Asafoetida, the gum resin prized as a condiment in India and Iran, is obtained chiefly from plant Ferula asafetida. The Latin name ferula means "carrier" or "vehicle". Asa is a latinized form of Farsi asa "resin ", and Latin foetidus means "smelling, fetid". A related species (F.vulgaris), native to the Mediterranean, is mentioned in the Greek mythology as the plant that helped Prometheus to carry the stolen fire from the Sun to the Earth.
Ninety per cent of the Asafoetida used in India is from Afghanistan and is called the kabuli hing. the Iranian variety is of better quality and comes in three types — sheer, xl and hingda.