Garlic - Ayurvedic Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Allium Sativum - Herbal Guide

Table of Contents

1. What is Garlic? 
2. Morphology, Nutritional Value, and Chemical Compound
3. Ayurvedic properties of Garlic
4. Health Benefits & Uses of Garlic
5. Side Effects of Garlic
6. Frequently Asked Question

1. What is Garlic? 

Step into the world of Garlic, where nature's potent elixir meets the wisdom of Ayurveda. With its scientific name Allium Sativum, Garlic has been a cherished ingredient in culinary and medicinal practices for centuries, revered for its robust flavor and a treasure trove of potential health benefits.

For centuries garlic has been highly valued for its health-building qualities, Khnoum Khoufouf, the builder of one of the oldest pyramids, (4500 BC) was among the first to recognize the virtues of garlic and decreed strength. Hippocrates, the father of medicine (460-357 BC) recommended its use in infectious diseases and particularly prescribed it for intestinal disorders.

In this post, we embark on a journey to uncover the holistic wonders of Garlic in the context of Ayurveda, delving into its historical significance, the array of benefits it offers, and the multitude of ways it can be harnessed for wellness. From its potential to balance doshas and enhance digestion to its role in supporting cardiovascular health, Garlic stands as a versatile remedy that bridges the gap between taste and vitality.

Garlic: Ayurvedic Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Allium Sativum – 2022

2. Morphology, Nutritional Value, and Chemical Compound of Garlic

Morphology 

Garlic is an erect biennial herb of the onion family, normally grown as an annual. It has irregular roots, condensed, flattened stems, and narrow, flat leaves. The bulb consists of 6 to 35 bulblets or pods called cloves enclosed in a thick whitish, glistening, and transparent covering.

Nutritional Value 

An analysis of garlic shows it to contain moisture 62.0%, protein 6.3%, fat 0.1%, minerals 1.0%, fiber 0.8%, and carbohydrates 29.8% per 100 grams of edible portion. Its minerals and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. It also contains traces of iodine, sulfur, and chloric. Its calorific value is 145.

Chemical Constituent 

The bulbs yield an essential oil containing allyl propyl disulphide, diallyl disulfide, and two other sulfur compounds. They also contain antiseptic and hypotensive allicin, Allisatin 1, and Allisatin 2.

Habitat

Garlic is believed to have originated in Central Asia, Chinese knew of it as far back as 3,000 BC and it continues to be one of the staple spices of their diet. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans also used garlic both as a staple food and as a medicine. It is now widely grown in the Mediterranean region, India, Philippines, China, Ethiopia, kjenya, Brazil, and Mexico. It grows well in cool dry climates.

3. Ayurvedic properties of Garlic

Garlic, known as "Lashuna" in Ayurveda, is a widely used culinary and medicinal herb with various properties.

Ayurvedic properties of garlic:

1. Rasa (Taste): Garlic is believed to have a pungent (Katu) taste.

2. Virya (Potency): It is heating in nature (Ushna Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Garlic is considered to balance Kapha dosha and Vata dosha, but it can increase Pitta dosha due to its heating nature.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Garlic is known to stimulate digestion, enhance appetite, and promote healthy metabolism. It may also help manage indigestion and gas.

  2. Cardiovascular Support: Garlic is believed to support heart health by promoting healthy circulation, managing cholesterol levels, and supporting overall cardiovascular function.

  3. Immune System: It is used to boost the immune system due to its immune-enhancing and antimicrobial properties.

  4. Detoxification: Garlic supports detoxification by aiding in the elimination of waste products from the body.

  5. Respiratory Health: Garlic is used to manage respiratory conditions like cough, cold, and congestion due to its expectorant properties.

  6. Anti-inflammatory: Garlic contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, which can be beneficial for managing inflammatory conditions.

  7. Antioxidant: The antioxidants in garlic help protect cells from oxidative stress and support overall well-being.

  8. Aphrodisiac: In Ayurveda, garlic is believed to have aphrodisiac properties and may support sexual health

4. Health Benefits and Uses of Garlic

Garlic juice benefits all body systems, the ethers in garlic juice are so potent and penetrating that they help dissolve the accumulation of mucus in the sinus cavities, bronchial tubes, and lungs. They help to expel poison body toxins through the pores of the skin.

In herbal medicine, garlic has been traditionally used for asthma, deafness, bronchial, congestion, arteriosclerosis (hardening of arteries) fevers, worms, liver, and gall bladder problems. Garlic is good for the heart, stimulates appetite, is a strength-giving food, and is beneficial in leukoderma, leprosy, pile, worms, catarrhal disorders, asthma, and cough. It also strengthens hair. Some experiments and scientific research have shown much greater power of garlic than known before.

Here are some health benefits and uses

Asthma

Garlic is beneficial in asthma, three cloves boiled in milk taken every night give excellent results in asthma. Another treatment is taking a pod of peeled garlic crushed and boiled in 120ml pure malt-vinegar, it is strained after cooling and an equal quantity of honey is mixed and preserved in a clean bottle. One or two tsp of this syrup taken with fenugreek decoction before retiring is advised.

