Scientific Name: Allium sativum
Biological Background: This bulbous plant is closely related to onions, leeks, chives and is a member of Allium vegetables. Garlic is native to Central Asia, and has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years.
Nutritional Information: Due to its use as a spice, garlic provides insignificant amount of nutrients.
Pharmacological Activity: The healing power of garlic is recognized through Chinese folk traditions dating back thousands of years. Garlic contains multiple compounds and antioxidants including organosulfur compounds (diallyl sulfides), which are believed to be responsible for most of the pharmacological and antimicrobial actions. Garlic is a proven broad-spectrum antibiotic that combats bacterial, intestinal parasites, and viruses. It can lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol, discourage dangerous blood clotting, lower chances of cancers (especially stomach cancer). Garlic is a good cold medicine, acts as a decongestant, expectorant, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory agent. It has antidiarrheal, estrogenic, and diuretic activity and appears to lift mood.
Eating Tips: High doses of raw garlic have caused gas, bloating, diarrhea and fever in some. To fight bacteria, raw garlic is better. However cooking does not diminish garlics blood thinning and other cardioprotective capabilities, and in fact, may enhance them by releasing antithrombotic ajoene. As a cancer fighter, raw garlic may be better than cooked ones. Eat garlic both raw and cooked for all around insurance. Eating garlic with parsley may reduce garlic breath.