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Allium sativum, Allium ophioscorodon, Allium pekinense, Porvium sativum

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Shivani Kagra*,  K.L. Dahiya** & Santosh Dhanday***


* Pursuing Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery; Lal Bahadur Shastri Mahila Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Bilaspur (Yamuna Nagar), Haryana, India

** Kurukshetra Global City, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India

*** Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery; Ayrvedic Medical Officer (Ayush) at Kuruksherta, Haryana – India. Village Kheri Markanda, P.O. Sirsala (Kurukshetra), Haryana, India


Vernacular name:

Assamese: Maharu, Naharu

Bengali: Lasun

English: Garlic

Gujarati: Lasan, Lassun

Hindi: Lahasun, Lahsun, Lahsan, Lassan

Kannada: Bulluci, Belluli

Malayalam: Vellulli, Nelluthulli

Manipuri: Chanam

Marathi: Lasun

Mizo: Purun-var, purunvar

Persian: Sir

Punjabi: Lasan

Sanskrit: Rasona, Yavanesta

Tamil: Acanam, Vellaipoondu

Telugu: Vellulli, Tellapya, Tellagadda

Urdu: Lahsan, Lehsan, Seer

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom: Plantae – plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants

Subkingdom: Viridiplantae

Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – land plants

Superdivision: Embryophyta

Division: Tracheophyta – vascular plants, tracheophytes

Subdivision: Spermatophytina – spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames

Class: Magnoliopsida

Superorder: Lilianae – monocots, monocotyledons, monocotylédones

Order: Asparagales

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Genus: Allium L. – oignon, wild onion, onion

Species: Allium sativum L. – Cultivated garlic, Garlic, Lasan, Lahsun, Nector of the gods (Syn. Allium ophioscorodon, Allium pekinense, Porvium sativum)

Phytogeography: Probably, it is indigenous to Asia. Now, cultivated in most countries. Garlic is among the oldest of all cultivated plants. It has been used as a medicinal agent for thousands of years and has been used as a spice, food and folklore medicine for over 4000 years, and is the most widely researched medicinal plant. It is cultivated throughout India.

Plant description: Garlic is commonly cultivated herb. Aerial stems are up to 1 meter tall, erect, simple, herbaceous, green, hairless, round, mostly hollow. Bulb consists of many bulblets, with a papery coating and fibrous roots. Leaves are present in the lower 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant. Leaves are flat or very slightly folded, up to 30 cm long, 7-10 mm broad, smooth, often glaucous, with a prominent midrib, sheathing. The ligule is rounded ("U"-shaped), the free portion 1-2 mm tall (long). Inflorescence is a dense head-like cluster of bubils at the end of the stem. Inflorescence is covered in a papery spathe. Spathe with a long apiculate tip, splitting on one side at maturity. Flowers are mostly or entirely replaced by bubils. Bubils are smooth, whitish or (more commonly) with a reddish tinge. If produced, the small flowers are greenish, whitish, or pinkish and tubular with pointed lobes. Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavour as a seasoning or condiment.

Flowering season: May-July.

Propagation: The garlic plants don’t produce true seeds. Therefore, propagation of garlic involves the planting of individual cloves in the soil during the cool months of the growing season to enable it to grow while the soil remains cooler. If the soil is too warm, the plants will produce an overabundance of foliage and small bulbs.

Parts used: Bulbs/cloves

Phytochemical Constituents: Albumin; Alkaloids; Allicin; Allin; Allyl disulphide; Amino acids; Cardiac glycosides; Diallyltrisulfides; Flavonoids; Glycosides; Kaempferol; Methylthiosulfonate; Mucilage; Phenolic compounds; Reducing sugars; S-allylcysteine; Saponins; Tannin; Triterpenoids; Volatile oil.

Pharmacological actions: Acarifuge; Alexiteric; Alterative; Amoebicide; Analgesic; Androgenic; Anthelmintic; Antiaflatoxin; Antiaggregant; Antiallergic; Antiandrogenic; Antiarthritic; Antiatherogenic; Antiatherosclerotic; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticholinesterase; Anticonvulsant; Antidiabetic; Antidyslipidemic; Antiemetic; Antifertility; Antigiardial; Antihypertensive, hypotensive; Anti-inflammatory; Antiintegrase; Antimycotic; Antioxidant; Antiparalytic; Anti-platelet aggregator; Antiprostaglandin; Antipyretic; Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Antistress; Antithrombic; Antithyroid; Antitumor; Antiulcer; Antiviral; Aphrodisiac; Cardiotonic; Carminative; Choleretic; Decongestant; Detoxicant; Diaphoretic; Digestive tonic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Fibrinolytic; Fungicide; Gastrotonic; Glutathionigenic; Hepatoprotective, hepatocuritive; Hyperglycemic; Hypocholesterolemic; Hypoglycemic; Hypolipidemic; Hypoperistaltic; Hypotensive; Hypotriglyceridemic; Hypouricemic; Immunostimulant; Insectifuge; Insulin-sparing; Interleukenogenic; Larvicide; Lipolytic; Lymphocytogenic; Myocontractant; Myorelaxant; Nervine tonic; Oedemagenic; Oestrogenic; Orexigenic; Ovicide; Oxytocic; Parasiticide; Phagocytotic; Protisticide; Rubefacient; Sedative; Spermicide; Vasodilator; Vermifuge; Vulnerary

