Garlic Allium sativum

Allium sativum
  • Common Names
  • Garlic , Poor Man's Treacle, Bawang, Bauang
  • Botanical Name
  • Allium sativum
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Garlic

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How to Use: Garlic

Today garlic has found new respect from the modern scientific community for use in serious illness as well. Garlic contains allicin, a most impressive broad-spectrum antimicrobial as well as over thirty other medicinal compounds. Garlic and onions have long been used to treat bronchitis, allergies and asthma by helping to open the lungs and ease breathing. The ingredients responsible include mustard oils and quercetin. Garlic belongs to the allium genus which includes onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives. This group of herbs are important in improving the digestibility of meats and other heavy foods and well as adding other healthy antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to your home cooking. 5

Garlic as a medicinal food has an impressive range of benefits. Garlic and its cousin onion contain substances that discourage platelets from sticking together and prevent blood clots, helping to naturally thin the blood. They also lower total cholesterol and triglycerides, another type of blood fat, all the while increasing HDL, "good cholesterol". 1,4 Garlic may also lower blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes. Garlic may exert its effects in part by stimulating beta-cell insulin secretion. While garlic has had some mixed results in trials set to measure its effects on lowering blood sugar, diabetics may still wish to consciously add more fresh garlic to food, or even consider supplementation with garlic powder due to its protective health benefits and absence of major side effects. 8 The major drawback to garlic continues to be the risk of stomach upset with higher doses, along with the usual risk of compounding the effects of prescription blood thinners.3

Meta studies have shown a protective relationship between consumption of high consumption of raw or cooked garlic and the relative risk of both colorectal and stomach cancer. (The same correlation was not found for users of garlic supplements.)5 Though the exact numbers are hard to determine, it is yet one more reason to get in the habit of cooking with fresh garlic, onions and including all the amazing allium genus plant foods in your daily diet. 3,7

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Garlic can and should be used liberally in food, either powdered or freshly chopped. Two cloves or more a day are considered a medicinal dose. Eating 2 to 3 fresh garlic cloves a day has many health benefits including diabetes, arthritis and heart health. To make it more palatable, mash the garlic cloves with a spoonful of honey A simple garlic based broth may be more effective than chicken soup! Garlic and it's close relatives (chives, leeks and onions) can be applied directly to burns in a poultice. Or cut an onion in half and squeeze the juice on the burn. Garlic infused oils can be used topically or in cooking. Crushed garlic is a good addition to any homemade insecticide spray. Garlic cloves, placed in the ground around plants will deter slugs. Garlic is a natural pesticide against mosquito larvae.

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Garlic Remedies

In the Kitchen: To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.To preserve the antimicrobial activity of garlic mix into cooked foods at the last minute.

Ayurvedic Medicine ayurvedic medicinea Ransoon , meaning lacking one taste ( sour), works on all tissues. Garlic is a very popular herb in Indian medicine for many disorders and as a general tonic.

Garlic Side Effects: Can cause a skin rash in sensitive people. Over consumption can cause heartburn and gas. Moderation is the key here.

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Plant Description

Garlic is a member of the Allium genus, a branch of the lily family that also includes hundreds of varies of onions, leeks, chives, and shallots. The differences between garlic and onions is in the bulbs and leaves. While garlic produces heads that a divided into sections, (cloves), onions produce a single multilayer globe. Garlic leaves are flat and almost grass-like, while onions tend to be hollow and erect. Shallots fall somewhere in between.

Regional Traditions :Ayurvedic * Middle East *

How to Grow Garlic

Garlic is a easy and fun plant to grow. It requires lots of sun and good, organic rich compost to thrive. Plant garlic cloves with the pointy side up and set them about 1 inch deep with 3 to 4 inches of room between plants. Garlic is planted in the fall in southern climates for a spring harvest, in the North, plant cloves in early spring for a fall harvest. There are many regional varieties to suit your climate and taste.

Related Species Leeks, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.) This onion like plant has a tender core that may be eaten in soups and salads.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Adele Dawson. "Herbs: Partners in Life" Healing Arts Press, (2000) Garlic helps to lower hypertension and equalizes blood circulation
  2. Maud Grieve. "A Modern Herbal" Harcourt, (1931) Garlic formed the principal ingredient in the 'Four Thieves Vinegar,' which originated, it is said, with four thieves who confessed, that whilst protected by the liberal use of aromatic vinegar during the plague, they plundered the dead bodies of its victims with complete security.
  3. Steven Foster and Yue chongxi. "Herbal Emissaries" Healing Arts Press, (1992) The relationship of garlic to cardiovascular disease includes the blood pressure-lowering effect of garlic in hypertension, effect on blood thinning and lowering of serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
  4. Linda B. White, M.D.. "The Herbal Drugstore" Rodale, (2003) Garlic and its cousin onion contain substances that discourage platelets from sticking together and prevent blood clots. They also lower total cholesterol and triglycerides, another type of blood fat, all the while increasing HDL, "good cholesterol".
  5. Linda B. White, M.D.. "The Herbal Drugstore" Rodale, (2003) Garlic and onions, these allium family members have long been used to treat bronchitis, allergies and asthma. The ingredients responsible include mustard oils and quercetin.
  6. Linda B. White, M.D.. "The Herbal Drugstore" Rodale, (2003) Safe and effective taken over time, garlic's power to kill roundworm, pinworm, tapeworm, and hookworm has been confirmed by scientific studies.
  7. . HC# 110402-188: Raw and Cooked Garlic Lowers Colon and Stomach Cancer Risk - Meta-analysis , American Botanical Council, ( January 22, 2001): Garlic tends to be positively correlated with high vegetable consumption as it is rarely eaten as a single food, but in combination with other vegetables. They further note that the results of this meta-analysis cannot be extrapolated to cancers other than colorectal and stomach, though there were encouraging trends for prostate, ,
  8. Karel R . Ten herbs for glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. , HerbalGram: American Botanical Council , ( 2009;8(2): 53-63. ): A number of animal trials have found that garlic (Allium sativum) administration resulted in dramatic decreases in blood glucose levels, while other trials indicated no antiglycemic activity; similar conflicting results have been reported in clinical trials, says the author. Those conflicting results may involve differences in dosage, type of garlic preparation, and experimental design. One cited human study resulted in significant reductions in serum glucose and triglycerides, with the diabetic cohort receiving 300 mg per day of a time-release garlic powder.,