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Allium sativum - Garlic (Liliaceae)

Other Names:  Allium sativum, garlic liliaceae

Habitat:  Introduced from Europe, garlic has been naturalized from New York to Indiana south to Tennessee and Missouri.  The bulb is used most often, fresh juice is most effective.

Properties: Contains volatile oil which is composed of allicin and sulphur related compounds plus citral, geraniol, etc. Allicin is the major odor principle and taste of garlic, It is generated by action of the enzyme alliinase on alliin. Under normal conditions alliinase and alliin are separated from each other inside the garlic bulb. However when the bulb is cut or crushed, the two are brought together and allinase turns alliin (a non volatile odorless sulfur amino acid) into allicin (a pungent volatile sulphur compound.

Contains selenium-best known source, has antioxidant activity.
Contains enzymes, mucilage, protein and lipids.
An alterative, stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, antiseptic, antibiotic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, vulnerary, vermifuge.
Has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The ingredient allicin inhibits growth of various bacteria, fungi, amoebas.
Inhibits production of harmful bacteria in the colon, for influenza, common cold and any types of viral infections.
Natural penicillin - it has only 1% of the impact of penicillin but it is more effective with gram negative bacteria than penicillin.
Lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol- use garlic oil for earaches.
For prevention and elimination of heavy metal poisoning from the body on a daily basis-due to sulphur content.
Is rubefacient and use as poultice in acute pectoral and abdominal inflammation and for drawing pustules and boils to a head
For canker sores
Use in cookery as an aid to digestion
Commonly used in formulas to help strengthen immunity to disease.
Onions are similar but not as strong.

WARNING: Overdose induces blisters, irritations or dermatitis in some people.


Garlic Syrup- 1/2 pound peeled garlic buds with equal amounts vinegar and distilled water (enough to cover garlic buds)

1/2 pint glycerine

1 1/2 pounds honey

Preparation: Peel the garlic. Add equal amounts of vinegar and distilled water to cover the garlic. Use wide mouth jar, close tightly and shake well. Stand it in a cool place for four days. Shake it once or twice a day. Add glycerine. Shake the jar and let it stand another day. Strain the liquid with pressure through a sieve. Blend in the honey and place liquid in a labeled jar. Store in a cool place.

Optional: simmer three ounces of fennel seeds and/or caraway seeds for half an hour and add it to the mixture while it is steeping and before it is strained. Regular dose is 1 tsp. three times a day.

This Article is taken from The Herbalist, newsletter of the Botanic Medicine Society. COPYRIGHT Dec 1988. Membership in the Society is $25.00 Canadian per year. You receive four copies of the Journal each year and help to promote herbalism and botanic medicine throughout Canada.

THE SOCIETY HAS NO PAID OFFICIALS and is run entirely by volunteers from among the membership. If you would like more info please write:   Botanic Medicine Society. * P.O. Box 82. Stn. A. * Willowdale, Ont. CANADA. M2N 5S7.

Reprinted with permission.
Copyright 1996, 1998 by The Herbalist, Lori Herron and Alternative Nature
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