Garlic : Medicinal Uses, Chemical Constituents and Synonyms
Biological Name of Garlic:
Garlic consists of the bulbs of the plant known as Allium sativum belonging to the family Liliaceae. Garlic is known by other names such as Allium and lahsun.
Cultivation and Distribution of Garlic:
Garlic is cultivated in all states of India and in other places like Central Asia, Southern Europe and USA.
Garlic is cultivated as a spice and as a condiment crop.
Cultivation of garlic is done by planting bulbs in well drained clay, loamy soil.
Morphology and Properties of Garlic:
Garlic bulbs are white to pink in colour with aromatic odour and pungent taste.
Garlic plant is a perennial plant with narrow flat leaves and bears white small flowers and bulbils.
Garlic should be stored at zero degree centigrade as it undergoes degradation.
Chemical Constituents of Garlic:
The bulb of garlic contains carbohydrates, proteins like albumin, fat, mucilage and volatile oil.
Garlic also contains phosphorous, iron and copper.
Volatile oil of the bulb contains allyl propyl disulphide, diallyl disulphide, alliin and allicin. Alliin is converted to allicin by the activity of the enzyme allinlyase.
Garlic oil is yellow in colour.
Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Garlic:
- Garlic is used as a Carminative
- Garlic acts as Aphrodisiac ( substance which increases sexual desire)
- Garlic is used as an Expectorant
- Garlic is used as a Stimulant
- Garlic is a disinfectant in the treatment of pulmonary conditions
- Garlic acts as a Condiment
- Garlic oil has anthelmintic and rubefacient properties.
- Allicin is antibacterial
- Garlic oil is used for treating hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Garlic is used in the treatment of atherosclerosis
- Fresh garlic is prophylactic against amoebic dysentry.
Synonyms of Garlic:
- Bengali – Lasun
- Gujrati – Lasun
- Hindi – Lasan
- Kannada – Bellulli
- Malayalam – Velluli
- Marathi – Lasun
- Sanskrit – Ugragandha
- Tamil – Karuvelum
- Telugu – Nellatumma, Vellulli
- Punjabi – Thom
- Oriyan – Rasun
- German- Knoblauch
- French – Ail
- Italian – Aglio