Friday, December 5, 2008

Ferula asafoetida L

Family : Apiaceae

Synonym(s) : Ferula foetida , Ferula northex

English Name : Asafoetida (Silphium). Food of the Gods. Devil's Dung


A coarse umbelliferous plant growing up to 7 feet high, large fleshy root covered with bristly fibres; stem 6 to 10 feet, numerous stem leaves with wide sheathing petioles; flowers pale greeny yellow, fruit oval, flat thin, foliaceous, reddish brown with pronounced vittae, it has a milky juice and a strong foetid odour.

Afghanistan and Eastern Persia; distributed from Mediterranean region to Central Asia.

Parts Used : An oleogum-resin obtained by incision of root

Herb Effects

Alterative, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, cardiotonic, carminative, deobstruent, deodorant, expectorant, laxative, parasiticide, sedative, stimulant, tonic.

Active Ingredients

Its chief constituent is about 62 per cent of resin, 25 per cent of gum and 7 per cent oil. The drug also contains free ferulic acid, water and small quantities of various impurities; resin consists chiefly of asaresinotennol.

Medicinal Use

Nervine stimulant, digestive agent and a sedative,excellent for asthma, bronchitis, whooping-cough, hysteria,impotency, woman and children's ailments,gastroenteritis, for depressed circulation and intestinal function. For respiratory problems and as a circulatory stimulant, lowering blood pressure and thinning the blood.


Emulsion: Asafetida 4 parts and water 100 parts.
Tincture: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm. In pills: 3 grains of the oleogum-resin to a pill.


Not to be used for young babies.


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