Herbs & Plants

Ferula narthex

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Botanical Name: Ferula narthex
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ferula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : Ferula jaeschkeana. Vatke

Comon Name: Ferula
Sanskrit Name: Jatucom or Sahasrabathi or Hingu
Vernacular Names:
English – Asafotida

Hindi – Hingu

Kannada – Ingu

MalayalamKayam , Perukayam

Gujurati – Bagharani

Tamil – Perukayam

Telugu – Inguva

Punjabi – Hing

Marathi – Hing

Persian – Angoj

Arabic – Hillatil

Burma Shinka Sindh Vagharni

French – Ferula Asafoetida

Germany – Stinkendes

Bengali – Hingu
Habitat: Ferula narthex is native to W. Asia – Afghanistan to Pakistan. It grows on grassy slopes at elevations around 3600 metres in Tibet.
Ferula narthex is a perennial herb growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in) with robust carrot-shaped roots. Leaves of two kinds; lower simple, 30-60 cm long, ovate; upper much divided into numerous segments. Young leaves densely hairy. Flowers small, yellow, in large terminal clusters. Fruit 8 mm long, about half as broad or broader.


It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Succeeds in most soils. Requires a deep fertile soil in a sunny position. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The whole plant is very strong-smelling. Plants have a long taproot and are intolerant of root disturbance. They should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible.

Seed – best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn. Otherwise sow in April in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.

Edible Uses: ….Leaves and young shoots are eaten. Used as a pot-herb. The gum obtained from the roots is used as a condiment.
Medicinal Uses:
The gum resin obtained from the root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, expectorant and nervine. It is used in the treatment of asthma, whooping cough, flatulent colic, and in pneumonia and bronchitis in children. It is applied externally on stomach to stimulate the intestines, even its enema is recommended in intestinal flatulence.The leaves are carminative and diaphoretic. The plant has recently been investigated as a potential contraceptive.

Other Uses: …..The root is a source of the gum ‘asafoetida’, it is used as a condiment and as a medicine. It is obtained by incision of the roots.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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