Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Garlic - Uses and Benefits

Alternative Names:
Allium vineale bulbils , Bear's Garlic,   Black Garlic,  Few-flower Garlic,  Broadleaf Garlic ,Allium canadense bulbils, Allium vineale bulbils , Daffodil Garlic, Allium oleraceum .

Herb Description

Garlic Allium sativum ) is a perennial herb deep-rooted to Central Asia, and has long been a basic in the Mediterranean area, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It belongs to family Alliaceae and genus Allium , closely related to the shallot ,onion and leek .It is best known as a cooking constituent used for its wonderful taste.The word garlic drives from Old English garleacmeaning "spear leek.".It doesn't grow in the wild,It matures best on well-drained soils rich in organic matter. Sandy loam or loam soils have the most perfect texture for garlic. Egyptians idolized garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of king Tutankhamen.
The part of the plant most often used is an underground storage shape called a head . A head of garlic is made up of a dozen or more discretecloves , each of which is a botanical bulb .It leaves are long, narrow and flat shape grass. Each garlic clove may normally be made up of just one leaf base, unlike onions , which almost always have number of layers. The above ground parts of the garlic plant are also sometimes consumed, particularly while tender & immature .It has been used throughout all of recorded history for both medicinal & culinary uses.

Uses and Benefits

Garlic is widely used as a seasoning or a condiment. When crushed or finely mashed it produces allicin , a powerful antibiotic and anti-fungal compound . It also have alliin , ajoene , enzymes , vitamin B , minerals , and flavonoids .Garlic use as a remedy for hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure ,high cholesterol . Garlic barrier works a wonderful action of keeping birds from eating fruit crops like cherries, pears, apples, figs and berries.

It has been considered of good effect in epilepsy,If an infusion of the bruised bulbs, given before and after every meal. Bruised and mixed with lard, if rubbed on the chest and between the shoulder-blades. It has been proved to ebb whooping-cough. Studies shows a treatment of Garlica consumption is efficacious on tubercular.The freshly expressed juice, diluted with same amount of water, or dilute spirit of wine, being inhaled antiseptically.
Externally it is used as an ointments and lotions, and as an antiseptic, to disperse hard swellings .To treat scrofulous sores it employed as a poultice. It is said to prevent anthrax in cattle, being widely used for the purpose. Garlic is most often used in many types of cooking for its strong flavor, which is believed to increase many other flavors. Depending on the type of cooking and the desired result, the flavor is either mellow or intense.
Garlic cloves commonly used by aficionados as a treatment for infections , digestive symptoms, and fungal infections such as thrush . Garlic is also regulate sugar levels in the blood, and so can be woekful in late-onset diabetes.

Side Effects

Raw garlic is very strong, so eating excess could cause problems, for example irritation of or even damage to the digestive tract. While culinary amounts are generally safe, during pregnancy and lactation garlic can produce digestive disorders such as heartburn , and babies may not like the taste in breast milk.
Side effects caused from garlic include stomach upset , foul breath ,bloating, body odor, and a stinging sensation on the skin from handling too much fresh or dried garlic. Cases of botulism have been produced by using garlic-in-oil preparations.
There are a few individuals who are allergic to garlic . Symptoms of garlic allergy include skin rash, temperature and headaches.
Some studies shown that garlic supplements can cause a potentially harmful side effect when taken with a kind of medication used to cure HIV/AIDS in the same time.
Garlic has blood thinning actions so people with bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia or platelet problems, should not take medicinal doses of garlic or garlic supplements .


  • Garlic clove:
2 - 4 gm , minced garlic clove per day .
  • Capsules:
300 - 450 mg . Use two times a day.
  • Infusion:
4 gm in 150 ml of water per day .
  • Fluid extract:
1:1 (g/mL) solution: 4 ml per day.
  • Tincture :
1:5 (g/mL) solution: 20 ml per day.
  • Oil:
Mash the cloves using a garlic press & stir into same amounts of fatty oil and let stand for 48 hours. When finished, filter the oil preparation.

Drug Interactions

Garlic may lower cholesterol .Using garlic with cholesterol lowering drugs may further decrease levels of cholesterol.

There have been reports of a possible interaction between warfarin & garlic that could heighten the risk of bleeding in individuals using this blood thinning medication.
Garlic may alter blood sugar levels. Individuals using oral drugs for diabetes or using insulin should be monitored closely by a health care professional while using garlic.

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