Hing (ferula asafetida) you cook in your kitchen is an import from Kabul. Vegetarians who don’t use garlic and onion use hing. It has a strong pungent odour. A pinch of the spice brings the savoury flavour in vegetarian dishes. Depending on the quality it costs Rs 300 to Rs 1,000. Indians believe it prevents kidney stones and bronchitis. People in Afghanistan use it to cure whooping cough and ulcers. Hing is considered as a diuretic in Egypt. It also helps in digestion by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes. Specifically, it increases the release of bile from the liver, which is needed for the digestion of fat. India imports hing from Afghanistan and Iran. Hing is a species of the herb found in the deserts of Iran and mountains of Afghanistan. Hing is a resin-gum which is extracted from dried sap of the stem and roots of the Ferula plant and then crushed in a traditional method, between heavy stones or by a hammer, this requires a lot of manpower.