Garlic - Overview, Types, History, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

What is Garlic?

Garlic is one of the healthy foods. Originally from Asia, garlic ( Allium sativum ) is a vegetable. It is actually a grouping of tiny bulblets (garlic cloves). The more tender and clear the garlic is, the more pleasant and smooth it will taste. It belongs to the bulbous flowering plant and absorbs the sulfur from the soil. Garlic Bulbs have a strong pungent taste and a peculiar odour and are cultivated as spices and tonics. It has a long history of cultivation and has been cultivated and used since the Egyptian and Greek eras. The bulbs are spherically enlarged, wrapped in a white or crimson thin film, and the inside is divided into several small bulbs. The leaves are greyish-white green and wither in summer and dormant. Seeds are not produced, seedlings are formed in the flowers, which fall to the ground and propagate. Small bulbs are planted in the fall and harvested in the early summer of the following year. 

Garlic belongs to the Ayurvedic time or before Ayurveda times. There are many health benefits linked with garlic use. Better digestive, heart health, detoxification, etc are the major benefits of garlic.

  • Latin Name: The Latin name or scientific name of the Galic is Allium sativum.
  • Family- Garlic belongs to the onion family. So, its family name is the Amaryllidaceae family. It is a category in the same place where onion, lek and chive belong.
  • Common Name- In India, the common name for garlic is Lehsan or you can say Lehsan is garlic in Hindi.
  • Habitat- Garlic grown well in the loose, dry, well-drained soils with full sun is a comfortable environment. It is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4–9. Mostly, it is native to central Asia.
  • Season- For the garlic planting, June-July and October-November are preferable months. 

Garlic Ingredients

Garlic contains various medicinal ingredients that work for fatigue recovery, energy enhancement, and cosmetology.

Allicin, the active compound in garlic. It has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. The odour and flavour from the garlic are caused by the Allicin. Allicin is a compound that is converted from the compound alliin by the action of the enzyme alliinase when garlic is chopped or damaged and is a different type of amino acid from the ones that make up proteins.

It is not a very stable compound. It lost its properties when left untreated or cooked.

Well, being rich in nutrition, garlic holds more than 60% water and the main ingredient is carbohydrates with 30%. It is very rare in vegetables and is also characterized by its high protein content.

Various Types Of Garlic

There are many types of garlic in the world according to their clove count and size. Today, we will discuss the main types of garlic-

  • Solo Garlic: It is a type when garlic has a single clove. It is also known as single bulb garlic, pearl garlic, etc. Solo garlic is approximately 25 to 50 mm in diameter.
  • Softneck Garlic- Softneck garlic has many cloves in one garlic. It is large in size and does not develop a flowering stalk. They are adaptable and simple to use.
  • Hardneck Garlic- Hardneck garlic contains large cloves. It is easier to peel and use. Hardnecks produce a flowering stem, or scape, that becomes woody as it matures.
  • Jumbo Garlic: Strictly speaking, jumbo garlic is a different species from garlic and is considered to be a member of the leek, but it looks exactly like garlic that is many times larger. The scent is not very strong.
  • Garlic Leaves: Garlic leaves is a type of garlic, but it is harvested with green and soft leaves that come before the bulbs. The leaves from the garlic plant are also used for eating, cooking and medicinal purposes. The leaves are green and elongated like large garlic chives, and the cross-section is V-shaped from the base to the middle. Leaf garlic can be eaten not only on the leaves but also on the round stems and bulbs. The leaves also have a garlic-specific flavour but are not as strong as garlic.

History of Garlic

Garlic is one of the herbs that belong to the oldest and medicinal herbs category. Thousands of years have passed since it was first used. In ancient history, Egypt and India were native to garlic about 5000 years ago. Garlic was used by Babylonians 4500 years ago and by the Chinese 2000 years ago, according to clear evidence.

Garlic is widely used in Central Asia today. It had been used to increase the performance of Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece. Many histories prove the use of garlic for a better body and mind. Garlic travelled from Ancient Egypt to the Indus Valley's great civilizations. It continued to China from there.

Garlic has long been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension, TB (tuberculosis), liver diseases, diarrhoea, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal. Garlic was brought to the New World by the French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

In today, Garlic is a crop that is commonly farmed for fresh markets by numerous small-scale growers for local markets.

Garlic Benefits (garlic health benefits)

Garlic was prescribed as a medicine a long time ago. Let's know about the benefits you will get with the use of these most important herbs.

