In the Jammu region of India, asafoetida is used as a medicine for flatulence and constipation by 60% of locals. In Thailad and India, it is used to aid digestion and is smeared on the abdomen in an alcohol or water tincture 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.
Latin name: Ferula asafoetida
Tibetan name: Shing kun
Part used: Resin
Asafoetida is native to central Asia, eastern Iran to Afghanistan, and today it is grown chiefly in Iran and Afghanistan, from where it is exported to the rest of the world. It is not native to India, but has been used in Indian medicine and cookery for ages.