"MedicalWebPage", "FAQPage"

Get insightful and

helpful tips to treat

your symptoms for FREE

Want an ad free reading experience?

Download PharmEasy App

Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave your comment here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hing (Asafoetida): Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more


In many regions of the world, Hing (asafoetida) is used as a flavouring agent in food and as a traditional remedy for a variety of ailments. Asafoetida (Ferula asafoetida) is an oleo-gum-resin made from the stems of Ferula plants of the Umbelliferae family. Ferula plants are extensively spread in central Asia, particularly in west Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and Eastern Iran, Europe, and North Africa, with about 170 species. In India, asafoetida is known as Hing or Hingu.1  

Ferula plants produce large taproots or carrot-shaped roots that are roughly 15 cm in diameter at the crown when they are 4-5 years old, and Asafoetida is obtained from them. The odour of asafoetida is pungent, persistent, and sulphurous. It is now a common element in Indian cuisine, owing to its odour, which is similar to that of garlic, onion, as well as meat.1 Ferula is a Latin word that means ‘carrier’ or ‘vehicle’. Asa is Latinized from Farsi asa, which means ‘resin’, and Foetidus means ‘smelling’.

Hing Powder ayurveda herb

Asafoetida comes in two main forms: mass form and tear form, with the mass form being the most common and widely available. The numerous chemical elements included in the Ferula asafoetida plant are divided into three categories: resins, gums, and essential oils. Vanillin, 3,4-dimethoxycinnamyl-3-(3,4-diacetoxyphenyl) acrylate, picealactone C, and 7-oxocallitristic acid are among the phenolic compounds and diterpenes found in the F. asafoetida plant.2 

Did you know?

  • Hing, also known as asafoetida, has been used in traditional medicine to relieve pain and inflammation. source: NCBI
  • Hing has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive issues such as bloating and gas. source: NIH
  • Hing has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it potentially beneficial for managing chronic pain. source: NCBI
  • Hing has been used in traditional medicine to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. source: NIH
  • Hing has been used in traditional medicine to improve menstrual symptoms and regulate menstrual cycles. source: NIH
  • Hing has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, which may help in preventing infections. source: NCBI

The nutritional content found in Hing is as follows:2 

Nutritional Value of Hing

Constituents Percentage 
Carbohydrates 68% 
Proteins 4% 
Fibres 4% 
Fats 1% 
Minerals 7% 
Table1: Nutrients found in Hing2 

Therapeutic Uses of Hing

Asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, intestinal parasites, ulcer, stomachache, epilepsy, flatulence, weak digestion, spasms, and influenza are some of the conditions for which asafoetida is traditionally used. Asafoetida aids in treating a variety of stomach ailments. It is utilised in the management of a variety of issues, including unwanted pregnancy, unusual pain, sterility, difficult and excessive menstruation, and leucorrhoea.1 

I would recommend Hing for those seeking natural relief from menstrual discomfort. In a study, it was seen that Hing may work wonders for people with menstrual pain. It showed that asafoetida had a similar effect to mefenamic acid, a commonly used medication, in relieving pain during menstruation. Even better, it might be deemed safe to use and offered additional benefits like reducing the duration of pain, easing other symptoms, and improving the overall quality of life.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Benefits of Hing

Benefits of Hing for Managing Neural Conditions: 

  • F. asafoetida’s neuroprotective role is demonstrated by its ability to act as a nerve stimulant in the management of neuropathic pain by encouraging axonal regeneration and remyelination while reducing lymphocyte infiltration.1 
  • The ability of F. asafoetida to improve memory is due to its antioxidant effects and suppression of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase.1 
  • The anti-seizure activity of F. asafoetida gum extracts was examined in experimental animals.
  • This activity is due to its antioxidant properties and the ability to decrease oxidative stress.1 

Benefits of Hing for the Heart: 

In experimental animals, the F. asafoetida gum extract was found to be efficient in lowering blood pressure.1 

Benefits of Hing for Liver: 

