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Garlic Supplement - Health Benefits of Garlic

Botanical Name: Allium sativum

Family Name : Liliaceae

A garden vegetable, cultivated from time immemorial. It is a food, a herb, a medicinal plant, an antiseptic etc. It is very wellknown, bulbous, herbaceous plant which grows to about 40 inches (1 m) high. The bulb consists of 8-10 curved bulbets (cloves). The stem is erect and hollow.

The garlic plant has long, narrow, flat, obscurely keeled leaves. The bulb has a flaky, mostly white outer layers of skin like that of an onion. Inside are 2-20 cloves, or smaller bulbs. From these, new bulbs can be procured by planting out in late winter or early spring. Like other members of the onion family, garlic actually creates the chemicals that give it its sharp flavor when the plant's cells are damaged. When a cell of a garlic clove is broken by chopping, chewing, or crushing, enzymes stored in cell vacuoles trigger the breakdown of several sulfur -containing compounds stored in the cell fluids. The resultant compounds are responsible for the sharp or hot taste and strong smell of garlic.

Origin and Distribution

Originated in Central Asia, garlic has been cultivated in Mediterranean countries for many centuries and in Britain since the beginning of the 16th Century. It was known to Chinese much earlier (3000 Be). Even today, it is a regular item of Chinese diet and is regarded as a medicine for several ailments. It is now widely grown in India, China, Philippines, Brazil & Mexico. It is gathered in July-August.

Properties of garlic

Antibiotic, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, anthelmintic, carminative, intestinal disinfectant, anti-rheumatic, cornremover, anti-malarial, rubefacient.

Forms of Use :- Tincture, fluid and semi-fluid extract, ointment, poultice.

Food Value of garlic

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine (460-357 Be), who taught and practiced in ancient Athens, recommended the use of this vegetable in infectious diseases, especially intestinal diseases.

An analysis of 100 gm's garlic shows the presence of: Moisture 62.0%

Moisture 62.0%
Protein 6.3%
Fibre 0.8%
Carbohydrate 30%
Phosphorus 310 mg
Fat 0.1%
Calcium 30 mg
Vitamin C 15 mg
Iron 1.5 mg

Traces of iodine, sulphur, chlorine and selenium apart from small amounts of vitamin B-Complex.

Medicinal Uses & benefits

Garlic is recommended for asthma, bronchial congestion, arteriosclerosis, worms, liver and gall bladder problems. Garlic is also good for heart, digestion, skin diseases, piles and cough. Charak, ancient Indian old physician, once told that only anomaly in garlic is its bad smell

According to Dr. M.W. McDuffic of the Metropolitan Hospital, New York, "Garlic contains a volatile oil, called allyl sulphide and its medical properties depend on this oil. Strongly antiseptic, it seems to have a remarkable power of inhibiting the growth of the Koch's bacillus, eliminated by the lungs, skin, kidneys and liver, and oxidizes sulphonic acid in the system."

Garlic is a rejuvenator, easily absorbed by our skin and reaches deep in the tissues-bones, glands, lungs; removes toxins, revitalizes the blood, stimulates blood circulation and normalizes intestinal flora. Its other uses are:

  1. Garlic is prescribed for chest disease e.g. TB and pneumonia (One. gram garlic, 250 ml milk and 1000 ml water boiled till volume reduced to one-fourth, it is to be taken 3 times a day).
  2. Garlic is a good remedy for asthma (3 cloves boiled in milk to be taken every night).
  3. Garlic is regarded as a powerful intestinal antiseptic. It cures infectious diseases and inflammations of stomach and intestine. It is also useful in expelling worms, colitis, dysentery and soothes intestinal flora.
  4. Garlic lowers blood pressure (by dilating the arteries), soothes spasm of small arteries, slows the pulse rate and normalizes heart rhythm. Besides, it relieves the dizziness, shortness of breath and stomach gas (3 garlic capsules per day recommended in these cases).
  5. Garlic is used widely against rheumatism and allied diseases (3 garlic capsules are taken per day and paste of garlic is rubbed on the affected part).
  6. Garlic may prevent heart attacks. It lowers cholesterol level of blood vessels thereby preventing hardening of arteries leading to high blood pressure and heart attack.
  7. Garlic is proved to be a patent anti-carcinogenic agent. It retards tumour growth not only in experimented mice but also in human beings (regular use of garlic is advised in such cases).
  8. Garlic is also recommended for various skin diseases. It helps clear the skin spots, pimples, eczema etc. It should be taken orally also to clear the disease.
  9. Garlic is considered an effective remedy for diptheria. Chewing a clove of garlic removes membrane, reduces temperature and relieves the patient (30 to 60 gm's of garlic can be used in this way in three or four hours a week).
  10. Garlic is a potent aphrodisiac. It is a tonic for loss of sexual power and nervous exhaustion-especially for old people.
Culinary use

Garlic is most often used as a seasoning or a condiment. When crushed or finely chopped it yields allicin, a powerful antibiotic and anti-fungal compound (phytoncide). It also contains alliin, ajoene, enzymes, vitamin B, minerals, and flavonoids. Garlic is widely used in many forms of cooking for its strong flavour, which is considered to enhance many other flavours. Depending on the form of cooking and the desired result, the flavour is either mellow or intense. It is often paired with onion and tomato.

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