garlic, allium

Allium ,ativum Alliaceae

The long slender leaves of garlic give it its name, which means spear plant in Anglo Saxon. Garlic is small herbaceous perennial .Its grass like leaves el1case the main stem, which bears umbrella-shaped clusters of flowers. The garlic bulb is made up of 10-15 cloves, each enclosed ill a whitish papery envelop. The cloves form the under ground food storage system.

Parts used

  • Bulb
  • Garlic is harvested in summer or autumn.
  • A piece of the stem is left attached to each bulb so that the bulbs can be strung into bunches.
  • Once the outer parts are dried, garlic bulbs are stored in a dry place. . The bulbs are eaten as part of the diet or used pharmaceutically in powders, extracts and tinctures.


The main active component is the sulphur compound allicin, which is released when fresh garlic is crushed. In turn this produces other sulphides, which occur after the crushed bulb has been oxidised by air. The bulb also contains phenols - antiseptic and anti-inflammatory when taken internally - and flavonoids, known to have anticancer properties.


  • Individuals who are sensitive to garlic may experience heartburn.
  • Those taking anticoagulant drugs should check with their doctor before taking garlic.
  • Anyone scheduled for surgery should tell the surgeon if they are taking garlic supplements.
  • Garlic is very safe and can be used freely by pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Medicinal uses

Garlic has been used since Biblical times for treating parasitic worms, and respiratory and digestive problems. It was vitally important as an antiseptic during the First World War, and was in constant demand.

Garlic can be used to prevent or treat infection: in 1999 Japanese scientists demonstrated its antibacterial action against E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella infections.

Garlic has an antiseptic effect on the digestive and respiratory systems.It is also an immune stimulant. It makes the breath smell becauseits sulphur compounds evaporate rapidly. (Eating parsley combats this.)By reducing fatty deposits on blood vessel walls, garlic can help to prevent hardening of the arteries. It tones the circulation and reduces the formation of blood clots, helping to prevent heart attacks. Garlic may also dilate coronary blood vessels, helping to prevent angina.


Plant cloves in a rich, well-drained soil in autumn or spring, in a sunny spot. Each clove will form a bulb by mid to late summer or early autumn.


For internal use

TO TREAT intestinal worms

DRY EXTRACT Take 100-250mg a day.

TO TREAT digestive and respiratory infections and

TO PREVENT circulation problems TINCTURE Take 40-50 drops three times a day.

CAPSULES, TABLETS (300mg, available in odourless form) Take 1-3 a day.



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