Garlic

General Information


Common Name:

Garlic

Latin Name:

Allium Sativum 

Family:

Liliaceae

Other Names:

  • Allium;
  • Camphor of the poor;
  • Nectar of the gods;
  • Camphor of the poor.

Indications & Historical Uses

  • Protect the circulation, lower cholesterol;
  • Protect against and fight infections, colds, and flu;
  • Enhances immune function;
  • Aids in the treatment of arthritis, arteriosclerosis, digestive problems, insomnia, and liver disease;

Contraindications & Precautions

Nil known. Please See Caution.

Precautions: See Caution. 

Adverse Side Effects: Garlic does not have many adverse effects. The most commonly reported adverse effects are the taste or offensive odor of garlic. However some commercial products do not have this odor. There are rare reports of garlic extracts causing burning of the mouth and stomach, nausea, sweating and light-headedness. Raw garlic and garlic oil may irritate the digestive system and therefore should be taken with meals.

Drug Interactions: Not known

Dosage Information

How Supplied:

100mg, 200mg, 400mg tablets enteric coated. It is important to note that both Allin and Allicin are unstable in gastric fluid and therefore it has been suggested the best formulations of garlic are enteric-coated tablets or capsules of dried garlic or garlic powder.

Dosage:

400 mg per day of standardized extract. (Equivalent to 1200mg of fresh garlic per day)

Pharmacology

The intact cells of garlic contain an odorless sulfur-containing amino-acid – Allin ((+) S-ALLYL-L-CYSTEINE SULFOXIDE) When these cells are crushed, the allin combines with allinase in the neighboring cells to produce allicin (diallyl thiosulfinate), which is a very potent antibiotic: The allicin is unstable, and decomposes to other strong smelling sulfur compounds, including various diallyl-sulfides and ajoenes (ah-jo-weens). The ajoenes are responsible for the anti-thrombotic properties of garlic, while allicin itself has been shown to possess anti-platelet, antibiotic and anti-lipaemic properties.

The effectiveness of garlic in reducing cholesterol and serum lipids is still controversial. However in a number of experimental double blind studies garlic has been shown to reduce total cholesterol on the average by about 6-9%. LDL Cholesterol by about 11% and triglycerides by as much as 17%. In many cases a rise in HDLCholesterol was also noted. The mechanism by which garlic causes reduction in cholesterol is not completely clear. It is speculated that the disulphide compounds in garlic oil affect thiol groups found in many enzymes. The blood pressure lowering and anti platelet effects of garlic are probably due to the compounds that influence calcium dependent processes. Some of these have an effect on platelet aggregation, lysosomal enzyme release and maintenance of vascular muscle tone. Reduction in platelet aggregation is due to the interference with thromboxane synthesis. The antimicrobial and anticancer properties of garlic are probably attributable to the organic sulphur compounds in garlic. These compounds may fight infections by interfering with microbial structure or function; they may fight cancer by reducing the formation and the activity of carcinogens.   It is important to note that although garlic may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, it will be most effective in conjunction with appropriate life style modifications, such as appropriate diet, exercise and smoking cessation.

Active Ingredients:

  • Allin;
  • Allinase;
  • Allicin;
  • Vitamins A, B, &C.

Enhancing Agents:

Origin

Xianjiang Province, China

Now widely grown Garlic is the bulb of the tall flowering plant Allium savium that bears pink to purple flowers. Humans have been cultivating garlic for more than five thousand years. The bulb has been handed down through the centuries as a preventive medicine and cure-all that many medieval folk healers claimed could ward off vampires, witches and other unwanted imaginary creatures. Widely used as an antiseptic for generations, garlic became known as” Russian penicillin” in the days of penicillin shortages during World war II, when people resorted to applying garlic juice to open wounds.

Processing

Chinese garlic is meticulously dried at ultra-low temperatures to protect its TAP and enzyme activity.

The powder is compressed into tablets, coated with an enteric coating and a clear protein coating to lock in freshness and to eliminate odor.

Scientific References

Foster S: Garlic: Allium Sativum, Botanical series 311, American Botanical Council, Austin Texas, 1991. 7pp.

Kleijpen J., Krispschild P, & Tao Peit, G: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 28:535-544(1989).

Bordia, A. (1981) Effect of garlic on blood lipids in patients with coronary heart disease. Amer. J. Clin. Nurtr.34 (10): 2100.

Weiner, M. (1990) Weiner’s Herbal. Mill Valley: Quantum Books.

Nishimo, H. et al. (1989) Antitumor-Promoting activity of garlic extracts. Oncology 46(4): 277.

Mowrey, D. (1986) The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine. Cormorant Books.

McCaleb, R. (1992) Garlic fantastic health aid. Better Nutrition for Today’s Living. Feb 92:36.

Bordia, A. and Bansal, H.C. (1973) Essential oil of garlic in prevention of atherosclerosis. Lancet ii: 1491.

Tyler V.E., Herbs of Choice, pp.104-108, 1994.

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