Sanskrit name: Rasona/Lasuna
Botanical name: Allium sativum Linn
English name: Garlic
This is one of the most commonly used herbs in Nepal and many other parts of the world. It occurs as a sub-globular, compound bulb, grayish-white, 4 to 6 cm in diameter with several cloves. It has wiry roots on the underside and short, sub-cylindrical out growth on the upper surface.
Parts used: whole parts
Chemical ConstituentAllium sativum
In 1948, Stoll and Seeback isolated the active principles of garlic in the pure crystalline form called alliin. Alliin is a precursor of a highly bactericidal substance, allicin which is formed by the decomposition of alliin along with pyruvic acid and ammonia in the presence of garlic constitutional enzyme alliinase.
Alliin Allicin + Pyruvic Acid + Ammonia.
Whenever any part of the garlic is damaged, the above reaction occurs and forms allicin which has the characteristic odour of garlic.
Besides this, a number of other antibiotic principles have also been isolated, namely, allistatin I, allistatin II (Datta et al, 1948) and garlicin (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962).
Chemical composition of garlic expressed in gram per 100gram.
Water = 62.20
Protein = 6.3
Fat = 00.1
Carbohydrates = 29
Volatile oils =01
Calcium = 1.3mg
Phosphorus = 1mg
Iron = 3017 mg
Zinc = 3.4mg
Vitamin C = 13mg
Amino acids = almost all amino acids are present.
Tuberoholoside = 10
Medicinal Value of Garlic
To give a scientific basis for the ancient claims regarding the therapeutic efficacy of garlic in various diseases and disorders, a large number of experiments have been carried out in different experimental models which are found to be of value. These are like-
- Cancer (Weisberger, Pensky and Hartwell)
- Diabetes (Laland and Haverevold)
- Hypertension (Loeper and De Bray)
- Arteriosclerosis ( Watt and Breyer-Brandwilk)
- Angina pectoris (Fortunatov)
- Chronic Colitis and Gastritis (Fortunatov)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Helminthiasis (Rico, Vinson)
- Amoebiasis and other protozoal infections ( Watt and Breyer-Brandwilk)
- Bacterial and Fungal infections (Datta, et al , Dubrova)
Medicinal Uses of Garlic
1. In Gastro-intestinal Tract Disorders:-
Carminative (stops gas formation in the GIT), antiflatulent, appetiser, gastric stimulant, digestive, in atonic dyspepsia, gastrointestinal catarrh (inflammation of mucus membrane), piles and others.
2. In Respiratory Tract Disorders
Expectorant in bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pulmonary phthisis (wasting of the body), pulmonary tuberculosis, laryngeal tuberculosis, gangrene of lung, whooping cough.
Anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, diuretic and febrifuge, rubefacient, counterirritant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, anti-tumor, emmenagogue aphrodisiac, in anemia, coryza, cough, dysmenorrhea, weak heart and skin diseases.