Common Name   :Lahsun / Garlic

Plant Parts Used  :Buibils or Cloves

Description         :

It is a small plant. The leaves are green, slender, flat and elongated. The stem is smooth and solid. The bulbs are composed of several bulbils (cloves), encased in white or pink skin of the parent bulb. The inflorescence is an umbel initially enclosed in a spathe.

Characteristics and Constituents

The strong smelling juice of the bulbs contain a mixture of aliphatic mono and polysulphides. The chief constituent is allicin, diallyl disulphide oxide. The latter results from spontaneous enzymatic reduction of allin and 5-allylcystine sulphamide. Thio - glycoside, aminoacids, fatty acids, flavonols, vitamins, trace elements, volatile oils etc. have also been demonstrateds.

Actions and Uses :

Antibacterial and antifungal activity of garlic has been shown, by several investigators, against many common patho - genic organisms. Staphylococcus aureus, Escheiichia coli, Candida albicans, Shigelia sonnei Salmonella typhi. Essential oils of garlic prevented an increase in a -Iipoproteins, pre-a lipoproteins occurring after cholesterol-feeding in rabbits. Fibrinolytic activity was also significantly increased.Inhibition of platelet-aggregation in vitro and in vivo has also been demonstrated with garlic. There have been several studies showing the hypoglycaemic activity of garlic and allicin in animals. The therapeutic value of garlic in functional gastro- intestinal disorders was studied in 29 patients. A significant carminative effect,with a relief of nausea,gascolic,flatulence, belching and heaviness was observed. The effects of fried and raw garlic on blood showed an increase in fibrinolytic activity in 20 patients with ischaemic heart isease. A decrease in triglycerides and cholesterol has been observed. Garlic oil drops are put in the ears for infection and earache. Garlic is also used as an antiinfective agent topically and in other intercurrent infections. Garlic as a food item has been used for thousands of years by millions of people all over the world. Prolonged chronic feeding of large amounts of garlic powder (350 mg/kg) showed severe testicular lesions after 70 days and arrest in spermatogenesis the dose being equivalent to 20 g (freeze-dried) garlic powder in a 60 kg man. Occupational exposure to garlic leading to asthma and contact dermatitis have been reported.

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