Herb Reference Guide

Garlic

History

The medicinal effects of Garlic have been well known for literally thousands of years. The Codex Ebers or Ebers Papyrus dating back to 1,500 BC is one of the earliest recorded medical texts detailing the uses of plants by the Egyptians. They listed Garlic for skin diseases, poisoning, heart problems and tumors. Well preserved cloves of Garlic were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. Medieval Europeans used "the stinking rose" to ward off Evil as well as the plague. It was used during World War I in the trenches in a similar fashion to help soldiers resist respiratory infection and infection from wounds. The historical uses could fill many volumes. Garlic remains one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in the world and is one of the most well researched plants on the planet.

Function

There are a number of different Garlic preparations available, and different preparations will yield different chemical properties. Dried Powdered Garlic, if prepared properly contains S-allylcysteine sulphoxide (alliin) and the enzyme alliinase. A majority of the published clinical studies used garlic powder preparations. Aged Garlic extracts or “odorless” Garlic are produced through fermentation and contain sulphur compounds. Steam Distillation of Garlic yields Garlic Oil which is rich in diallyl sulphides. In addition to these preparations, fresh Garlic should also be considered as it is the most chemically complex form of this medicinal herb. Dr. James Dukes Ethno botanical database lists over 170 non ubiquitous chemicals in garlic bulb. many studies have been conducted on Garlic’s potential to support heart health and normalize blood lipids. It also appears to be beneficial for supporting immune health.

Uses of Garlic

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Garlic contains at least 33 sulfur compounds like aliin, allicin, ajoene, allylpropl, diallyl, trisulfide, sallylcysteine, vinyldithiines, S-allylmercaptocystein, and others. Besides sulfur compounds garlic contains 17 amino acids and their glycosides, arginine and others. Minerals such as selenium and enzymes like allinase, peroxidases, myrosinase, and others are also present.

Parts Used

  • Bulb

Important precautions

Additional Resources