Garlic is anti aging spice. It is hot, cleansing, cardiac tonic, digestive, good for eyes, improves hair strength and quality, useful in cough, asthma etc. But needs some precautions while administering it.
Botanical Name- Allium Sativum Linn.
Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Lahasum
English Name- Garlic
Telugu Name- Vellulli
Bengali Name- Rasuna
Marathi Name- Lasuna
Tamil name – Puntu
Mlechagandha, Ugra Gandha – Having strong pungent odor
Yavaneshta, Lashuna, anda
Mahoushadha – Great medicine having immense health benefits
Rasona – Rasa + Una – having all the six tastes, minus one (sour taste) – Garlic has all the five tastes, except sour.
Arishta, Mlecchakanda, Mahakanda,
Kashyapa mentioned two varieties –
Girija – Garlic grown in mountains and
Kshetraja – cultivated in lands.
Nighantus mentioned two types
Lashuna – Allium sativum and
Maha Kanda/ Grunjana – Allium ascalonium Linn.
Distribution– Cultivated Throughout India. Mainly in Ludhiana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, U.P and Gujarat
Allium sativum chemical Constituents
Alliin; Carbohydrates(arabinose, Galactose etc) Vitamins (folic acid, Niacin, Riboflavin, thiamine, vit c); Amino acids (arinic , Asparagic acid, methionine etc); enzymes (allinase); volatile compounds (allylalcohol, allylthiol, allylpropyl disulphide etc. Thioglycosides(Scordine, Scordinine a1, A2, & B etc. prostaglandins A2, D2, E2 and F2; allylmethylselenide, Ajoene proteorubosiside B.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Garlic – medicinal properties
Raw garlic is one of the very ancient spices used in Ayurveda. Even Sushruta has appreciated the benefits of raw garlic. Sweet, salt, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent are the six tastes according to Ayurveda beliefs. Garlic is one of those rare herbs which has five tastes except sour.
Rasa (taste) – Madhura (sweet), Lavana (salt), Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
Guna (qualities) – Snigdha (oily), Guru (heavy), Teekshna (strong, piercing), Sara (mobile)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion.
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Vata and Kapha. Increases Pitta Dosha.
Part Used- Bulb, oil
Dosage- Paste 1-6 g in single or divided dose per day.
Garlic oil 1-2 ml in single or multiple dose per day
क्रिमिकुष्ठकिलासघ्नो वातघ्नो गुल्मनाशनः|
स्निग्धश्चोष्णश्च वृष्यश्च लशुनः कटुको गुरुः||१७६||
krimikuṣṭhakilāsaghno vātaghno gulmanāśanaḥ|
snigdhaścoṣṇaśca vṛṣyaśca laśunaḥ kaṭuko guruḥ||176|| Charaka Sutrasthana 27
Jantujit, Krumighna – Relieves worm infestation, useful in infected wounds
Kushtaghna – useful in skin diseases
Kilasaghna – useful in spreading type of skin disease
Vataghna – useful in treating disorders of Vata Dosha imbalance such as neuralgia, paralysis, constipation, bloating, etc
Gulmahara – useful in abdominal tumors
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Medhakrut – Improves intelligence
Svarakrut – improves voice tone and quality
Varnakrut – Improves skin tone and complexion
Akshikrut, Netrya, Chakshushya – improves vision, good for eyes, useful in eye disorders
Bhagna Asthi Sandhanakara – causes quick healing of fractured bones
Bruhmana – Though lahsun being pungent, because of its nutritive values, it is also nourishing.
Pachana – Digestive, relieves Ama Dosha
Pittakrut – Increases Pitta Dosha
Asrakrut – Causes or worsens blood vitiated disorders
Keshakrut – improves hair quality and quantity
Hikkahara – relieves hiccups
Kasahara – useful in cough and cold
Jwarahara – useful in fever
Shwasahara – useful in treatment of asthma and chronic respiratory disorders.
Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases
Mehahara – useful in urinary tract disorders and diabetes
Amahara – Relieves ama – a product of indigestion and altered metabolism.