The polyherbal suspension of F. asafoetida and extracts of Momordica charantia Linn., Nardostachys jatamansiwas are found to have a significant hepatoprotective impact by lowering blood enzymes, including glutamate pyruvate transaminase, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase.1 

Benefits of Hing as an Antimicrobial Agent: 

  • The antimicrobial activity of asafoetida extracts was tested against a variety of fungal and bacterial species.
  • By inhibiting the fungi and bacteria, the alcoholic and aqueous extracts showed significant antimicrobial activity. B. subtilis, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, and S. aureus were tested for antibacterial activity, while A. niger and Candida albicans were tested for antifungal activity of Hing.1 

Benefits of Hing as an Anticancer Agent: 

In rat colon cancer, the chemopreventive potential of F. asafoetida oleo-gum-resin was studied by measuring tumour size, tumour multiplicity, and tumour incidence, as well as serum total sialic acid levels.1 

Benefits of Hing for Managing Diabetes: 

Asafoetida extract demonstrated blood sugar-lowering activity and thus can be used to lower blood sugar levels in diabetes patients due to the presence of phenolic acid and tannins in the extract.1  

Also Read: 45 Foods to Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Benefits of Hing as an Anti-obesity and Fat Lowering Agent: 

  • The effects of F. asafoetida on weight gain and fat buildup in diabetic patients were researched, and it was discovered that it reduced body weight, abnormal fat, and adipocyte cell size.
  • As a result, it will be regarded a viable therapy option for diabetes-induced obesity.1 

Benefits of Hing as an Anthelmintic Agent: 

The anthelmintic activity of an aqueous extract of F. asafoetida was investigated in several worms by measuring the time of paralysis and death of the worms.1 

Benefits of Hing Due to Antioxidant Activity: 

  • The extracts of the Asafoetida plant showed antioxidant activity in experimental animals.
  • Results of the study showed inhibition in lipid peroxidation levels in the liver of rats.2 

Benefits of Hing Due to Relaxant Activity: 

  • The effects of different preparations of F. asafoetida and its ingredients on different types of smooth muscles were investigated.
  • The smooth muscle relaxant actions of asafoetida oleo-gum-resin and its coumarin constituent umbelliprenin were investigated by in-vitrro studies.
  • Because of the presence of umbelliprenin, asafoetida extract may have a muscle relaxant effect on tracheal smooth muscles.1 

Benefits of Hing For Digestive Stimulation: 

  • Asafoetida’s digestive stimulant activities have a beneficial physiological impact, resulting in increased saliva output and salivary amylase activity.
  • It assists in the digestion of dietary lipids by accelerating bile flow and increasing bile acid secretion, as well as enhancing the activities of pancreatic and small intestine digestive enzymes.1 

Benefits of Hing Due to Ulcer Protective Activity: 

According to animal studies, asafoetida aqueous suspension has antiulcerogenic activity.3 

From my point of view, it’s truly fascinating how ferulic acid found in Hing brings some remarkable benefits. This little superhero has potent antioxidant abilities, that might boost our immunity and make us stronger. And here’s the cherry on top: it may also increase your pain threshold and make us better at handling pain.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Bhumi Amla – Benefits, Uses & Precautions

How To Use Hing? 

Hing can be used in the following ways: 


Oral consumption of hot water extract of the dried gum is used to treat hysteria, whooping cough, and ulcers. It is also used to treat asthma and bronchitis. In Malaysia, the gum is chewed for treating amenorrhea, and in Morocco, it is chewed as an antiepileptic. Egyptians utilise dried gum as a form of contraception.2 


The dried root decoction is used as an antispasmodic, diuretic, vermifuge, and analgesic.2 


A water extract of the resin is used orally as an anthelmintic. The resin’s fluid extract is used as an expectorant, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, and brain stimulant when taken orally. For the management of whooping cough, the dried resin is used as a paste.2 

Leaf & Stem

Males can take a hot water extract of the dried leaf and stem orally. This acts as an aphrodisiac.2 

