Wild Asafoetida is a genus of about 170 species of flowering plants in the family Apiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region east to central Asia, mostly growing in arid climates. They are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 1–4 m tall, with stout, hollow, somewhat succulent stems. The leaves are tripinnate or even more finely divided, with a stout basal sheath clasping the stem. The flowers are usually yellow, rarely white, produced in large umbels. Many plants of this genus, especially Ferula communis
, are referred to as "giant fennel," although they are not fennel in the strict sense.
Wild Asafoetida is a tall perennial herb up to 2 m tall, with large 2-3-pinnate leaves with broad oblong, finely toothed leaflets, and large compound umbels of yellow flowers. Secondary umbels are round, about 1 cm across. Leaves are up to 40 cm long, with the ultimate leaflets 10 cm long and 1-2 cm wide. Upper leaves are reduced to large sheaths often with flower-umbels in their axils. Fruiting umbels are up to 20 cm across. Fruit is 1-1.5 cm long by 1 cm broad, flattened with lateral wings. Wild Asafoetida is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Himachal Pradesh and C Asia, at altitudes of 2400-3600 m. Flowering: April-June.
Hing is bronchodilator in nature and it helps to relieve congestion and give relief in asthma and bronchitis. It is very beneficial for treating other respiratory disorders like dry cough, whooping cough and common colds.