Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to asafetida: garam masala, fenugreek


A gum resin, the inspissated exudate from the root of Ferula foetida (family Umbelliferae); malodorous material used as a repellent against dogs, cats, and rabbits, and formerly used as an antispasmodic; in Asia, used as a condiment and flavoring agent.
[Pers. aza, mastic, + L. fetidus, fetid]




1. Any of several plants of the genus Ferula in the parsley family, native to dry regions in Iran and Afghanistan and having long, sturdy, hollow stems and roots yielding a brownish, strong-smelling resin.
2. The resin obtained from these plants, especially from the species Ferula assa-foetida, used as an ingredient in medicine and remedies and as a seasoning in South Asian cuisine.

asafetida (a·s·feˑ·t·d),

n Latin name:
Ferrula ass-afoetida; part used: an oleogum-resin obtained from the root; uses: relieves cramps, spasms, promotes digestion, relieves and removes gas, promotes bowel evacuation, induces relaxation, induces removal of mucous secre-tions within the lungs, relieves pain, increases sexual desire, removes intestinal worms; precautions: can cause methemoglobinemia. Also called
a wei, devil's dung, ferula, food of the gods, and


gum-resin from the rhizome of the plant Ferula asafoetida. Has an atrocious smell. Used as a carminative and expectorant and to prevent bandage chewing and as a repellent to dogs and cats.
References in periodicals archive ?
During my talk, I wore an amulet of asafetida around my neck, hoping that the flu would flee.
Asafetida is said to be the "secret" ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.
We don't even know how much asafetida is in that sample which I had hanging around my neck.
We certainly know that monochemical "silver bullets" rapidly lead to viral resistance, much more rapidly than polychemical shotguns like garlic and asafetida.
When shopping for ingredients for these dishes, don't be shy about asking Sachdeva, the shop owner, for help if you can't find, say, the tamarind or asafetida.
Stir in asafetida and half of coconut and cook 30 seconds.
2) The asafetida bag replicates the Kongo concept of minkisi, a visual implement that has power to heal, protect and deflect harm.
A shared bowl of lentils, with an assertive flavour of that windy, mushroomy spice asafetida, was also well received.
1 cup whole moong 1 teaspoon vegetable oil Pinch of asafetida (optional) 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 3/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup water
When the oil is hot, add a pinch of asafetida (optional) and the cumin seeds.
1 small cauliflower (3 cups), divided into 1-inch florets 1 1/2 cups peeled and thinly sliced carrots (1/4-inch) 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced zucchini 4 teaspoons vegetable oil Pinch of asafetida (optional) 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 1 Tablespoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 3/4 teaspoon garam masala 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro