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Allium sativum

Allium sativum                   Common Name: Garlic

Family: Liliaceae

Part used:  Bulb

Constituents: Enzymes (allinase), volatile oils (sulfur containing compounds: sulfoxides (alliin, allicin), thiocyanates, nutrients, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids (arginine, glutamic, asparagic, methionine, threonine), lipids, prostaglandins

Medical actions:  Anti-microbial (antibacterial, anthelmintic, antimycotic), antispasmodic, antiseptic, counter-irritant, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, carminative, hypolipidemic, anti-platelet aggregant, hypoglycemic, anti-diabetic, anti-histamine, expectorant, detoxifier, anti-thombotic, hypotensive, fibrinolytic, anti-cholesterol, anti-atherosclerosis, cholagogue, aphrodisiac

Medical uses: One of the most effective anti-microbial plants available, acting on bacteria, viruses and alimentary parasites. The volatile oil is largely excreted via the lungs and it is used in infections of this system such as chronic bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, recurrent colds and influenza. In general it may be used as a preventative for most infectious conditions, digestive as well as respiratory. Will support the development of the natural bacterial flora while killing pathogenic organisms. In addition it will reduce blood pressure when taken over a period of time as well as reduce blood cholesterol levels. Can be used topically against fungal infections, warts, vaginitis, and otitis media.

Pharmacology:

  • Volatile oils & sulfur containing compounds (alliin & allicin) are largely responsible for effects.
  • Alliin is converted by allinase to alliicin when chopped, crushed and exposed to air. It is anti-tumor & antibiotic.
  • Allicin inhibits platelet aggregation, reduces cholesterol and is anti-microbial and antioxidant.

Pharmacy: Fresh bulb: A clove should be eaten daily for prophylaxis. During acute infections, 1 clove 3x/day. Allow bulb to oxidize 1-3 min before ingesting for best effect. Capsule of garlic oil QD (standardized to 6mg allicin). Dried bulb: 2-4g, TID. Juice, syrup, poultice, ear/nasal drops and as food.

Contraindications:  Allium is not used within 10 days of surgery or with medications that inhibit blood coagulation. Caution should be used in hypercoagulation conditions as well due to embolic complications. Allergy to garlic.

Toxicity: Fresh Allium can cause irritation to the gastric mucosa. High doses may cause breath & body odour.

Interactions: Can potentiate insulin (inhibits its breakdown) and hypoglycemic drugs. Can potentiate anti-coagulants due to platelet-inhibiting effects.

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