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.
Asafoetida is a plant. It has a bad smell and tastes bitter. That probably explains why it is sometimes called “devil's dung.”
People use asafoetida resin, a gum-like material, as medicine. Asafoetida resin is produced by solidifying juice that comes out of cuts made in the plant's living roots.
Asafoetida is used for breathing problems including ongoing (chronic) bronchitis, H1N1 "swine" flu, and asthma. It is also used for digestion problems including intestinal gas, upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable colon. Other uses include treatment of “whooping cough” (pertussis), croup, and hoarse throat.
Women sometimes use asafoetida to restart their menstrual periods after menstruation has stopped for some reason.
How does it work?
There is some scientific evidence that the chemicals in asafoetida might help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and also might protect against high blood levels of certain fats including cholesterol and triglycerides. Chemicals called coumarins in asafoetida can thin the blood.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- “Whooping cough” (pertussis).
- Intestinal gas.
- Stomach upset.
- Irritable colon.
- Nerve disorders.
- Menstrual problems.
- Corns and calluses, when applied directly to the skin.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Asafoetida is LIKELY SAFE for most people in the amounts typically found in foods. There is some evidence that asafoetida is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as medicine. In some people, asafoetida can cause swelling of the lips, burping, intestinal gas, diarrhea, headache, convulsions, blood disorders, and other side effects.
Bleeding disorders: There is concern that asafoetida might increase the risk of bleeding. Don't use asafoetida if you have a bleeding disorder.
Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) problems: Asafoetida can irritate the GI tract. Don't use it of you have a GI infection or other GI condition.
High blood pressure (hypertension) or low blood pressure (hypotension): There is some concern that asafoetida might interfere with blood pressure control. Avoid use if you have a blood pressure problem.
Surgery: Asafoetida might slow blood clotting. There is concern that asafoetida might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking asafoetida at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Asafoetida seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking asafoetida along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Asafoetida might slow blood clotting. Taking asafoetida along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The appropriate dose of asafoetida depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for asafoetida. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Abd El-Razek, M. H., Ohta, S., Ahmed, A. A., and Hirata, T. Sesquiterpene coumarins from the roots of Ferula assa-foetida. Phytochemistry 2001;58(8):1289-1295. View abstract.
Appendino, G., Maxia, L., Bascope, M., Houghton, P. J., Sanchez-Duffhues, G., Munoz, E., and Sterner, O. A meroterpenoid NF-kappaB inhibitor and drimane sesquiterpenoids from Asafetida. J Nat Prod. 2006;69(7):1101-1104. View abstract.
Carrubba, R. W. The first report of the harvesting of Asafetida in Iran. Agric.Hist 1979;53(2):451-461. View abstract.
Duan, H., Takaishi, Y., Tori, M., Takaoka, S., Honda, G., Ito, M., Takeda, Y., Kodzhimatov, O. K., Kodzhimatov, K., and Ashurmetov, O. Polysulfide derivatives from Ferula foetida. J Nat Prod. 2002;65(11):1667-1669. View abstract.
Fatehi, M., Farifteh, F., and Fatehi-Hassanabad, Z. Antispasmodic and hypotensive effects of Ferula asafoetida gum extract. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;91(2-3):321-324. View abstract.
Harve, G. and Kamath, V. Larvicidal activity of plant extracts used alone and in combination with known synthetic larvicidal agents against Aedes aegypti. Indian J Exp Biol 2004;42(12):1216-1219. View abstract.
Ren, D., Yang, W., and Zeng, G. [Effects of microwave radiation on the content of five elements in mice bone tissue]. Wei Sheng Yan.Jiu. 2001;30(4):201-202. View abstract.
Singh, U. P., Singh, D. P., Maurya, S., Maheshwari, R., Singh, M., Dubey, R. S., and Singh, R. B. Investigation on the phenolics of some spices having pharmacotherapeuthic properties. J Herb.Pharmacother. 2004;4(4):27-42. View abstract.
Uma, Pradeep K., Geervani, P., and Eggum, B. O. Common Indian spices: nutrient composition, consumption and contribution to dietary value. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr 1993;44(2):137-148. View abstract.
Unnikrishnan, M. C. and Kuttan, R. Cytotoxicity of extracts of spices to cultured cells. Nutr Cancer 1988;11(4):251-257. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182