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Herbs > Ayurvedic Herbs and their Healing Power > Garlic (Allium sativum)
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni

The colloquial (India) name of Garlic is lasoon, while its botanical name being Allium Sativum. Garlic is an erect, underground herb belonging to the onion family. Garlic is very commonly used as a spice in many Indian recipes. It is believed that garlic adds to taste of the food as well as it helps in making them digestible.

Garlic is grown as an annual herb. It grows well in cool climates and dry weather. It has irregular roots, condensed thick stem and narrow, flat leaves with a very peculiar smell. The bulb of the garlic is formed by a bunch of bulblets which a most useful part of the herb. Each bulblet is wrapped in a thick, whitish and shiny skin.

Garlic is world famous for it’s contribution to human health from centuries. Hippocrates, the father of medicine(470-358 BC) has mentioned this herb in his medical notes and recommended use of this valuable herb in treating infections. Literature says that garlic has originated in Central Asia and then spread to remaining parts of world. Garlic was known to Chinese health providers before 3,000 BC and is a part of Chinese diet and medicine till today. It was also known to Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Africans from ages and was used as a medicine for several common ailments.

Traditionally garlic is used for asthma and bronchitis. Many Indian families prepare a chain of bulblets of garlic by threading them and put it around the neck of children who are suffering from congestion of chest due to cough. This is especially done in conditions like whooping cough. Garlic contains allyl propyl disulphide, diallyl disulphide and few sulphur compounds which are supposed to have inhaling properties and thus help in liquefying accumulated cough in chest. Cloves or bulblets of garlic boiled in milk are recommended in asthama, bronchitis and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Garlic has definite role in arteriosclerosis i.e. hardening and narrowing of arteries which ultimately results in reducing blood supply of heart. Garlic is good for heart and it is believed that maintains toning of cardiac muscles. It is a good appetite stimulator, vigor and strength donor and metabolism improviser.

In deafness, medicated oil (prepared out f garlic) is recommended for local use. Sanhitas i.e. ancient ayurvedic texts have suggested use of garlic in skin diseases like leprosy, skin conditions like leucoderma. Few ayurvedic physicians use garlic in repeated worm infections. It’s a good worm expeller according to them. One ayurvedic school has recommended use of garlic in haemorrhoids i.e. bleeding piles but recent medicinal trials taken haven’t given needful proof for this. Few say, garlic has some antiseptic properties but more research is necessary to prove this.

Recent studies suggest, garlic has some properties which help in reducing high blood pressure. It slows down fast pulse and improves heart rhythm. In some countries garlic is used for treating rheumatism and associated symptoms. One center of trials of alternative medicines in US is busy in taking trials of garlic against cancer and results are awaited.

A smell of garlic is given to hysteric patient has shown some effect like cooling down. It is also used in unconscious patients for smelling in a view to bring them out of the condition.

To summarise, garlic is used in respiratory as well as digestive disorders. Its b smell has some effects on central nervous system also. It can be directly added to food as a spice or it’s juice can be consumed as a medicine. It is also used in the form of medicated oil singly or with other ingredients.
More on Garlic

For further information on Ayurveda and/or questions please Visit India Herbs For Genuine Ayurvedic Medicines and Nutritional Supplements or contact Dr. Satish Kulkarni




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Fenugreek
Garlic
Ayurvedic Garlic
Ginger
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Holy Basil
Hoodia Gordonii
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