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Allium sativum Allium sativum (Liliaceae)

GARLIC, POOR MAN'S TREACLE

 

This herb is widely valued for many ailments, which benefit from its antiseptic, blood pressure-lowering, and blood thinning actions now all confirmed by medical research. it can be taken raw, powdered, and as tablets or capsules of oil.

 

Garlic has been a culinary and medicinal herb for so long that its origins have been lost in time. The pharaohs are said to have had it placed in their own tombs and also to have fed it to their slaves for strength. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it as medicine, and Culpeper described it as "a remedy for all diseases and hurts". Medical journals regularly publish scientific studies confirming the medicinal properties of garlic. It is native to Siberia, and to southern Europe where it is almost a staple food. The leaves are flat and thin, and a spherical flowerhead of tiny greenish-white or pink flowers appears in midsummer. The bulb is covered in white papery skin and comprises 8 to 15 segments, or cloves.

 

PARTS USED

Cloves.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil containing sulphur compounds, particularly alliin, which converts to allicin and then aloen when a clove is crushed; geraniol and linalool.

 

ACTIONS

Antiseptic; antibacterial; expectorant; antiviral; induces sweating; kills and helps expel worms; lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels; reduces blood clotting in blood vessels.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Used for coughs, colds, bronchitis, and catarrh; regular use may help prevent colds by strengthening the immune system. Garlic is also given to help control blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Prescribed in Chinese medicine for tuberculosis, coughs, and digestive complaints such as diarrhoea.

 

PREPARATIONS

Fresh cloves, tablets of powdered garlic, capsules of oil, tincture, syrup.

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