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Monday, 23 July 2012

Ayurvedic Herb - "Garlic"

Garlic from ancient time garlic is used for its meditational properties. The use of garlic states back from ayurvedic era where garlic was used as an ayurvedic herb. Garlic is bitter and pungent. According to Tridosha theory garlic is antikapha, antivata, and aggravates Pitta.Garlic can be used by mothers in their daily recipe as a spice. Garlic is peeled off and cut in small pieces or grinded in paste, which can be added to curry or vegetable dish. 

Chemical Composition:-
Steamed distillation of crushed fresh bulbs yields 0.1-3.6% of a volatile oil Some sulfur-containing compounds that make up this oil are thought to be responsible for most of garlic's pharmacological properties.

 Allicin - Natural antibiotic - fights bacteria, Mainly responsible for pungent odor. When garlic cells are "injured," (i.e.cut, crushed, etc.) the enzyme alliinase converts alliin contained in raw garlic to allicin – the garlic produces allicin to protect itself from bacteria & other disease-causing organisms. Extremely unstable & decomposes rapidly at room temperature (half-life only slightly more than a few hours)
Allicinase - Inactivated by heat – cooked garlic does not have as strong an odor as raw garlic (nor nearly as powerful physiological effects)

Ajoene - Decreases blood cell clumping – (s chances of stroke Released when garlic is ground, chewed or cooked
Selenium - Antioxidant contained in high quantities in garlic. Antioxidants fight oxidation & free radicals inside the body that wear out the body & may lead to cancer

Saponins - Lowers blood pressure, decreasing chance of stroke

Fructans - May stimulate the immune system.

 Commercial Applications

Garlic used in the preparation of food may be fresh, dried, or freshly ground.Garlic helps in increasing the flavour of all kinds of dishes including seafood, poultry preparations, various pasta items, and all kinds of meat dishes, vegetables and meat stews.It can be added to casseroles, vegetables, and soups; it brings zest to salads and salad dressings.

Benefits or Uses of Garlic.

1)      Digestive System – relives indigestion, constipation, stimulates liver, also acts as mild laxative and anti-spasmodic.

2)      Respiratory System – Used in cough and asthma.

3)      Circulatory System – Stimulates heart, increase blood circulation.

4)      Hypertension- Used as antihypertensive drug.

5)      Arteriosclerosis and Cholesterol – It lowers total cholesterol and Blood pressure. Garlic lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (Bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. Garlic can not only prevent, but also reverse the signs of arteriosclerosis.

6)      Urinary system – Used as diuretic by stimulating kidney function.

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