Peenasahara – useful in running nose, sinusitis
Shwitrahara – useful in treating leucoderma – vitiligo
Arshahara – useful in piles, hemorrhoids
Shoolahara – relieves abdominal colic pain
Shophahara – relieves swelling, edema, anti inflammatory
Rasayana – anti aging, causes cell and tissue rejuvenation
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Jeernajvarahara – relieves chronic fever
Kukshi Shoolahara – relieves abdominal colic pain
Vibandhahara – Relieves constipation
Aruchihara – useful in relieving anorexia
Lahsun for relieving Avarana – blocking:
Excluding Rakta (blood tissue) and Pitta Dosha, for all types of Avarana (blocking of channels, covering of channels), Garlic is very useful. Because of its pungent and piercing qualities, it helps to clear open the body channels. Because of its hotness, it is not useful in Pitta and Rakta conditions.
Garlic root is pungent, leaves are pungent, stalk is astringent.
Garlic arthritis: Garlic is used in treatment of fractures, and to strengthen bones. Garlic is known to assist in regeneration of bone mass. Hence raw garlic is useful in rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis.
Maha Kanda/ Grunjana – Allium ascalonium Linn.
It has similar properties of Garlic.
Madhura – sweet in taste
Katu – pungent
Stalk is astringent, leaves are bitter
Garlic and dietetics:
It is good to have non veg food, sour foods, drinks and alcohol with garlic.
Garlic with milk –
To counter the spiciness and hotness of garlic, it is boiled with milk and the milk is consumed. This is especially beneficial for people with Pitta body types. This also has many other benefits. Read more – Garlic Milk remedy
External application: Applying garlic paste improves blood circulation, relieves pain and inflammation.
Hence, its paste is applied over joints to relieve pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis, osteo arthritis and sciatica.
It is also useful against insect bites and itching skin disorders.
Effect of garlic on heart:
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart.
It stimulates heart, improves blood circulation, reduces cholesterol deposition inside the blood vessels.
Effect against cancer:
American Institute For Cancer research enlists garlic as a potential spice useful in cancer prevention. Its key ingredients quercetin, allixin and a group of organosulfur compounds – allicin, alliin and allyl sulfides have shown effect against growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon and stomach tissue.
Garlic side effects:
Limit the amount of garlic intake during summers.
Not suitable for people with Pitta body types.
It is better to avoid hot Sun exposure, exercise, anger, drinking water, milk with jaggery, soon after eating garlic.
It is safe for children, pregnant and lactating mothers.
Garlic may cause or worsen bad breath problem.
For women suffering from heavy menstrual bleeding, it is advisable to stop using garlic from 5 days before onset of periods till it stops.
Garlic a Tamasika food with health benefits:
Garlic has Rasayana properties – It means, if you take it for long period of time, it has anti aging effects on your health. But garlic is a Tamasik food. Tamas means darkness. It means that it is not suitable for those seeking celibacy and spiritual success.
However, if you have any disease, the concept of Tamasik food does not apply to you.
The benefits of garlic outweigh its Tamasik side effects. Unless you are a very serious spiritual seeker, you may continue enjoying immense health benefits of garlic.
How to consume garlic?
For those who can tolerate its offensive smell and taste, they can remove the skin of garlic pearls and consume it readily, after food in the morning.
People with Pitta imbalance can fry garlic in ghee or boil 1 – 2 garlic pearls in milk and then consume it.
For regular use, best method is to use it as part of ingredients to prepare food items.
Its extracts are also available in the market.
Ayurvedic medicines with Lahsun as ingredient:
Lashunadi Vati – used in diarrhoea, dyspepsia and such other stomach and intestine related diseases.
Rasonadi Kashayam – used in Ayurvedic treatment of bloating, vomitting, nausea, cough etc
Lashunadi Ghrita – Herbal ghee used in abdominal disorders, neurological conditions, etc
Vettumaran Gulika – used in Ayurvedic treatment of fever, vomiting, abdominal colic pain
How to use garlic for cold?
Q: Kindly advise suitably about the use of garlic in case of cold. Is it proper to swallow two three cloves with water or it can also be baked in ghee.
Answer: Dear sir, during cold, it is best to swallow 2 garlic pearls or make a paste of garlic pearl, to it, add a pinch of each of turmeric powder and black pepper powder and have it with water. This will be more effective in cold, than frying it in ghee.