Wednesday, 29 July 2009


English: Garlic

Common Indian Name (Hindi): Lahson

  • Garlic (Allium sativum) is the name given to the leek (herb) with spear shaped leaves. It belongs to Alliaceae family.
  • It is a bulbous plant consisting of single head containing smaller bulbs or cloves individually wrapped in papery skins, which are all wrapped tightly together with another layer of dry papery skin, forming the bulb head.
  • It is used as a spice for seasoning in different cuisines. It is virtually used in every types of vegetarian and non vegetarian cuisine. It is used to prepare Pizzas, Biryani, curries, Sauces, pickles, vegetables etc
  • The smell of garlic is caused by allicin (diallyldisulfide-S-oxide), which is derived from precursors such as alliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide) by the enzyme alliinase which is liberated when the clove is broken up. The active compound resembles the well known drug N-acetyl-L-cysteine (Mucomyst), which has mucolytic and antioxidant properties.
  • Garlic contains several potent antioxidants, and there is evidence that its addition to the diet may help reduce the incidence of gastric and colorectal cancers.
  • The chemicals in garlic can help reduce serum cholesterol, hypertension, blood clotting, blood sugar, bowel parasites, respiratory and other infections, and the aging process itself. However, additional clinical evidence is still needed to determine whether its widespread popularity as an herbal medicine can be justified by measurable benefits of significance.
  • Garlic may protect against colon cancer by protecting colon cells from toxins and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells if they do develop. The selenium and vitamin C found in garlic are also known to protect against colon cancer.
  • Research has shown that cooking garlic with meat reduces carcinogenic chemicals in cooked meat that are believed to be linked to breast cancer in meat-eating women.

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