Antiflatulent: In the Jammu region of India, asafoetida is used as a medicine for flatulence and constipation by 60% of locals.
A digestion aid: In Thailad and India, it is used to aid digestion and is smeared on the abdomen in an alcohol or water tinctue known as mahahing.
Asafoetida in this form was evidently used in western medicine as a topical treatment for abdominal injuries during the 18th and 19th centuries; although when it came into use in the West and how long it remained in use is uncertain.
Found in the mountains in central Asia
Hypotensive activity – due to its vasodilatory activity.
Antispasmodic activity – shows to relax smooth muscles; inhibits contractions induced by acetylcholine, histamine and potassium chloride.
Anti-hyperlipidemic activity – inhibits intestinal cholesterol absorption.
Anti-diabetic effect – hyperglycaemia condition results in irreversible tissue damage by protein glycation reaction, which leads to formation of glycosylated proteins, and asafoetida shows to be remarkably potent at preventing protein glycosylation; appears to be highly protective of diabetic kidney injuries; shows to reduce blood glucose and increase serum insulin; exerts therapeutic protective effect in diabetes by preserving pancreatic beta-cells integrity and activity; shows to decrease body weight, abdominal fat and size of epididymal adipocyte.
Nephroprotective effect – shows to protect kidney from oxidative stress and diabetic-induced nephropathy; prevents functional and morphological changes; inhibits accumulation of oxidised DNA in kidney and thus protects from renal injury; prevents formation and accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in kidney (index of progressive renal damage); increases urine exertion, increases glomerular filtration rate.
Effect on intestines – appears to increase breakdown rates of protein, fats and starches (due to enhancing the titers of digestive enzymes in pancreatic tissues) while attenuating sucrose absorption; inhibits contractions induced by acetylcholine, histamine and potassium chloride, thus may reduce flatulence and used as carminative agent.
Effect on digestive enzyme activity – stimulates salivary flow and gastric juice secretion and thus support in digestion; stimulates activities of digestive enzymes, enhances pancreatic lipase and amylase activities.
Effect on blood vessels – shows to have vasodilatory, anticoagulant and fibrinolytic activities.
Antimicrobial activity – shows antiviral activity (against influenza A virus); anti-fungal activity (against Candida spp., Aspergillus niger, Saccharomyces cerevisiae); anti-bacterial activity (against B.subtilis, S.aureus, E.coli, P.aeruginosa, Shigella spp.); anti-protozoa and anti-helminthic activities.
Antioxidant activity – inhibits lipid peroxidation; protects against oxidative stress; have free radical scavenging activity.
Anti-inflammatory activity – shows to reduce inflammation in patient with irritable colon.
Analgesic activity – reduces neurogenic and chronic pain; shows to inhibit central opioid pain inhibitory pathways as well as peripheral nociceptive pathways.
Neuroprotective effect – shows to protect against glutamate-induced apoptotic/necrotic cell death in cerebellar neurons; shows to facilitate healing process in peripheral nerves, stimulate axonal regeneration and remyelination, and decrement of lymphocyte infiltration; improves nerve conduction velocity; improves survival rate of neurons; thus can be beneficial as therapy for neurologic disorders.
Memory and cognitive enhancer – shows to improve memory formation; has acetylcholinesterase inhibiting properties; protects against oxidative stress; inhibits neurotoxic amyloid-beta aggregation and induced inflammation, thus may be beneficial as therapeutic use for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Anxiolytic effect – shows to be very effective in treatment of anxiety disorders.
Anticancer activity – shows some cytotoxicity against lymphoma ascites, tumor cells and lymphocytes; protects against mutagenicity.
Stimulates brain and nerves
Acts as antispasmodic
Treats depression, anxiety, sadness
Balances Wind-heart disorders
Balances Phlegm disorders
Restores physical strength and warmth
Restores digestive heat
Relieves meteorism and abdominal distension
Expels gall bladder stones
Acts as diuretic
Expels kidney and urinary stones
Relieves painful menstruation
Stimulate menstrual flow
Reduces symptoms of menopause
Relieves premature ejaculation, spermatorrhea and impotence
Immune system and detoxification:
Relieves shortness of breath and asthma
Treats bronchitis and whooping cough
Relieves spasmodic cough
Effective in prevention and treatment of influenza and cold
Acts as antidote to poisoning
Has analgesic property
- Asafetida uses, benefits and dosage
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- Ferula asafoetida: Traditional uses and pharmacological activity
- Ferula asafoetida: This page features 18 unique references to scientific papers.
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- Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review
- Effect of Ferula assa-foetida oleo-gum-resin on renal function in normal Wistar rats
- Ferulic Acid: A Hope for Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy from Plants
- Antinociceptive effect of Ferula assa-foetida oleo-gum-resin in mice
- Double edged effect of gum-resin of ferula assa-foetida on lifespan of neurons