Hing or asafoetida is a common herb used in Indian recipes. It is known for its specific taste and flavour and is mostly used in vegetarian recipes. Along with taste and flavour it has many health benefits also. Read on to know if eating asafoetida or hing is safe during pregnancy.
Asafoetida is known to be a very important herb and is very popular in Indian recipes as it adds a special taste to your regular vegetarian recipes. It is used for flavouring spicy curries, chutneys, stir-fries, sauces, and pickles. It is usually referred as “Hing” in India.
There are numerous health benefits of this herb, but you must watch out for it during pregnancy
. Pregnancy is such a moment where even the best foods can turn out to be worst for you when you are expecting a baby, so let us go through the advantages and risks of eating asafoetida.
Asafoetida - the Medicinal Herb
Asafoetida is famous for its medicinal effects. Many people intake asafoetida to deal with breathing problems. If you have menstrual problems and you have waited enough for your menstruation, you can add asafoetida in your diet to get instant relief. It helps in restarting your menstruation that has stopped for some unknown reason. Asafoetida is also useful in treating sexually transmitted diseases
and a number of genital infections. Many people use asafoetida as a nerve stimulant to fight depression.
Other Uses of Asafoetida
In addition to culinary taste and medicinal properties, asafoetida is widely used as a key ingredient in a number of mosquito repellents and other insect repellents. Its pungent odour is also effective in repelling cats, dogs, and wildlife. Asafoetida essential oil is used in aromatherapy also due to its previously discussed medicinal properties.
Ongoing Studies for Benefits of Asafoetida
Studies are going on as asafoetida is also found beneficial for patients with asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis, hoarse throat, croup, H1N1 swine flu, etc. Asafoetida is also known to treat upset stomach, irritable colon, intestinal gas, or irritable bowel syndrome. Even few studies show that asafoetida is helpful for nerve disorders and convulsions. It can also treat corns and calluses if applied directly to the skin.
Is It Good to Eat Asafoetida During Pregnancy?
In India food preparations, asafoetida is added in a very little quantity (just a pinch) so it may not cause any harm as such during pregnancy. However, overdose of asafoetida has proved unsafe for pregnant women
. Eating raw asafoetida can also cause nausea and vomiting because of its strong flavour.
If you eat too much of asafoetida, there is a chance of swollen lips, burping, gas forming, throat infection, and diarrhoea. For pregnant mothers having blood pressure problem, asafoetida is restricted due to its interference with blood pressure control.
Harmful Effects of Eating Asafoetida during Pregnancy
For pregnant mothers having blood pressure problem, asafoetida is restricted due to its interference with blood pressure control. Worst of all, asafoetida has abortifacient property, which means it can lead to miscarriage
. So if you are expecting a newborn, you should not eat asafoetida in large quantities.
Asafoetida is also known to be harmful for children. So you should avoid eating asafoetida while you are breast-feeding as there is a sure chance for the chemicals in asafoetida to pass into breast milk and causing certain disorders in the newborn.
If you like adding asafoetida in your recipes, this is the time you need to control your taste buds and change them for the better. Adding a little asafoetida to your diet may not be harmful but you must confirm with your doctor before using it in your food preparations.
As asafoetida consumed in large proportions is proved to be harmful, there is no question of taking it during your pregnancy. Once your child crosses the breastfeeding period, you can start adding asafoetida in your diet
, though you should be careful of making your child eat it due to its unpleasant effects on children.What are the health benefits of asafoetida? Is it safe to eat hing or asafoetida during pregnancy? What are the harmful effects of eating asafoetida during pregnancy? Discuss here.