Highly Nutritious

Despite its small size, there is a lot of garlic nutrition. Having raw, heated and cooked, all provide high nutrition to the body. Garlic is rich in Vitamin C, B6, A, B1, B2, B12, D and E and minerals like manganese calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium and selenium. The main active compound of garlic is sulfur compounds. Due to this, it has a unique and strong flavour. Being underground fruit, it absorbs a lot of sulfates compounded from the soil and produces powerful health benefits for the human body. Add garlic oil capsules to your diet for more benefits of garlic.

Powerful Antibiotic

Garlic has a potentially powerful antibiotic. It contains a compound called Diallyl Sulfide. This compound is 1000 times more effective than many antibiotics like Campylobacter bacterium. Being good in antibiotics, it is useful in intestinal infections and also reduces the bacteria causing diseases. Garlic prevents us from many serious problems. 

Support Immunity System

The antibacterial and antioxidant properties of garlic can be used to fight bacteria and pathogens and prevent the body from illness, including common colds. It is used to boost the immunity system naturally. A better immune system is good for the body. According to a study, it is said that garlic extract is effective against influenza A and B viruses, rhinoviruses, HIV, simple herpes, viral pneumonia, rotavirus and many more.

Powerful Antioxidant

The strong antioxidant component contained in the garlic and garlic extract protects the cells from oxidative damage and free radical attacks. An antioxidant is involved in the ageing process as well as heart diseases and high blood pressure. Basically, garlic activates the antioxidant enzyme that may also reduce common brain diseases.

Heart Protection

Diallyl trisulfide, from the garlic or its extract, helps to protect the heart. The consumption of garlic can be expected to increase the chances of reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, from various directions. As per many studies, garlic has an important role in suppressing factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure. The active sulfur molecules from garlic are believed to be directly involved in vasodilation and lowering blood pressure.

Normalise Blood Sugar Level

Garlic is also known as an antidiabetic effect. Basically, garlic works on insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas and helps the human body use glucose as energy. Garlic works on it and lowers the blood sugar level. The sulfur compound in the garlic controls the activation of insulin that occurs in the liver and promotes insulin secretion from the pancreas and is an effect for the diabetes patient.

Gastrointestinal Health

Gastric has been used for gastrointestinal health for a long time. It is termed as an indigestible food ingredient that improves constipation, heartburn, acidity, bloating and many more. Its antibacterial effect is effective on the host by selectively altering the growth and activity of certain bacteria in the large intestine, improving the health of the host. In addition, it is a type of dietary fibre that is also good for intestinal bacteria and the human body. Garlic is known in Ayurveda for healthy digestion. 

Bone Health

It is said that garlic is used to improve bone health, especially in women. As per the study, it is noted that garlic can minimise bone loss by increasing estrogen (female hormone) in women and making bones healthy. It found that "large amounts" of dried garlic extract could alleviate estrogen deficiency. Women should give it a try for their bone health and osteoarthritis problems.

Help in Detoxification

The sulfur compound from the garlic is able to detoxify the body and ward off the heavy metals and toxins from the body. According to a study, the use of garlic may reduce the level of lead from the blood by about 19%. It is effective to reduce the toxicity from the blood, liver, stomach, etc. 

Support Long Live

No herb in the world can provide longevity to humans. But a herb that can reduce the risk of failure or death by improving blood pressure, heart problems, and sugar level. In today's generation, heart failure, diabetes are the common reasons for death. A clove of garlic is effective for immunity and many body functions and helps to liver longer.

Precaution & Side Effects Of Garlic

Not everything in the world has positive effects, Garlic also has adverse effects on some conditions. Read out the precaution and side effects that you may experience when you are using garlic.

