25 Wonderful Benefits Of Asafoetida (Hing) On Your Health And Skin

This pungent-smelling ingredient has more health benefits besides adding flavor to your dishes.

Medically reviewed by Silky Mahajan, CSN, CDE Silky Mahajan Silky MahajanCSN, CDE facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition Tanya Choudhary B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Himanshi Mahajan BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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There are many spices and seasonings that make your food even more delicious and flavorful! Asafoetida or hing is one such ingredient commonly found and used in Indian and Iranian cuisines. But do you know that apart from adding flavor to your food, asafoetida or hing benefits you in several ways? Usually sold in powdered form, this yellow-colored resin has a slightly pungent aroma that mellows down when added to food seasonings, and other than flavoring your diet, it helps improve your overall health as well! In addition, it is also beneficial for your skin and hair! Read on to learn more about its many benefits!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Asafoetida

What Is It?
A gray-white gum extracted from the Ferula plant that has a bitter taste.

What Are Its Benefits?
It aids in digestion, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and moisturizes the hair.

Who Can Consume It?
Anyone can consume it except children and people on blood-thinning medications.

How Often?
You can use between a pinch or two for cooking daily.

Avoid consuming this if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Excess consumption may cause rashes and itchiness.

What Is Asafoetida Powder?

Asafoetida is a culinary herb and the roots of this Rhizome plant are dried to form a gum-like substance. This dried latex (gum) is Asafoetida. It has a foul/pungent smell and is more commonly called as Hing in India. This plant is a native of Iranian countries and Afghanistan. However, its widespread use and cultivation is also prevalent in and nearby the Indian Sub-continent.

The main reason for which this herbal dried extract was promoted as an edible spice was its capability to offer a smooth texture to curries and soups. While it is famous with many other interesting names like food of the Gods and a few more, such names are an attribute to its never-ending health and beauty benefits it offers upon consumption (1).

protip_icon Fun Fact
Asafoetida is also known as the ‘stinking gum,’ ‘devil’s shit,’ and ‘devil’s dung’ for its pungent smell.

Skin Benefits Of Asafoetida

1. Anti-Ageing Benefits:

This herbal spice makes an amazing anti-ageing agent. It offers the goodness of reducing wrinkles, fine lines and age spots from the face.

A 2021 blind online survey conducted by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, with 3,527 respondents, unveiled that approximately 70% of consumers are contemplating undergoing a cosmetic procedure. The survey revealed that 62% of participants expressed concerns about the presence of lines and wrinkles around or under their eyes and 48% were considering injectable wrinkle relaxers as a potential solution. These individuals may find asafoetida beneficial for enhancing their skin health.

Asafoetida can be mixed with rose water and fuller’s earth to form an effective anti-wrinkle face mask (2).

How To Make An Anti-Wrinkle Face Mask?

  1. Mix fuller’s earth and honey in a bowl and add a few drops of rose water to it.
  2. Sprinkle Asafoetida into the mixture and beat well to form a thin paste.
  3. Apply on the face and massage for 15 minutes.

This amazing face mask offers freedom from wrinkles and age spots. It has the power to make you look 10 years less than your actual age.

2. Skin Whitening Benefits:

Asafoetida can be used as a whitening agent that demotes dark spots, acne marks, and oiliness. It naturally hampers the production of Tyrosine in the skin. Tyrosine promotes the production of melanin in human skin that leads to skin darkening, premature aging, and dullness. Asafoetida keeps a check on the production of tyrosine. Thus, you can flaunt blemish-free and radiant, younger skin with the use of Asafoetida face masks largely (3), (4).

How To Make A Whitening Face Mask?

  1. Mash a tomato and mix it with sugar.
  2. Beat the mixture until the sugar dissolves in tomato juice.
  3. Sprinkle Asafoetida into the mixture to form a thin paste.

This amazing face mask can improve your complexion by up to 2 tones naturally.

