Garlic is an erect biennial herb with irregular roots, condensed, flattened stem and narrow, flat leaves. The bulb consists of 6 to 35 bulblets called cloves, enclosed in a thick whitish, glistening and transparent covering.
Garlic contains moisture 62.0 percent, protein 6.3 percent, fat 0.1 percent, minerals 1.0 percent, fiber 0.8 percent and carbohydrates 29.8 percent per 100 grams of edible portion. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, iron, phosphorous, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. It also contains traces of sulphur, iodine and chlorine.
The bulbs yield an essential oil containing allyl propyl disulphide, diallyl disulphide and two other sulphur compounds. They also contain antiseptic and hypotensive, or causing low blood pressure principles - allisatin I and allisatin II.
Botanical Name: Allium Sativumm
Indian Name: Lahsoon
Below are some of the medicinal properties of garlic:
- Three cloves of garlic boiled in milk, can be used every night with excellent results in asthma. A pod of garlic is peeled, crushed and boiled in 120 ml pure malt-vinegar. It is strained after cooling and an equal quantity of honey is mixed and preserved in a clean bottle. One or two teaspoons of this syrup can be taken with fenugreek decoction in the evening and before retiring. This has been found effective in reducing the severity of asthmatic attacks.
- Garlic juice has beneficial effect on the entire system. The ethers in garlic juice are so potent and penetrating that they help dissolve accumulation of mucus in the sinus cavities, bronchial tubes and the lungs. They help in the expulsion of poisons from body through pores of the skin.
- Garlic is highly beneficial in whooping cough. Syrup of garlic should be taken in doses of five drops to a teaspoon, two or three times a day in treating this condition. It should be given more often if the coughing spells are frequent and violent.
- It is an effective remedy for lowering blood pressure. Pressure and tension are reduced because it has the power to ease the spasm of the small arteries. It also slows the pulse and modifies the heart rhythm, besides relieving symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath and formation of gas within the digestive tract. The average dosage should be 2 to 3 capsules a day to reduce the blood pressure.
- The anti-inflammatory property of garlic accounts for its effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.
- Garlic is beneficial in certain diseases of the chest. it reduces foetidity or stinking of the breath in pulmonary gangrene. garlic is useful in the treatment of tuberculosis. in ayurveda, a decoction of garlic boiled in milk is considered a wonderful drug for tuberculosis. one gram of garlic, 250 ml of milk and a liter of water are boiled together till its reduces to one fourth of the decoction. it should be taken thrice a day. taken in sufficient quantities, it is a marvelous remedy for pneumonia.
- It may prevent heart attack. It helps to break cholesterol in the blood vessels, thereby preventing any hardening of arteries which leads to high blood pressure and heart attack. If a patient takes garlic after a heart attack, the cholesterol level comes down. Though the earlier damage may not be repaired, the chances of new attacks are reduced.
- Garlic is an excellent worm expeller. It has the ability to destroy harmful bacteria in the intestines without affecting the beneficial organisms which aid digestion.
- Garlic is a useful remedy for the digestive system. It is good for the lymph, and aids elimination of noxious waste matter in the body. It stimulates peristaltis, or movement of the intestine – and the secretion of digestive juices. Crushed cloves of garlic may be infused in water or milk and taken for all disorders of digestion. It has an antiseptic effect and is an excellent remedy for infectious diseases and inflammations of the stomach and intestine. Garlic oil is absorbed into the alimentary tract and is eliminated partly through the urine.
- It is also useful in treating various forms of diarrhea. Problems such as colitis dysentery and many other intestinal disorders can be successfully treated with fresh garlic or garlic capsules. One garlic capsule taken thrice a day is usually sufficient to correct mild cases of diarrhea of dysentery. For more persistent cases, up to 6 capsules a day can be taken.
- Its preparations, including extracts and juices, have been used successfully against cancer in both animal and human studies.
- Garlic is regarded as a rejuvenator. It has been found to help remove toxins, revitalize the blood, stimulate circulation and promote intestinal flora, or colony of bacteria that prevent infection by harmful bacteria.
- Garlic in useful in a variety of skin disorders. Pimples disappear without a scar when rubbed with raw garlic several times a day. Even very persistent forms of acne, in some adults, have been healed with garlic. The external use of garlic helps to clear the skin of spots pimples and boils. The process is further helped by also taking the garlic internally to purify the blood. A regular course of three garlic capsules per day should help to clear minor skin infections quickly.
- It has been used as an antiseptic in wounds and ulcerations with beneficial results. Garlic juice with three parts of distilled water is employed as a lotion for cleansing infected wounds. Definite improvement is noticed within 24 hours and substantial improvement within 48 hours. Application of dressing containing 15 percent garlic juice once a day over an ulcer removes pus in a few days. It also relieves pain within a short time.
- It is a valuable remedy for diphtheria. Chewing a clove of garlic cure the infected mucous membranes reduces temperature and provides relief. About 30 to 60 grams of garlic can be used in this way in three or four hours for the membranes to disappear in a week. However, it is advisable to hospitalize and isolate the patient as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed.
- Garlic is a well known aphrodisiac. It is a tonic for the loss of sexual power from any cause. It also treats sexual debility and impotency caused by overindulgence in sex and nervous exhaustion from dissipating habit. It is said to be especially useful to old men with nervous tension and falling libido.
- Garlic, rubbed over ringworm, gives quick relief. The area is burnt by the strong garlic and later the skin peels off and the ringworm is cured.