Garlic, or Allium sativum, is among the most extensively researched and described medicinal plants. Usually, the fresh garlic bulb is dried, crushed into a powder, and compressed to produce a tablet. However, raw whole cloves of garlic provide similar effects.
The leaves are long, narrow and flat like grass. The bulb (the only part eaten) is of a compound nature, consisting of numerous bulblets, known technically as ‘cloves,’ grouped together between the membraneous scales and enclosed within a whitish skin, which holds them as in a sac. Fresh and powdered garlic are popular food seasonings. The Food and Drug Administration considers the newer garlic oil, extract, and oleoresin products to be safe. You also can find garlic products promoted as “odorless” or “deodorized.” These Products may lack medicinal value because garlic’s beneficial properties seem to be in allin, the chemical that gives garlic its distinctive odor.
Common doses of garlic
Garlic comes as:-
- tablets (garlic extract; 100,320,400, and 600 milligrams)
- tablets (allicin total potential; 2 and 5 milligrams)
- dried powder (400 to 1,200 milligrams)
- fresh bulb (2 to 5 grams)
- antiseptic oil
- fresh extract
- powdered, freeze-dried garlic powder
- garlic oil (essential oil).
Some experts recommend the following dose:-
- To lower cholesterol, 600 to 900 milligrams taken orally daily; or an average of 4 grams (fresh garlic) or 8 milligrams (garlic oil) taken orally daily.
Uses of garlic herb
- Athlete’s foot
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
- Heavy-metal poisoning
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- To ward off evil spirits
Garlic in the Kitchen
Garlic is one of the few seasonings that nearly every culture knows and uses on a regular basis. Be it raw, cooked or pickled, certain dishes would not be the same without the addition of garlic.
Side effects of garlic
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of garlic:
- irritation of the mouth, throat, and stomach
- skin rash or other allergic reactions (such as asthma, rash, or chest tightness)
Chronic garlic use or excessive garlic doses may lead to decreased production of hemoglobin (a compound in red blood cells) and a resulting change in red blood cells. This herb also can cause garlic odor and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking, especially:
- antiplatelet agents such as Persantine (garlic may increase their effects)
- blood thinners such as Coumadin (don’t use garlic while taking these drugs).
Important points to remember
- Don’t use garlic if you’re sensitive to the herb or other members of the Liliaceae family.
- Avoid garlic if you have digestive tract problems, such as peptic ulcers or reflux disease.
- Don’t take garlic if you’re pregnant because it may stimulate the uterus.
- Remember that widely available cholesterol-lowering drugs have been proven safe and are more effective than garlic in reducing cholesterol.
- If you take garlic along with a drug to stop bleeding, report bleeding gums, easy bruising, tarry stools, and tiny red or purple spots on your skin.
- Report side effects to your health care practitioner promptly.
What the research shows
Although garlic is one of the oldest and most revered herbal remedies, research is still incomplete. Scientists don’t know if garlic really helps to lower cholesterol or reduce deaths from coronary artery disease. Other potential garlic uses, such as to lower blood pressure, calm an upset stomach, or treat AIDS, haven’t been fully evaluated.
Other names for garlic : –
Other names for garlic include ail, allium, camphor of the poor, da-suan, knoblaunch, la-suan, nectar of the gods, poor-man’s-treacle, rustic treacle, and stinking rose.
Products containing garlic are sold under such names as Garlic, Garlic-Power, Garlique, Kwai, Kyolic, Odorless Garlic Tablets, One a Day Garlic, and Sapec.