During the times of the Roman Empire, one common substance was prescribed to treat a whole host of health problems – from hysteria to hay fever. That substance was asafoetida and it’s still held in high regard for its acclaimed carminative, expectorant and antispasmodic qualities. Derived from a fennel plant, this foul smelling, sulphurous, product is taken from the dried sap of the stem and roots and can either be used in resin form or ground down to a fine powder to be used in cooking, supplement form or distilled to an asafoetida tincture.
Asafoetida and cooking
It may not be as well-known as other spices but in Indian cuisine, it’s frequently used to add a hint of onion flavour to dishes. When dried this spice is highly pungent both in flavour and aroma (not dissimilar from rotten onions), but the cooking process mellows out this spice making the cooked product far less potent. It’s a versatile spice that works with vegetables, fish, red meats and grains and is added to curry pastes and powders, as well as relishes and chutneys. Because it’s so strong it’s always wise to use sparingly, tasting as you go and is ideal for those who can’t tolerate onions or garlic but want to replicate the flavours.
Asafoetida and medicine
By solidifying the juice from the plant’s roots, asafoetida resin is produced which is most commonly used in healthcare applications. It is used in treatment for breathing issues such as chronic bronchitis, swine flu and asthma, as well as for treating digestive disorders like upset stomachs, IBS and gas. Asafoetida is known to be a powerful respiratory stimulant and can help disperse phlegm and congestion with its expectorant qualities. It is also rich in coumarin, a clever compound that can help thin the blood and improve its flow, which helps to lower blood pressure. Asafoetida as medicine can be taken in a variety of forms including capsules and an asafoetida tincture.
Asafoetida and manufacturing
This plant is sometimes known as Devil’s Dung – more than likely a gentle nod to the fact that is both smells bad and tastes bitter. So unsurprisingly it is sometimes used in products that have been designed to repel dogs, cats and other wildlife. Perhaps most surprisingly given its overpowering and not overly pleasant scent, asafoetida is sometimes used in the manufacturing of perfumes too.
Joseph Flach & Sons and wholesale Asafoetida orders
As a trusted, global supplier of botanical products for over 100 years, we stock over 600 dried botanicals, herbs and spices, as well as oils, tinctures and other manufacturing compounds – including three different forms of asafoetida. We supply to trade customers who have the requirements for large quantities of high quality, raw ingredients for the manufacturing of their own products. Wherever possible we try to supply in original bags and containers, and we do have minimum orders depending on what you’re ordering.
We offer Asafoetida in the following forms:
Gum Asafoetida Lump
Gum Asafoetida Powder
Asafoetida Tincture BP
Please note that many botanicals come in different forms and grades which may determine or improve their suitability for certain applications. At Joseph Flach & Sons we carry a large range of products in various forms and grades. Please do check with our experts if you require a specific grade or form and they will be delighted to help you.