This blog is about a very unpleasant smelling herb: Devil’s dragon, or Asafetida. Although Asafetida has various possibilities in use, it is best known in our regions to burn the powdered herb as a protective incense.
This blog is about a very unpleasant smelling herb: Devil’s dragon, or Asafetida. Although Asafetida has various possibilities in use, it is best known in our regions to burn the powdered herb as a protective incense. The herb is not called devil's dragon for nothing! And just as we said earlier in the Devil's Shoestring blog, Asafetida has a well-known use against negative energy, black magic, and reversal of a spell gone wrong.
The background of Asefetida
This plant is native to Afghanistan and Eastern Persia, and it grows from two to four thousand feet above sea level. It's also commonly called a wei, asafétida, ase fétide, assant, crotte du diable, devil's dung, ferula asafoetida, ferula assa foetida, ferula assa-foetida, ferula foetida, ferula pseudalliacea, ferula rubricaulis, férule, férule persique, food of the gods, fum, giant fennel, heeng, and hing.
This plant is a coarse plant which grows up to seven feet tall. It has large fleshy roots which are covered in bristly fibers. Its stem is anywhere from six to ten feet, and there are many leaves on the stem with wide, sheathing stalks.
Asafetida flowers are a pale greenish-yellow, and they have small oval, flat reddish-brown fruit. Asafetida has a milky juice, and it has a very strong rotten odor. The scent is stronger and more tenacious than an onion, and it tastes very bitter and acrid. The juices are harvested in June from plants which are about four years old. The roots of plants which have not flowered are exposed and slashed. Then they are shielded from the sun for several weeks so the gummy oleoresin can leak out and harden. This resin is later scraped off, adulterated, and placed on the market. Despite its odor, it is used throughout India and Persia as a condiment.
Some believe that asafetida was created when the god's semen came from the heavens to the earth. When the semen was planted with fertile soil, asafetida grew. Asafetida has been known since at least the twelfth century; however, it was not found in the Aral desert until 1844.
Medical use of Asefetida
Once harvested, asafetida is used for a variety of medical uses. Its fruit is often sent to India for medicinal use. It is believed that asafetida acts as a stimulant to the brain. It is also a stimulant to the mucous membranes and is of great use when treating flatulent colic. It is also a good addition to laxative medications. The volatile oil may be eliminated through the lungs, and as a result, it is believed that asafetida is great for asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, and other respiratory ailments.
Magical use of Asefetida
Asafetida is used for a variety of magical purposes. Using asafetida generally increases the power of any ritual. However, it is most commonly used as a counter magic herb. It is good for protection and purification. It destroys the manifestation of spirit when thrown into fire during a magickal right. This is done when a spell is going very wrong.
It is also burned to make someone leave you alone. Asafetida can be used in self-purification rituals against negativity. It not only banishes negativity but also evil spirits and demons. Europeans use it to help counteract illness, and in India, it is used to stimulate the brain. In hoodoo, it is used to repel evil and harms enemies. Some wear asafetida as an amulet to keep away colds, fever, and evil. Others hang it in the front porch or entry room to protect the home from demons.