Herb-Garlic

Garlic
(Allium sativum)


Part Used: Bulb

Habitat:


Introduction:
Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Sanskrit records show its medicinal use about 5,000 years ago. In 1858, Pasteur noted garlic’s antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II.

American Family Physician, Volume 72, Number 1 ◆ July 1, 2005

Garlic is one of the earliest documented examples of plants employed for treatment of disease and maintenance of health. Garlic was in use at the beginning of recorded history and was found in Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek temples. Even Bible refers to its use. Medical applications of garlic have been documented in ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India. Garlic was administered to provide strength and increase work capacity for labourers in many cultures. Almost 25 centuries ago, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, stated “let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food”. Supporting this statement, Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a variety of conditions. Garlic was given as perhaps one of the earliest “performance enhancing” agents to the original Olympic athletes in Greece.

| April-June 2012 | International Journal of Green Pharmacy

Mechanism of Action:
The antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic properties of garlic help in lowering the blood pressure and lipid levels. The mechanism behind this would be that it may stimulates the intracellular nitric oxide and hydrogen sulphide production, and blockage of angiotensin II production, which in turn promote vasodilation and therefore reduction in BP.


Pharmacological Actions:

Hyperlipidemia – According to pre-clinical & clinical trials, garlic lowers lipid levels significantly.
0022-3166/01 $3.00 © 2001 American Society for Nutritional Sciences.

Hypertension – Lowers blood pressure significantly.

Integrated Blood Pressure Control 2014:7 71–82

Antioxidant Effect – Garlic prevents endothelial cells from “oxidative stress” by increasing cellular concentrations of antioxidants which improves endothelial dysfunction and reduces progression of atherosclerosis.
Molecules 2013, 18, 690-700; doi:10.3390/molecules18010690

Antibacterial Effect – Garlic has broad antibiotic spectrum.

American Family Physician, Volume 72, Number 1 ◆ July 1, 2005

Clinical Studies:

1. According to the clinical study published in the International journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 2013, garlic has hypocholesterolemic effect which supports its use as a cardioprotective. Its hypocholesterolemic effect is comparable to atorvastatin, the most frequently used lipid lowering drug.

Dalal I, Sengupta M, Paul S, Mishra AN. Comparative study of the effect of atorvastatin and garlic extract in experimentally induced hypercholesterolemia in rabbits. Int J Bas & Clin Phar. 2013 Aug;2(4):397-402.


Conclusion:
Garlic is one of the oldest medicines known to mankind for curing many diseases. Many studies have been done on the medicinal value of garlic mainly to lower the cholesterol levels and blood pressure.