BOTANICAL NAME: Allium sativum
FAMILY NAME: Alliaceae- is a bulbous perennial food plant
Gralic is believed to have to have originated in Central Asia and was known to the chinese as far back as 3,000 BC. It continues to be one of the staple spices of the chinese diet till today. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans aslo used garlic both as a staple food and as a medicine for several ailments. It spread to all part of the world and is now widely grown in the mediterranean region, india, philippines, china, ethiopia, kenya, brazil, and mexico. It grows well in cool climates with dry weather.
Garlic is in erect biennial herb of the onion family, normaly grown as an annual. It has irregular roots, condensed, flattened stem and narrow, flat leaves. the bulb consists of 6-35 bublets called cloves, enclosed in a thick whitish, glistening and transparent covering.
An analysis of garlic shows it to contain:
- moisture - 62.0%
- protein - 6.3%
- fat - 0.1%
- minerals - 1.0%
- fibre - 0.8%
- carbohydrate - 29.8%
Their mineral and vitamins contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. It also contains traces of iodine, sulphur abd chlorine.
Calorific value of Garlic is 145.
In herbal medicine, garlic has been traditionally used for; asthma, deafness, leprosy, bronchial congestion, arteriosclerosis
Garlis is good for the heart, food for the hair, a stimulant to appetite, a strength-giving food, useful in leucoderma, leprasy, piles, worms, catarrhal disorders, asthma and cough.
Medicinal uses of Garlic
antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant. It may be externally applied as ointment, lotion, antiseptic or as a poultice. Syrup of garlic is very good for asthma, coughs, difficulty in breathing and chronic bronchitis, while fresh juice has been used to ease tubercular consumption. The essential oil is commonly taken as a supplement in the form of gelatine capsules. Several species of wild garlic are utilized for both medicinal and dietary purposes.