Blood Disorders

The herb is regarded as a rejuvenator, it helps to remove toxins, revitalize the blood, stimulate circulation, and promote intestinal flora or healthy bacteria which prevents bacterial infection.

Chest Disorders

Garlic has effective in certain diseases of the chest, it reduces foetidity or foul breath in pulmonary gangrene. It is also useful in the treatment of tuberculosis. In Ayurveda, a decoction of garlic boiled in milk is considered a wonderful remedy for tuberculosis. One gram of garlic, 250 ml of milk, and a liter of water are boiled together till it reduces to one-fourth. This decoction is taken three times a day has been found to be an excellent remedy for pneumonia.

Digestive Disorders

Garlic is one of the most beneficial herbs for the digestive system, it is good for the lymph and aids elimination of noxious waste matter in the body. It stimulates peristalsis or movement of the intestines in the body. It stimulates of digestive juices; crushed cloves of garlic may be infused with water or milk and can be taken for all digestive disorders. It has an antiseptic effect and is an excellent remedy for infectious diseases and inflammation of the stomach and intestine.

The herb is an excellent worm expeller, it is also good in treating various forms of diarrhea. Problems such as colitis, dysentery, and many other intestinal disorders can be successfully treated with fresh garlic or garlic capsules. One garlic capsule taken thrice a day is usually sufficient to correct mild cases of diarrhea or dysentery.

Heart Attack

Garlic can prevent heart attack, it helps to break down the cholesterol in the blood vessels, thereby preventing any hardening of arteries which leads to high blood pressure and heart attack. The cholesterol level comes down by chewing garlic after a heart attack. Though the earlier damage may not be repaired, the chances of new attacks are reduced.

High Blood Pressure

Garlic is one of the most effective remedies for lowering blood pressure, it reduced blood pressure and tension by easing the spasm of the small arteries. It also slows the pulse and modifies the heart rhythm, relieving symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath, and the formation of gas within the digestive tract. An average dosage of 2-3 cloves a day reduces blood pressure.

Rheumatism

Garlic is beneficial to treat Rheumatism and associated disease. Even in Britain, garlic is recommended for rheumatic afflictions. Recent experiments in Japan tested garlic extract on patients with lumbago and arthritis with positive results without any undesirable side effects. The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic make it an effective drug to treat arthritis and rheumatism.

Skin Disorders

Garlic is beneficial in skin disorders; pimples disappear without a scar when rubbed with raw garlic serval times a day. The external use of garlic helps to clear the skin of spots, pimples, and boils. The process is further helped by ingesting garlic to purify the blood. A regular course of three garlic cloves a day helps to clear inner skin infections quickly.

Whooping Cough

Garlic is an excellent remedy for whooping cough, syrup of garlic taken in doses of five drops to a tsp, twice or thrice daily treats this condition. It should be given more often if the coughing spells are frequent and violent.

Wounds and Ulcers

The herb has been used as an antiseptic for wounds and ulcerations, garlic juice with three parts of distilled water is employed as a lotion for cleansing infected wounds. Definite improvement is noticed within 24 hours and substantial improvement within 48 hours. Application of dressing, containing 15% garlic juice once a day over an ulcer removes pus in a few days. It also relieves pain within a short time.

Other Uses

Aphrodisiac Effects – Garlic has a pronounced aphrodisiac effect, it is a sex tonic in case of sexual power loss, and it is also treating sexual debility and impotency caused by overindulgence in sex and nervous exhaustion from dissipating habit. It is said to be especially useful to old men with nervous tension and failing libido.

After onions, garlic is the most widely used cultivated alliums, it is used both as a food and seasoning, in the preparation of soups, sauces, and pickles.

 

5. Side Effects of Garlic

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.

Excessive use of garlic may cause a risk of bleeding, bad breath, heartburn, digestive issue, trigger nausea, feeling bloated, flatulence, headaches, fatigue, and appetite loss.

6. Frequently Asked Question

Q - Is garlic good for you?

Yes, garlic has many health benefits, it has been traditionally used for asthma, deafness, bronchial, congestion, arteriosclerosis (hardening of arteries) fevers, worms, liver, and gall bladder problems. 

Q - Should you take garlic supplements every day?

You can use garlic in your daily meal but it's better to consult the doctor for daily supplements. Excessive use of garlic may cause a risk of bleeding, bad breath, heartburn, digestive issue, trigger nausea, feeling bloated, flatulence, headaches, fatigue, and appetite loss.

Q - Is it healthy to eat garlic every day?

Eating garlic in limited quantities is good for health, it has numerous health benefits. Overdose may cause a risk of bleeding, bad breath, heartburn, digestive issue, trigger nausea, feeling bloated, flatulence, headaches, fatigue, and appetite loss.

Q - How do I eat Garlic in the morning?

The best and easy way is to take two cloves of roasted or raw garlic with lukewarm water, early in the morning. 

Q - What are the benefits of Garlic oil?

Garlic oil is beneficial to treat skin disorders like spots, pimples, boils, dryness, fungal infection and ringworm.

 


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