  • When taken by mouth: Garlic is safer to use by mouth by most people. It can be used for 3 years without any problem.
  • When applied to the skin: Garlic products in the form of gel, mouthwash, and cream are safer to apply on the skin. Well, applying raw garlic is not safe for the skin. It might cause skin damage like burns or skin irritation.
  • Spicy flavour- Garlic has a peculiar, spicy flavour. This fact, on occasions, can generate gastric, digestive, oral or oesophagal discomfort. Mostly in people with a sensitive stomach. It is also a food that causes gastric burning. So, try to keep the garlic dose within the limit.
  • Interaction with medications: Garlic use in large quantities can change the effects of certain drugs, either boosting or decreasing their effectiveness.
  • Halitosis: Garlic is one of the foods that promote halitosis or bad breath. It's tough to disguise the scent of garlic on our breath when we eat food with a strong garlic flavour. Even more so, given that it is a cuisine that can be easily replicated.
  • Breast milk: Some components of garlic can transfer into breast milk, giving it an unpleasant odour and flavour. As a result, the infant may reject milk given directly by the mother. 
  • Pregnant women: It is not safe to use garlic capsules or supplements. The medical amount of garlic is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is no reliable information about the dose of garlic for pregnant women, so it is good to avoid it.
  • Children: The dose of garlic for children is lesser than for adults. It is important to mind the dose, especially for children and babies.
  • Bleeding Disorders: The fresh garlic and garlic supplement might increase the risk of bleeding. It is not recommended to overdose or not recommended without consultation with healthcare professionals. If you have bleeding problems, talk to your professional first.
  • Surgery: As garlic has the capacity to increase bleeding and change blood pressure. It is not good for you to consume garlic when you are going to surgery.
  • Medication: If you are on medication related to heart, sugar, blood pressure, then you need to talk to a healthcare professional first. Garlic is a strong herb and works on many body functions. 
  • Overdose: The possible adverse effects of garlic when consumed in high doses are bad breath, heartburn, gas, and diarrhoea.

Garlic Dosage

As per the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India), the recommended dose is 1-3 g in the fresh clove form. You can consume fresh garlic or garlic capsules. Well, garlic has been used by adults for months. 1-3 g consumption by mouth is safer for all. The amount of allicin in the garlic supplement determines the effect of garlic. Typically allicin ranges from 1.1% to 1.3%. It is good to try the garlic supplement like capsules or softgel that is coated, so they dissolve easily in the intestine and not in the stomach.

Consumption of garlic softgel or garlic tablets does not leave a bad breath and pungent in the mouth. For more information, it is suggested to talk with the healthcare professional.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Garlic

What is a clove of garlic?

Garlic contains a head or knob, from which there are many small segments connected. These small segments connected to the head are known as cloves of garlic. Every clove is covered with whitish papery skin.

How to grow garlic?

The easiest way to grow garlic at home is, using a garlic clove. Each garlic clove is able to grow a garlic plant. Wash clove and plant it about 8 inches deep in the soil and plant it. Water is an alternative day. Make sure it is placed in a sunlight place.

How to make garlic powder?

Peel the garlic clove and cut it into 8 pieces. Keep it in direct sunlight so it gets dehydrated. When you notice, it completely gets dried and uses a blender to change it into garlic powder. Try to keep it fine.

How much garlic per day?

The use of 1-3g of garlic is enough to use every day. Do not overdose on the garlic. The right dose is important for every herb.

How to eat garlic?

Garlic is effective in many health benefits. Consume fresh raw garlic with an empty stomach. It is also recommended to use garlic capsules in the morning time.

What are the advantages of garlic?

Benefits related to garlic are better blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce risk of heart diseases, improve immunity system and many more.

What happens if you consume garlic on a regular basis?

It is recommended to consume garlic on a regular basis. Just make sure to not increase the dose. Consult a healthcare professional about the right dose for daily use.

Why is garlic so bad for you?

As we know, garlic has a strong flavour. It causes bad breath. That is why some people do not like garlic except for its health benefits.

Is garlic beneficial to the immune system?

Yes, garlic is known to boost the immune system. It has compounds that are antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory in nature. It protects the body from free radicals and infections.

Is garlic antibacterial?

Yes, garlic has an antibacterial effect. It creates a defence for the body and boosts the immune system for a healthy life.

Is garlic beneficial to the flu virus?

Yes, garlic is beneficial for the flu viruses. The antibacterial, antioxidant properties of garlic fight the flu causing pathogens.

What happens if I consume garlic on a daily basis?

Yes, it is ideal to use garlic on a daily basis in the right dose. Do not exceed your daily dose until 1-3g.

How much garlic should I consume each day?

As per FSSAI, you can consume 1-3g of garlic in the form of raw clove and garlic extract. Do not try to change your dose without consulting your healthcare professional.

What may garlic be used to treat?

Garlic is a traditional herb that is used to treat colds and coughs by improving the immunity system and overall health.

Is garlic harmful to the liver?

Garlic is loaded with allicin that may cause liver toxicity if it is consumed in large quantities. 

What are the garlic benefits for men?

Heavy metal detoxification, better heart function, better blood flow, better digestive system, boost immunity system are some of the garlic benefits for men 

What are the benefits of eating raw garlic?

The most important benefits of eating raw garlic is a better digestive system and reducing the risk of heart problems.

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