Asafoetida-asa, mastic, a gum; foetida, stinging.)
We dissolve the fetid, inspissated sap from Persia, that comes in masses or “tears,” in alcohol to make our tincture.
In Persia, Asafoetida is used as a condiment for flavoring sauces and food. “A little-very little-rubbed on the gridiron, improves the flavor of beefsteak. If it were not for its intolerable odor” says Bartholow, who in describing its effects, furnishes us with several good indications for its use homoeopathically, “and for the horrible eructations, even disguised in a sugar-coated pill, it would be much more employed as a stomachic tonic in atomic dyspepsia accompanied by torpor of the intestines.
“It is especially in the flatulence of hysteria and hypochondriasis that this remedy is serviceable. It expels the flatus, promotes intestinal secretion and digestion, and relaxes the bowels. In this way the mind is relieved, but the action of Asafoetida extends beyond this improvement in the state of the chylopoetic viscera-it induces a conditions of mental cheerfulness which takes the place of the abnormal mobility of hysteria, and of the gloom of hypochondriasis.”
Asafoetida was introduced into our materia medica by Franz, in 1822, Hahnemann contributing to the proving.
Our principal use for the remedy is in hysteria and allied states characterized by extreme sensitiveness to external impressions (166), especially excitement and noise, with great distention of the abdomen (13) and usually with belching of he wind, all passing upward and none downward.
It is useful in hysterical spasms due to suppression of habitual discharges, such as the sudden checking of a chronic expectoration or of a chronic diarrhoea.
It is very valuable in globus hystericus (119) that is brought only excitement, with a sensation of a ball or large body rising from the stomach up into the esophagus or pharynx, and better from swallowing; associated without his we find great abdominal distention, and pressure on (29) and spasmodic tightness of h chest as if the lungs couldn’t be fully expanded In hysteria with the distention of the abdomen and eructations(13) tasting of garlic, we may have a very offensive diarrhoea, and regurgitation of food and liquid through the moth, tasting like faeces, perhaps, and though the peristaltic action of the bowels were reversed.
It is one of the remedies to be thought of in hystero- epilepsy (120).
It is useful in supraorbital neuralgia, with severe boring (76), throbbing pains across the brows; there is aggravation at night, and relief from pressure and rest; also in syphilitic iritis (74)with the nocturnal pains in and around the eye.
Asafoetida is a remedy to be thought of for troubles arising from the abuse of mercury (139) and for destructive syphilitic processes, with deep ulcerations, or for caries of the bones, especially the tibia. In these cases the characteristic indications are, the terrible throbbing pains at night and the extreme sensitiveness of the affected part to touch (166).