
Unani and Ayurveda doctors prescribe Ferula for sterility in women and impotency in men. In both the cases, consuming a little quantity of Ferula gum mixed with honey three times a day will enhance the fertility levels.