Asafoetida is the concentrated juice of a large umbelliferous plant, which is found in several parts of Asia. The root is of a black colour, and resembles a parsnip; on cutting this transversely, a thick white juice exudes, which, by exposure to the air, becomes of a dark brown colour. The fresh juice has even a more powerful odour than the concrete asafoetida, which resembles that of garlic. The Persians, who export large quantities of it, are compelled to hire vessels on purpose, as its effluvia penetrates every article on board, and spoils many productions. Asafoetida is of a yellowish brown colour, of an acrid taste, and powerful smell. It consists chiefly of gum, resin, and earthy matter. In medicine it is used as a deobstruent, and sometimes as an anthelmintic, and is useful in nervous and hysterical affections.