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Oleo-gum-resin of Ferula asafoetida: A traditional culinary spice with versatile pharmacological activities

Author Affiliations

  • 1Dept of Amraze Niswan wa Qabalat (OBG), National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA
  • 2Dept. of Ilmus Saidla (Pharmacy), National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA
  • 3Dept. of Ilmul Advia (Pharmacology), Al-Farooq Unani Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 4, Issue (IVC-2015), Pages 16-22, (2015)


Ferula asafoetida (family: Umbelliferae) is a monoecious, herbaceous, perennial plant. Oleo-gum-resin of Ferula asafoetida is exudates obtained from the rhizome of this plant. Asafoetida is inhabitant to central Asia, eastern Iran to Afghanistan. However, asafoetida is not inhabitant of India. It is grown chiefly in Afghanistan and Iran, and from these areas it is exported to the entire world. Asafoetida is in use from ancient times in Indian medicine and cookery as a spice. It is also used in folk phytomedicine since antiquity in traditional medicine for the treatment of several neurological (epilepsy, paralysis, hysterias and depression), gastrointestinal (intestinal parasites, flatulence, weak digestion, stomach ache), respiratory (influenza, asthma), and reproductive disorders (premature labour, unusually painful, difficult and excessive menstruation, leucorrhoea, and infertility). Traditionally, it has carminative, antispasmodic, digestive, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue, sedative and diuretic properties. Recently, antispasmodic and hypotensive, antinociceptive, antioxidant, anxiolytic, aphrodisiac, antiviral, antidiabetic, gastric anti-ulcer, antiseptic, nephroprotective, neuroprotective and anticancer properties are proven pharmacologically and biologically in animal models and humans. This article is an attempt to explore and assemble the various pharmacological actions of the oleo-gum-resin of Ferula asafoetida reported till date.


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