3. Anti-Acne Benefits:

Do you have acne-prone skin? Asafoetida might be just the magic ingredient that you were missing in your skin care regimen till now. This amazing herbal formula acts as an anti-bacterial, hampering the production of acne-causing bacteria on the skin. It makes skin conditions unfavorable for the growth of bacteria. Thus, it can put an end to your year’s long acne as well (5).

How To Make An Anti-Acne Face Mask?

  1. Mix Fuller’s earth and rose water to form a thick paste.
  2. Add a few drops of lemon juice to the mixture and sauté it well.
  3. Sprinkle Asafoetida into the mixture and beat well.

This amazing face mask keeps you safe from acne and acne marks largely. Use it regularly twice a day for optimal results. Asafoetida controls the formation of excessive oil in the skin. This keeps your pores free of dirt, oil, and sebum. Thus, eventually, acne clears off from the skin completely.

4. Radiance Promoting Benefits:

Woman happily touching her radiant skin as a potential benefit of asafoetida
Image: Shutterstock

Asafoetida works like a radiance enhancer that imparts a never-ending glow to the skin. It increases the supply of oxygen to facial tissues, which makes them lively and plump. It gives you beautiful, healthy skin. The best side-benefit of this radiance promotion benefit is the removal of under eye dark circles completely (3), (4).

How To Make A Radiance Face Pack?

  1. Simply mix Asafoetida with water/rose water to form a paste.
  2. You can add sandalwood powder to increase the thickness of this face pack.

This amazing face pack increases glow and makes skin radiant and flawless.

5. Anti-Dryness Benefits:

Pollution and stress leave the skin and hair dry and damaged. Asafoetida works like a dryness repairing agent that offers smooth and moist skin. It can erase all the visible signs of skin dryness like dullness, peeling, cracking, freckles, wrinkles, and pigmentation (6).

How To Make Dryness Repellent Face Mask?

  1. Simply mix milk and rose water in a bowl and add honey to it.
  2. Add Asafoetida to the mixture and beat well.
  3. Store this flowing face pack in a refrigerator to increase its shelf life.
  4. Apply this face mask regularly to reverse all the signs of skin dryness.

6. Treats Allergies And Corns:

Other than making the skin blemish-free, Asafoetida also works to cure skin allergies and corns. Different skin allergies resulting from sun damage or dryness can be cured using Asafoetida within a few weeks of use (5).

Hair Benefits Of Asafoetida

7. Hair Conditioning Benefits:

Asafoetida can also be used to make hair conditioning masks. It effectively works to trap moisture in the scalp. This amazing benefit makes it a deep moisturizing product that can control the problem of hair dryness and frizz to a large extent (5).

How To Make A Conditioning Hair Mask?

  1. Mix yogurt, green tea extract, and almond oil in a bowl.
  2. Add Asafoetida to the mixture and beat well.
  3. Apply on hair from the roots to tips and leave to dry for 1 hour.
  4. Wash with lukewarm water.

This amazing hair mask offers the goodness of improving scalp health against dryness. It makes hair smooth, shiny, and stronger too.

8. Hair Fall Controlling Benefits:

Asafoetida improves the texture of the hair. It also guards the hair against un-natural and heavy hair fall. It is therefore used as a solution to baldness in males and thin hair in females. You must look forward to the amazing hair follicle strengthening and dandruff controlling benefits of Asafoetida, since it controls hair fall and makes hair thicker.

9. Scalp Health Maintenance:

Woman parting her hair to reveal a healthy scalp as a potential benefit of asafoetida
Image: Shutterstock

Scalp gives rise to hair follicles. When the scalp health dis-orients, it directly turns the hair roots weaker. This leads to hair fall and hair damage. Asafoetida restores and maintains the normal PH level of the scalp. It also keeps the scalp safe from sweat, oil and acne. It naturally removes the scalp issues like acne, oil, dandruff and dryness. As a result, the overall hair strength, texture and quality improve (5).

