ASAFUiTIDA, a gum-resin obtained principally from 11'arthex asafoetida, and probably also from one or two other closely allied species of mnbelliferous plants. It. is produced in the southern provinces of Persia, in Bokhara, and in Beloochistan, and the plant grows as far south as the Chenab Valley in the Panjab. Narthex asafoetida grows to a height of from 5 to 6 feet, and when the plant has attained the age of 4 years, it is ready for yielding asafoetida. The stems are cut down close to the root, and the juice flows out, at first of a milky appearance, but quickly setting into a solid resinous mass. Fresh incisions are made as long as the sap continues to flow, a period which varies according to the size and strength of the plant. A-freshly-exposed surface of asafoetida has a translucent, pearly-white appearance, but it soon darkens in the air, and assumes a yellowish-brown colour. In taste it is acrid and bitter ; but what peculiarly characterises it is the strong alliaceous odour it emits, from which it has obtained the name asafoetida, as well as its German name Teufelsdreck (devil's dung). According to. the analysis of Pelletier, asafoetida contains of resin, 65.0; soluble gum, 19.4; bassorin, 11.2 ; volatile oil, 3.6; and =late of calcium, 0.3 per hundred parts. The oil, to which its peculiar odour is entirely due, can be distilled off with water, and contains from 20 to 25 per cent, of sulphur. Asafoetida is found in commerce in "lump" or in "tear," and it is always very much adulterated. It is chiefly carried from the various ports on the Persian Gulf to Bombay, and so powerful is the smell of the new resin that special vessels have to be employed in the trade. The whole plant is strongly impregnated with the odour of asafoetida ; in the regions of its growth it is used as a fresh vegetable, the inner portion of the full-grown stein being regarded as a luxury. The gum-resin itself is very highly relished as a condiment in India and Persia, and it is in demand in France for use in cookery. In Great Britain it is only employed in medicine, being of high value in spasmodic and convulsive diseases, such as hysteria, infantile convulsions, &c., but its offensive odour is a great bar to its use.