Garlic (Allium sativum), a plant native to central Asia, has been used since thousands of years ago for culinary and as medicinal purposes, being part of ancient natural remedies for the treatment of some of the most common ailments and illnesses, as well as for some of its health benefits and properties, among which we can mention being a natural expectorant and an antimicrobial agent. This article will try to cover the most important benefits of garlic and how have these ones been proven in some of the most relevant studies on this subject.
Sumerians, Chinese, ancient Indians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Tibetans, Slavic, Arabic and the list goes on and on naming hundreds of cultures that used garlic not only for its known culinary properties but for its health benefits and as a well-trusted universal folk remedy for the treatment of various illnesses and ailments. Some cultures still know garlic as ‘Russian penicillin’, ‘natural antibiotic’, ‘vegetable viagra’, ‘plant talisman’, ‘rustic's theriac’ and ‘snake grass’ [5,6].
In the past, garlic was used as a folk remedy during various epidemics such as typhus, dysentery, cholera, influenza, and whenever an epidemic has emerged. Garlic has been the first preventive and curative remedy [5,6]. Now, back to the subject, who didn't heard about the saying that onions and garlic collect and kill the flu (influenza) virus spread since its origins time ago in the 1919? I found it interesting enough to enter a little bit deeper and see if there were probably other reasons to believe garlic and onions really got this claimed anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. But let's see what we found about Garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (Allium cepa), it may surprise some of us at the end. Image (taken with Nikon D200): Garlic by Mo Riza under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0).
Common name: Garlic.