What’s that smell???

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In the last three weeks or so, I have learned about a number of natural remedies that can reduce gas. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as I have been cooking my own beans…kidney, white, garbanzo, black turtle, beans of every kind are often on our dinner plate.


And as a result of my latest culinary adventure, it has become abundantly obvious or should I say odious to our family that we needed to either buy stock in Beano or find another alternative and I’ll just leave it at that…


So in an effort to educate you, here they are some
of those remedies. When cooking beans:

1. Put a piece of Kombu seaweed in with the water. Remove after beans are cooked and hopefully you will be toot-less.

2. Two teaspoons of epazote herb also known as Mexican tea can increase “digestability.”

3. Asofetida is a spice often used in Indian cooking and has anti-flatulent properties…

And it is the last herbal remedy that has given me a lot to think about.

I first learned about asofetida when the Hubs and I enjoyed a dinner at an Indian couple’s home. My friend Sangini told us it was often used to reduce gas and within days I was at the local Indian store purchasing my first and last jar of this “spice.” When I asked the store clerk to tell me a little more about asofetida, he said in a thick Indian accent replete with hand gestures, “VERY STRONG! USE A LITTLE!”

As soon as I got into the car, I had the worst taste in my mouth. I hadn’t eaten lunch, hadn’t vomited (I don’t normally vomit while driving, fyi) and drove in my car baffled as to why I was overcome with a profound sense of nausea.

I ran some errands and upon returning home, I told the Hubs about my recent purchase. I was eager to try my asofetida and completely intent on heeding the nice man’s words.

But that horrid taste wouldn’t leave me alone. I twisted the top of the asofetida, put my nose up to the jar and nearly died. There aren’t enough words but I’ll try…

What does asofetida smell like? Hmmm, and I’m being very nice here, how about smelly, hairy armpits that have been soaking in rotting onions for about a year?

Why I didn’t throw out the fetid asofetida remains a mystery but instead I put it in a spice cabinet. The next day, I opened that spice cabinet, looking for something and you’ll never guess what happened…Yes, I found myself AGAIN nearly bowled over by that most utterly disgusting smell which I have since learned is also called Devil’s Dung!


Fast forward to Tuesday which is our trash day and I couldn’t take it anymore because I noticed that the entire spice cabinet was reeking. I asked the Hubs to put the asofetida in the trash for fear that soon the smell would overtake the kitchen. He’s a good hubs so he complied. Mind you, the asofetida had only been opened one time for maybe a second a few days prior. Never after that.

Tuesday morning I had to throw some other stuff out in the trash and I opened the lid. The waft of a week’s worth of trash was secondary to the hauntingly dreadful taste and flavor of asofetida! I have since learned that in the days of the American Wild West, asofetida and its sulfurous smell was once thought to be a cure for alcoholism when mixed with other spices. No surprise here!

As I have looked upon our last week, I have thought about sin. Sin is like asofetida. You don’t need a lot of it to invade aspects of your life. It stinks and smells and can be hard to chase away. It lingers and has an aftertaste. Depending on the nature of the sin, it can be overwhelming and sickening.

I have experienced spiritual asofetida and been guilty of opening a giant jar of it, if you know what I mean. The only cure for sin is Jesus. I tried many other remedies, all which fell short of the cleansing power of Christ. That doesn’t mean I don’t goof up and make mistakes but I have had victory in many areas and struggles in my life and the only reason for that is because Jesus is my hope and salvation.

Check these verses found in the Bible…

Psalm 103: 9-13 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake,

and remembers your sins no more.


Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

We never had the chance to use asofetida to cure gas but I maintain it was still a wise purchase. It only cost $1.50 but God used that spice to reach every one of my five senses and remind me of all the stinky stuff He has cast away into the sea of forgiveness never to be spoken of again.

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2 thoughts on “What’s that smell???

  1. I love your post and your sin analogy. Oh, how I can relate! As an aside…I get rid of the gas-causing problem in beans this way. The night before I use them, I cover them with water in a pot and bring them to a boil. Once the water boils, I turn off the heat, stir in two teaspoons of baking soda, and let them stand 12 hours. Voila – stink free!

  2. Reading some of your different posts and I thought I would mention that gas is significantly reduced when you use dried beans instead of canned. Dr. James Duke of the Green Pharmacy says that there’s not much difference nutritionally between canned and dried beans (not enough to really make it worth the time to use dried over canned) but that the noticeable difference comes in less gas by soaking the beans overnight, rinsing them, and making sure not to cook them in the water you soaked them in.

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