Health Benefits Of Asafoetida

10. Anti-Viral Benefits:

This is just the beginning of a long list of health benefits this amazing herbal spice offers. Latest studies have proven that Asafoetida constricts and hampers the growth and reproduction of harmful viruses like H1N1. When this herbal spice comes in contact with the influenza causing virus H1N1, it triggers the production of natural antibiotics against a viral attack. Detailed researches and independent studies are being carried out until today to find more about the amazing benefits of this herbal formula against other viral agents as well. To sum up, this amazing edible ingredient offers strong immunity against influenza viral infection (7).

11. Anti-Asthmatic Benefits:

Asthma and bronchitisi  Inflammation of the bronchial lining (the tube that transports air to the lungs) due to an infection, causing coughing, wheezing and congestion. are two acute respiratory syndromes. Asafoetida is a natural foe to these respiratory syndromes largely. It triggers the production of natural antibodies as soon as a person catches cold. This powerful boost in immunity triggers the process of easing respiration. Thus, it is a powerful remedy against cold, asthma and bronchitis (8).

12. Anti-Epileptic Benefits:

The amazing Asafoetida health benefits are not just curtailed to the traditional means of treating cough and cold. The spice is also a powerful anti-epileptic Unani medicine. Unani is the ancient science of treating diseases. It is still prevalent and a natural way of preventing diseases largely. However, be careful of using Asafoetida as a preventive measure against epilepsyi  A chronic central nervous system disorder characterized by seizures, unconsciousness, or odd behavior due to brain activity fluctuations. . In cases of having confirmed epilepsy, you must seek the advice of a certified doctor (8).

13. Digestive Benefits:

Current lifestyle, devoid of much movement and physical work, leads to digestive problems easily. Asafoetida is a natural digestive aid that helps in digestive issues easily. It flushes out the toxins from the human digestive tract. It is a natural foe to such toxins that slow down the process of digestion in humans. Thus, it helps in easing the process of proper digestion by restoring the normal PH level of the stomach. It successfully offers freedom from the most common problem of improper digestion i.e constipation Asafoetida also has carminativei  An ingredient or medication designed to stop gas production in the digestive system or speed up gas ejection. and antiflatulent properties. Thus, it reduces flatulence and stomach-related discomfort. Adding 1-2 pinch of hing in buttermilk helps to improve digestion and reduces bloating.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Ancient Ayurvedic texts categorized asafoetida as deepniya (an appetizer) and sanjna-sthapaka (a restorer of consciousness).

14. Healing Benefits:

Parent applying asafoedita paste directly on the wound on the knee of the child to help soothe and treat it
Image: Shutterstock

Asafoetida has an ancient history of being used as a healing medicine for stomach injuries. Current studies have proven its efficiency to act as a wound healer and pain reliever for injuries. Direct application to wounds in the form of a paste reduces the wound appearance and lessens pain too (10).

15. Opium Antidote:

Asafoetida offers the goodness of being used as an antidote for Opium. It has a history of treating gall bladder infections and various other stomach problems. It is also a powerful digestion enhancer. All this proves its efficiency as an opium antidote (1).

16. Anti-Acidic Benefits:

Asafoetida works like a natural alkali that dilutes excessive acids in the stomach. It eases intestinal gastric issues as well. Thus, it is an amazing anti-flatulent agent that eases gastric and acidic pain (9).

17. Contraceptive Benefits:

Modern science is still working towards finding the contraceptive benefits of Asafoetida. However, historically this herbal spice has been used as a powerful contraceptive against unwanted pregnancy. It was historically used as an abortive pill as well. Thus, be careful of using this spice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding a child (11), (12).

18. Mood Elevating Benefits:

Asafoetida is also known for its mood-elevating benefits. This is not a drug, but a herbal formula that triggers the production of happiness hormone and hampers the production of stress. This is a powerful stress managing spice that should be used with caution. Do not incline to its use if you have a declared history of mania (1).

