Garlic Powder (Allium sativum)(bulb)

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial plant and is included as a member of the Liliaceae family. [1] Botanically, the seeds of the garlic plant are quite unfertile and is practically considered an annual, depending on humans for propagation. Due to garlic's culinary popularity, familiarity with the bulb of garlic is common. Garlic is divided into two groups: softneck - sativum, or cultivated garlic; and hardneck - which is of the ophioscorodon subspecies. [2] Contrary to popular belief, garlic does not exist in the wild. The majority of garlic bulbs consumed in human nutrition are cultivated, with the majority of product coming from Central California. [3] There are many cultivars of garlic, including Italian Purple and Silverskin. The bulb is the part of the plant that is used medicinally as well. Extracts of garlic are often described as tasting pungent and ‘warm.' [1]

There are a number of active constituents in garlic. However, one particular category is responsible for majority of its credited medicinal activity. The sulfur-containing compounds, sulfoxides (alliin) and thiocyanates, are the primary constituents of interest. Volatile oils are are also significant, making up 0.1 - 0.3% of the bulb, and are composed of about 14 different components. Garlic also contains; vitamin A, thiamine, nicotinaminde, vitamin C, protein, high concentration of trace minerals (i.e. selenium), glucosinolates, enzymes (i.e. alliinase, peroxidase, myrosinase), choline, iodine, and saponins. [4, 5]

The sulfur containing compound, alliin, has been of particular interest to researches concerning its possible therapeutic implications on human health. Alliin is exposed to the enzyme alliinase when the bulb is crushed, resulting in the creation of allicin. Interestingly, alliin itself is odorless until it is crushed or chewed. Only upon its conversion to allicin does it obtain its pungent smelling odor. [3] The entire process takes approximately six seconds. Allicin is readily absorbed into the bloodstream and eliminated primarily via the lungs and skin. It is unstable agent that is immediately converted to numerous other organosulfur compounds, including ajoene, trisulfide and diallyl disulfide. [6]

Supplements can be purchased as dried garlic powder, keeping a consistent level of alliin and allinase; odorless, aged garlic extract (which is rich in modified sulfur components that also have medicinal activity); and steam distilled garlic oil containing diallyl sulfides. [7] There are also enteric coated products which prevent digestion of the capsule in the stomach where hydrochloric acid inactivates the enzyme allinase, which would likely prevent its subsequent conversion to allicin. These preparations favor the chemical activity associated with allicin.

Medicinal actions ascribed to garlic:

  • antimicrobial (antibacterial and antimycotic)
  • antispasmodic
  • antidyspeptic
  • counter irritant
  • diaphoretic
  • emmenagogue
  • expectorant
  • carminative
  • digestive aid
  • anti-hyperlipidemic
  • anti-platelet aggregant

Products Containing Garlic Powder (Allium sativum)(bulb)
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Herdox $45.95
$1.53 30 Progressive Health


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