When you’re dealing with irritable bowel syndrome, sometimes you don’t know what’s up or down.
One minute, you’re straining to “go”… and the next, you’re running for the nearest toilet, feeling like you’re ready to explode.
When you do have a “movement,” it can hurt like the dickens.
On top of that, a buildup of gas has got you bloated and crampy…
And if belching doesn’t relieve it… it’s coming out of the OTHER end.
It’s just one OFFENSIVE symptom after another!
Fortunately, there’s a gas-reducing, bowel-soothing spice that can get your gastric juices flowing in all the right ways…
And keep your lower gastrointestinal system from working overtime.
Hold your nose
The use of asafoetida dates back at least to ancient Rome and Greece, when Alexander the Great notoriously brought it from Persia to Europe.
Its name translates to mean “stinky resin,” as this dried sap smells like sulfur.
That is… until you cook it!
Extracted from the stem and carrot-shaped roots of the giant fennel plant (Ferula asafoetida), this hard, resinous gum is so difficult to grate… you’ve got to CRUSH it with a hammer.
In traditions ranging from the Jamaican medicine men to the Pennsylvania Dutch, it’s been used as a talisman to repel bad spirits… and illnesses.
In Hindu culture, it’s considered a “food of the gods”… often combined with lentils or beans in Indian vegetarian dishes.
That may sound about as exotic as it gets…
But you’ve probably encountered this flavoring before.
Rumor has it that it’s a “secret ingredient” in that bottle of Worcestershire sauce you’ve got in the pantry!
Don’t start firing up the grill for a steak dinner or whipping out the Bloody Mary mix, though…
Because you need to get asafoetida in EXACTLY the right form in order for it to relieve your IBS symptoms.
On its own, asafoetida can help REGULATE your bowels… RELIEVE cramping and discomfort… and EXPEL “wind,” as they delicately refer to flatulence in Ayurveda.
This may be due to the fact it’s been shown to ENHANCE the activity of such pancreatic enzymes as lipase (which helps you digest fat) and amylase (which helps you convert carbs into usable energy).
In addition to the sulfides that give it that sulfuric odor, asafoetida also contains antimicrobial compounds that keep your gut bugs in check.
The thing about IBS is, your doc can’t figure out what’s causing your symptoms. His tests won’t show ANY structural damage OR infection.
So, he’ll just recommend you take something to cover them up.
Asafoetida appears to get to the root of the problem when NOTHING offered by the mainstream can.
The FDA has granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to asafoetida as a food additive…
And you can find it in Indian or Middle Eastern specialty stores or online as a powdered resin mixed with flour, gum arabic, and sometimes turmeric.
You might find it under the unappetizing name of “devil’s dung” or “hing.”
Cooking with it can complement one type of diet that’s known to relieve GI issues — a.k.a. FODMAPs, which eliminates fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.
You can use asafoetida to replace the flavors of garlic and onion without using the vegetables themselves.
It’s best used sparingly.
Medicinal asafoetida is available as a supplement in capsule form, which takes the “stink” out of the equation.
As with anything that contains sulfur compounds, go easy on the dosage.