19. Anti-Depressive Benefits:

Back view of a woman throwing her hands up in the air due to elevated moods as a potential benefit of asafoetida
Image: Shutterstock

Asafoetida has historically been used as an anti-depressive medicine. Its ability to induce happiness and decrease the thoughts of failure and negativity makes it a powerful natural anti-depressant too (13).

20. Increases Metabolism:

Another health benefit is that it also acts as a cholesterol reducer. Asafoetida increases the body’s metabolism largely. This improves digestion. Thus, it triggers fat metabolism too. This hampers the circulation of LDL (bad cholesterol) in human blood. Thus, Asafoetida keeps you safe of all the heart problems resulting from cholesterol formation and accumulation. However, research is limited in this regard.

21. Increases Physical Well Being:

Asafoetida works towards increasing and maintaining the heart health. It is also a beneficial respiratory-aid for cough and breathing issues. Thus, it is clear that this herbal spice increases the supply of blood to all tissues and cells. This increases and ensures that every cell gets the required oxygen content. Thus, it reduces physical fatigue by offering the tired tissues a chance to get repaired (9).

22. Anti-Impotency Benefits:

Asafoetida is a powerful natural ingredient that can be used to treat a few problems related to impotency. It increases sexual drive in females and offers freedom from the problem of premature ejaculation largely. It is already a proven stress regulator. This also aids in improving the sexual drive of males (14).

23. Worm Repellent:

Maybe, the pungent smell of Asafoetida works in favor of its worm and insect repellent benefit. It should be taken at night with warm water. It flushes out the intestinal worms when taken regularly with Ajwain (9).

24. Eases Menstrual Cramps:

Woman in bed holding her groin area in pain due to menstrual cramps that can be relieved by asafoetida
Image: Shutterstock

Menstrual Cramps are nightmares for all women suffering from them. Asafoetida can act as a menstrual aid, helping to relieve cramps and pain. It eases the problem by reducing the pain sensation around the waist and lower abdomen. Thus, it can be used at times of extreme menstrual cramps to ease an ongoing pain sensation (5).

25. May Aid Weight Loss

While asafoetida is not a magic solution for weight loss, some proponents suggest that it may indirectly support weight management. It may aid digestion and reduce bloating, contributing to a feeling of lightness and improved well-being. Improved digestion may also support a more efficient metabolism. Additionally, its distinct flavor can enhance the taste of healthy, home-cooked meals, making them more satisfying and potentially reducing the temptation to indulge in unhealthy food options. However, scientific research on asafoetida’s direct impact on weight loss is limited. Any weight management plan should be undertaken with guidance from healthcare professionals.

The above-listed 25 amazing skin, hair, and health benefits make asafoetida a miracle edible discovery. This simple cooking ingredient offers such wonderful health benefits that can make you look at least 10 years younger to your actual age. However, benefits always come with simple precautions. Several chemicals in hing have blood-thinning properties, so it may increase bleeding risks. It may also slow blood clots due to its anticoagulant properties. It has antioxidant, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, and antifungal properties as well (16).

In addition, it can exacerbate seizure symptoms, so people with epilepsy should consult a physician before taking it. Be careful while using Asafoetida if you have a history of drug addiction, alcoholism, mania and depression. Always consult a doctor in cases of extreme medical emergencies.

Infographic: Top 5 Health Benefits Of Asafoetida

Asafoetida has been used in Indian cooking for ages. This aromatic spice has many benefits and is used extensively for cooking, healthcare, and skincare. It is beneficial for the stomach, lungs, and common respiratory issues. You can incorporate this herb in your diet as well as in your skincare routine. Check out the infog below to find out the 5 top health benefits of asafoetida.

top 5 health benefits of asafoetida (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Asafoetida is a popular pungent seasoning used in Indian and Iranian cuisine. This yellow natural resin is also featured in many home remedies. It is packed with many phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that make it a great nutritive addition to your diet. Asafoetida’s benefits include aiding digestion, healing, and metabolism. It boosts overall mental and physical wellbeing. It is a natural antiviral, antiepileptic, and anti-asthmatic agent. Asafoetida is good for your hair and skin as well. It delays early signs of aging, promotes skin radiance, and evens out our skin tone. It moisturizes hair and scalp and prevents hair loss. However, excessive use may have adverse effects. Consult your physician if you experience any side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hing be taken daily?

