Rare! Fresh Bitter Asafoetida tears. Ferula foetida-Asafoetida resin. Afghanistan.
There are 2 types of Asafoetida used in Asia and the Mediterranean, Sweet Asafoetida, used as a spice and condiment for food, and Bitter Asafoetida used for medicine. After purchasing the Sweet Asafoetida, I was so impressed with the quality I decided to try the Bitter Asafoetida. I was not at all disappointed!!
What a unique aroma!! Unmistakeably the aroma of Asafoetida, but with a sweet fragrant twist.
The odd thing is, from an aromatic point of view, Bitter Asafoetida is actually much sweeter than the Sweet Asafoetida! Bitter Asafoetida lacks the sharp pungency of the Sweet variety and has some lovely, candy-like sweet notes
Bitter Asafoetida is from the Ferula Foetida plant and the Sweet Asafoetida from the Ferula Asafoetida plant. Both similar, yet different.
Like sweet Asafoetida, a little goes a long way.
Asafoetida, (Sweet), is often compared in aroma to a blend of sulphur and onions, However, Bitter Asafoetida has a more complex, sweet and rich fragrance profile.
Both an oil infusion and an alcoholic tincture can easily be prepared with this resin, making it an unusual ingredient in perfumes and incense, for medicine and magic.
Like most other resins from the Ferula family, you will find seeds, stems and bits of bark mixed in with the resin. They do not hinder processing and can easily be removed if desired.
Because this resin is fresh, fairly soft and slightly sticky, it would benefit from freezing before attempting to grind it.
“Ferula asafoetida is a herbaceous plant of the Umbelliferae family. It is oleo gum resin obtained from the rhizome and root of the plant. This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles. It is used in modern herbalism in the treatment of hysteria, some nervous conditions, bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough. It was at one time employed in the treatment of infantile pneumonia and flatulent colic. The gum resin is antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative, and sedative. The volatile oil in the gum is eliminated through the lungs, making this an excellent treatment for asthma. The odour of asafoetida is imparted to the breath, secretions, flatus, and gastric eructations. Its properties are antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant, emmenagogue and vermifuge. Asafoetida has also been used as a sedative. It also thins the blood and lowers blood pressure. It is widely used in India in food and as a medicine in Indian systems of medicine like Ayurveda. Asafoetida has been held in great esteem among indigenous medicines, particularly in the Unani system from the earliest times.”
The preceding paragraph is an excerpt from an excellent article about Asafoetida on NCBI. Rather than repeat or rehash what is already presented so well, I suggest you read the full article here-www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459456/ (You may have to copy and paste the link in your browser.
In Folk Magic traditions, Asafoetida is considered a powerful protective and banishing herb often used in magical incense blends and protective amulets. It is hot in nature and I believe ruled by Mars/Pluto/Scorpio from an Astrological point of view.
It is considered an aphrodisiac in some cultures and used to boost the libido.