Oleoresin Powder

The powder is used as a condiment.2 

I would suggest Hing if you’re looking for a natural way to ease headache symptoms. A study foud that a certain chemical composition containing Hing might relieve headache symptoms. This composition may be applied topically to the head and navel. The unique properties of Hing might work wonders in soothing headaches and providing relief.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Side Effects of Hing:  

Hing extracts have been investigated and proven to be safe for everyday usage. Large doses of asafoetida can cause mouth swelling, digestive problems such as flatulence and diarrhoea, nervousness, and headaches.1 

Also Read: Nagkesar – Uses, Benefits & Precautions

Precautions to Take With Hing: 

You should keep the following points in mind:  

  • Asafoetida consumption is contraindicated during pregnancy or lactation because it affects the menstrual cycle and is an abortifacient.1,4  
  • Fetal haemoglobin is oxidised with asafoetida use, whereas adult haemoglobin is not. Children should not be given Hing medication since it may cause methaemoglobinaemia.  
  • Resin has been linked to convulsions in nervous individuals.4 

Also Read: How to Stop Bad Period Smell: Research-Based Tips and Home Remedies

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

When used with coumarins, asafoetida can cause chromosomal damage and interfere with coagulation therapy.4 

Also Read: Munakka – Uses, Benefits & Precautions

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What is Hing? 

Asafoetida (Hing) is an oleo-gum-resin used as a flavouring agent in food and as a traditional remedy for a variety of ailments in many regions of the world.1 

2) How is Hing made? 

It is extracted from the Ferula plants, which have massive taproots or carrot-shaped roots (around 15 cm in diameter at the crown when they are 4-5 years old).1 

3) How to use Hing for gas problems? 

The roasted form of Hing is used for the management of gastrointestinal disorders and is more useful to manage flatulence than the unprocessed asafoetida that causes irritation and inflammation..2 

4) What is the use of Hing? 

It is conventionally used for the management of several illnesses, such as asthma, whooping cough, stomachache, influenza, intestinal parasites, ulcer, epilepsy, flatulence, bronchitis, spasms, and weak digestion.1 

5) Is Hing safe during pregnancy? 

No, it is not safe during pregnancy. Hence, intake of asafoetida is prohibited during pregnancy.1  

6) Where is Hing found? 

Ferula plant is extensively found in Central Asia, particularly in West Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Eastern Iran, Europe, and North Africa, with about 170 species.1 

7) Why is Hing used in food? 

Hing is now a common element in Indian cuisine, owing to its odour, which is similar to that of garlic, onion, as well as meat.1 

8) Can Hing induce periods? 

No, it does not cause menstruation.1 

9) Hing is which part of the plant? 

It is an oleo-gum resin extracted from Ferula plant stems.1 

10) Can Hing cause miscarriage? 

No, it does not cause miscarriage; instead, it is used for the management of unwanted abortions.1 

11) How to use Hing in cooking? 

It’s used as a seasoning or condiment in a variety of dishes, including curries, meat, pickles, and pulses.2 

12) Is Hing good for digestion? 

Yes, Hing is beneficial for digestion. It acts as a digestive stimulant by increasing saliva output and salivary amylase activity.1 

Also Read: Lodhra – Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


  1. Amalraj A, Gopi S. Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review. J Trad Comp Med. 2017;7(3):347-359. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5506628/ 
  1. Choudhary S, Walia B, Chaudhary G. Ferula asafetida (Hing): A Review Based Upon its Ayurvedic and Pharmacological Properties. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res. 2021;68(2):31-39. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353601868_Hing_Ferula_asafoetida_A_Review_Based_Upon_its_Ayurvedic_and_Pharmacological_Properties 
  1. Kareparamban JA, Nikam PH, Jadhav AP, Kadam VJ. Ferula foetida ”Hing”: A Review. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci. 2012; 3(2):775. 


  1. Duke JA. Handbook of medicinal herbs [internet]. CRC press; 2002 Jun 27; Page No: 41. Available from: https://www.enpab.it/images/2018/James_A._Duke_-_Handbook_of_Medicinal_Herbs.pdf. 

Also Read: Chamomile – Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.



Leave your comment...

You may also like