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J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 8;134(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.11.067. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida oleo-gum-resin)-a review.

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Biotechnology Research Center and School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


The old traditional phytomedicine asafoetida, an oleo-gum-resin obtained from the roots of different Ferula assa-foetida, is used in different countries for various purposes. Asafoetida is not only used as a culinary spice but also traditionally used to treat various diseases, including asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, intestinal parasites, etc. This oleo-gum-resin has been known to possess antifungal, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and antiviral activities. A wide range of chemical compounds including sugars, sesquiterpene coumarins and polysulfides have been isolated from this plant. Recent studies have shown new promising antiviral sesquiterpene coumarins from this old phytomedicine. The present review summarizes the information concerning the traditional uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of asafoetida.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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