Garlic (Allium sativum L.): A review of potential therapeutic applications

Prasan R. Bhandari


Garlic (Allium sativum L. fam. Alliaceae), one of the best‑researched herbal remedies, is frequently used as a food and a spice. Garlic contains enzymes (e.g., allinase), sulphur‑containing compounds, including alliin, and compounds produced enzymatically from alliin (for example, allicin). Conventionally, it has been used to treat infections, wounds, diarrhoea, rheumatism, heart disease, diabetes and
many other disorders. Experimental studies have demonstrated that garlic exhibits antibacterial, antihypertensive, cardioprotective, antilipidaemic, anticarcinogenic, immunostimulant and hypoglycaemic properties. Clinically, garlic has been investigated for a variety of indications, namely, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes and for the prevention of arteriosclerosis and cancer. Systematic
reviews are available for the possible antilipidaemic, antihypertensive, antithrombotic and chemopreventive effects. Garlic appears to be generally safe although allergic reactions may occur.
Key words: Allium sativum, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, cardioprotective, garlic

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