Allium sativum


Allium sativum


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. Well preserved cloves of Garlic were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen. The historical uses could fill many volumes. Garlic remains one of the most widely used herbs in the world and is one of the most well researched plants on the planet.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Garlic

Heart Support, Immune Support

What is Garlic Used for?

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 normal blood lipids. It also appears to be beneficial for supporting immune health.

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Active Constituents of Garlic

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


Additional Resources

1.) Ali M, Thomson M, Afzal M. Garlic and onions: their effect on eicosanoid metabolism and its clinical relevance. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2000;62:55-73. 2.) Zhang XH, Lowe D, Giles P, et al. Gender may affect the action of garlic oil on plasma cholesterol and glucose levels of normal subjects. J Nutr 2001;131:1471-8. 3.) Avci, A., Atli, T., Erguder, I. B., Varli, M., Devrim, E., Aras, S., and Durak, I. Effects of garlic consumption on plasma and erythrocyte antioxidant parameters in elderly subjects. Gerontology 2008;54(3):173-176. 4.) Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000.

Important Precautions

If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs, please consult with your doctor before use.


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.

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