Garlic: A potential source of pharmaceuticals and pesticides: A review

Dr Ravi Kant Upadhyay


Garlic (Allium sativum) holds a unique therapeutic potential as it inhibits invasion of carcinoma, provides cardiovascular protection, lowering of cholesterol, blood pressure, anti-platelet activities, and thromboxane formation. It provides protection against atherosclerosis and associated disorders and helps to decrease serum levels of glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and uric acid, as well as insulin resistance, and reduces cytokine levels. It shows hypolipidemic, anti-platelet, and procirculatory effects, and antimutagenic and antiproliferative properties. It prevents cold and flu symptoms through immune enhancement and exhibits anticancer and chemopreventive activities. The main active component of garlic is alliin (S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide), a potent antioxidant which shows cardioprotective and neuroprotective actions. Diallyl trisulfide, major garlic derivatives, could inhibit the cell proliferation by triggering either cell cycle arrest or apoptosis in a variety of cancer cells. Organosulfur compounds from garlic inhibit the growth of transplanted as well as spontaneous cancers in preclinical animal models without any adverse side effects. Garlic is a good source of anti-invasive, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, chemopreventive, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, apoptotic, cardioprotective, antidiabetic agents and shows insecticidal effects against lepidopteran, coleopteran, dipteran and homopteran insect pests. Hence, its constituents could be used to develop alternatives to conventional insecticides for control of serious fruit and vegetable pests. Garlic herbal preparations can reduce non-target exposure to hazardous insecticides and curb resistance development in insects. No doubt garlic based different ailments and concoctions can be used to alleviate a variety of health problems. Its various supplements contain a different concentration of organosulfur compounds are available commercially in market

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