Hing can be consumed daily. Many people also believe it to be a blood pressure regulator. People with high blood pressure levels may include hing in their daily diet to control their blood pressure levels.

What are the side effects of hing?

Hing is considered safe for many people. However, it may cause diarrhea, headache, gas, burping, and convulsions.

Does hing reduce belly fat?

Yes. A study on rats found that hing could reduce body weight and abdominal fat (15). However, further studies are required to prove its benefits in humans.

Is hing good for the liver?

Yes. The intake of hing can help improve liver health and prevent liver steatosisi  A general term for liver problems brought on by an accumulation of extra fat in the organ, generally linked to high alcohol intake. (fatty liver disease) (15).

How much asafoetida should I use?

There is no recommended dosage of asafoetida. The proportion of diluted hing powder (for cooking) often ranges between a pinch and 250 g, depending on the dishes and taste preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Asafetida may help moisturize the skin, make it glow, and reduce signs of aging.
  • It may help to nourish, condition the hair and reduce frizz.
  • It may help boost immunity, improve digestion, and promote wound healing.
  • Asafetida may help to elevate mood and fight depression.
  • However, Asafetida may increase bleeding risks as it contains several chemicals with blood-thinning properties.
asafoetida (hing) benefits

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

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  1. Ferula asafoetida: Traditional uses and pharmacological activity
  2. Effects of Oleo Gum Resin of Ferula assa-foetida L. on Senescence in Human Dermal Fibroblasts
  3. A Validated High-performance Liquid Chromatograhy Method for Estimation of Ferulic Acid in Asafoetida and Polyherbal Preparation
  4. Chemical stability and degradation mechanisms of ferulic acid (F.A) within various cosmetic formulations.
  5. Asafoetida God’s Food a Natural Medicine
  6. Ferulic Acid Activity in Topical Formulations: Technological and Scientific Prospecting
  7. Influenza A (H1N1) Antiviral and Cytotoxic Agents from Ferula assa-foetida
  8. The Inhibitory Effects of Ferula assafoetida on Muscarinic Receptors of Guinea-Pig Tracheal Smooth Muscle
  9. Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review
  10. Effect of aqueous extract of Ferula assa-foetida’s resin on wound healing of streptozotocin induced diabetic rats
  11. A Critical Review and Scientific Prospective on Contraceptive Therapeutics from Ayurveda and Allied Ancient Knowledge
  12. Post-Coital Antifertility Activity of Ferula Assafoetida Extract in Female Rats
  13. Anxiolytic effect of Ferula assafoetida L. in rodents
  14. Efficacy and Safety Assessments of Ferula assa-foetida L. Traditionally used in Greco-Arab Herbal Medicine for Enhancing Male Fertility Libido and Erectile Function
  15. Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review
  16. Biological activities and medicinal properties of Asafoetida: A review
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Silky Mahajan
Silky MahajanMSc, CSN, CDE
Silky has been practicing nutrition for more than 14 years and is an active member of the Indian Dietetics Association (IDA). She has a masters degree in nutrition and dietetics and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator.

Read full bio of Silky Mahajan
Tanya Choudhary
Tanya ChoudharyHealth & Wellness Writer
Tanya is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She specializes in writing articles on ingredients that benefit skin, hair, and health. She believes in the right health and lifestyle practices and strives to promote the same to everyone around her.

Read full bio of Tanya Choudhary
Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

Read full bio of Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Himanshi Mahajan
Himanshi MahajanHealth & Wellness Writer
Himanshi Mahajan is a Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach. She has a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from Guru Nanak Dev University and two years of experience in writing SEO-based and research-backed content across health and lifestyle genres.

Read full bio of Himanshi Mahajan