Medicinal uses: Abscess; Acne; Adenopathy; Aegilops; Aging; Allergy; Alopecia; Altitude sickness; Anaemia; Anorexia; Arthritis; Athlete’s foot; Bacteria like Bacillus, Cancer; Escherichia, Helicobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus; Bacterial infection cholera, diphtheria, leprosy, paratyphoid, paratyphus, tuberculosis; Typhoid; Boil; Bronchitis; Burn; Callus; Cancer of abdomen, bladder, colon, gland, lung, prostate, skin, stomach and uterus; Carbuncle; Cardiovascular diseases like arthrosis, atherosclerosis, cardiopathy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglyceride, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, palpitation, syncope, thrombosis; Convulsion; Dental conditions like caries and odontosis; Cholecystosis; Chronic fatigue; Cold; Congestion; Convulsion; Corn; Cystosis; Debility; Dementia; Dermatosis; Diabetes mellitus; Dropsy; Ear related problems like deafness, Otosis, Earache; Emesis, vominting; Epilepsy; Fever; Fibroid; Fungal diseases Cryptococcus, Ringworm; Gangrene; Gastrointestinal conditions like appendicitis, celiac, colic, colitis, colosis, constipation, cramp, diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia, enterosis, epigastrosis, gastroenterosis, gastrosis, hyperperistalsis; Gout;  Gynaecological disorders dysmenorrhoea, menopause, vaginosis; Hemorrhoid; Hepatosis, hepatopathy, hepatitis; Hyperglycaemia; Hypoglycemia; Hysteria; Immunosuppression; Impotence; Induration; Inflammations, myofascitis, stomatosis, tonsilosis, whitlow; insanity; insomnia, intermittent claudication; keratosis; nephrosis; leukemia; leukoderma; liver problems like hepatosis, toxicity  due to acetaminophen; lupus; lymphoma; mange; melancholy; meningosis; mycosis sporotrichosis, trichomoniasis; mycotic infections like candida, mucososis, mycosis; nausea; nervousness;; obesity; oedema; pain like headache, felon, lumbago, myalgia, neuralgia, sciatica, stomachache; paralysis; parasites like pinworm, roundworm, tapeworm, filarial, hookworm; poisoning due to lead, nicotinism; poliomyelosis; polyp; protozoal infections like amoebiasis, coccidiosis, giardiasis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, malaria; pulposis; Raynaud’s Syndrome; respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchiectasis, bronchosis, catarrh, cough, dyspnoea, laryngosis, pertussis, pharyngosis, pneumonia pulmonosis, respirosis, rhinosis; Rheumatism; scabies; senile dementia; sepsis; sinusosis; snakebite; sore throat; splenosis; swelling; thirst; paradentosis; trachoma; tumour; typhus; ulcer; ulcus cruris; varicosis; virus like aphtha, cytomegalovirus, flu, herpes; wart; water retention; wound and yeast.

According to Codex Ebers garlic is used effectively for the treatment of a variety of diseases like headache, bites, worms and tumours (Block 1985). The Jewish slaves were fed garlic and other allium vegetables to give strength and increase productivity (Rivlin 2001). In Greece, garlic was consumed as to treat intestinal and lung disorders (Farbman et. al. 1993). Louis Pastuer also reported the antibacterial properties of garlic (Block 1985). In India garlic lotions are used for washing of wounds and ulcers since centuries (Essman 1984). Many research workers have also reported insecticidal, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antitumour activities of garlic (Bolton 1982 and Moyers 1996).

Other uses: The leaf sheaths are used as spices preparation e.g. morning breakfast ‘Prantha’, chutney. The cloves and leaf sheaths are used in rice preparations to give a special flavour.

Dosage and administration: Acantholysis, pemphigus; more than 5 cloves per day may induce gas and heart burn, anticoagulation; may potentiate the antihypertensive and anticoagulant medications.

Fresh garlic, dried powder, and oil are used. Garlic should be taken orally along with meal to avoid gastrointestinal disturbances.

Bulbs: 1-5 cloves per day or 3 gm of the drug.

A raw bulbet are once daily

Adverse reactions: Contraindicated during Pregnancy and lactation, persons allergic to garlic, hyperthyroidism.


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