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GARLIC

Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives
include the onion, shallot, leek, chive,
[1]
and rakkyo.
[2]
With a history of human use of over 7, years,
garlic is native to central !sia,
["]
and has long #een a staple in the $editerranean region, as well as a
fre%uent seasoning in !sia, !frica, and &urope. It was known to !ncient &gyptians, and has #een used for
#oth culinary and medicinalpurposes.
[']
DESCRIPTION
!llium sativum is a #ul#. It grows up to .( m )2ft* in height. Its hardiness is +,-! .one /. It
produces hermaphrodite flowers. 0ollination occurs #y insects and #ees
ORIGIN AND MAYOR TYPES
The ancestry of cultivated garlic is not definitively established. According to Zohary and Hopf,
[5]
"A difficulty in the identification of its wild progenitor is the sterility of the cultivars", though
it is thought to be descendent fro the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wildin central
and southwestern Asia.
[!]["]
Allium sativum grows in the wild in areas where it has
becoe naturalised. The "wild garlic", "crow garlic", and "field garlic" of #ritain are ebers of
the species Allium ursinum, Allium vineale, and Allium oleraceum, respectively. $n %orth
Aerica, Allium vineale &'nown as "wild garlic" or "crow garlic"( and Allium canadense, 'nown
as "eadow garlic" or "wild garlic" and "wild onion", are coon weeds in fields.
[)]
*ne of the
best+'nown "garlics", the so+called elephant garlic, is actually a wild lee' &Allium
ampeloprasum(, and not a true garlic. ,ingle clove garlic &also called pearl or solo garlic(
originated in the -unnan province of .hina.
European garlic
Italian garlic 0-1 )!glio 2ianco 0olesano*
3here are a num#er of garlics with 0rotected 4eographical ,tatus in &urope5 these include6
!glio 7osso di 8u#ia )7ed 4arlic of 8u#ia* from 8u#ia90aceco, 0rovincia di 3rapani, ,icily, Italy
!glio 2ianco 0olesano from :eneto, Italy )0-1*
!glio di :oghiera from ;errara, &milia97omagna, Italy )0-1*
!il #lanc de <omagne from <omagne in the 4ascony area of ;rance )04I*
!il de la -r=me from -r=me in ;rance )04I*
!il rose de <autrec a rose>pink garlic from <autrec in ;rance )04I*
!?o $orado de las 0edro@eras a rose>pink garlic from <as 0edro@eras in ,pain )04I*
:arieties
Within the species, Allium sativum, there are also two main su#species
[A]
or varieties.
[1]
Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon )<ink* -Bll, called 1phioscorodon, or hard necked garlic,
includes porcelain garlics, rocam#ole garlic, and purple stripe garlics. It is sometimes considered to
#e a separate species, Allium ophioscorodon 4.-on.
Allium sativum var. sativum, or soft9necked garlic, includes artichoke garlic, silverskin garlic, and
creole garlic.
2ul# garlic is availa#le in many forms, including fresh, froCen, dried, fermented )#lack garlic*and shelf
sta#le products )in tu#es or ?ars*. In addition, see Dulinary uses for other edi#le parts of the garlic plant.
Dultivation
4arlic is easy to grow and can #e grown year9round in mild climates. While seEual propagation of garlic is
indeed possi#le, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated aseEually, #y planting individual cloves
in the ground.
[F]
In cold climates, cloves are planted in the fall, a#out siE weeks #efore the soil freeCes,
and harvested in late spring.
[11]
4arlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked #y many pests
or diseases. 4arlic plants are said to repel ra##its and moles.
[2]
3wo of the ma?or pathogens that attack
garlic arenematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely after the ground has
#ecome infected.
[F]
4arlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots
and turns them pink or red.
[12]
4arlic plants can #e grown closely together, leaving enough space for the #ul#s to mature, and are easily
grown in containers of sufficient depth. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large
heads from which to separate cloves. <arge cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting #ed, will
also improve head siCe. 4arlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic materialcontent, #ut are
capa#le of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pG levels.
[F]
3here are different types or su#species of garlic, most nota#ly hardneck garlic and softneck garlic.
3he latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can #e day9length sensitive.
Gardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates5 softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the
e%uator.
[1"][1']
4arlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlicHs energy into #ul# growth. 3he scapes can #e eaten raw
or cooked.
+ses
Culinary uses
4arlic #eing crushed using a garlic press
,tring of garlic
4arlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.
3he garlic plantHs #ul# is the most commonly used part of the plant. With the eEception of the single clove
types, garlic #ul#s are normally divided into numerous fleshy sections calledcloves. 4arlic cloves are
used for consumption )raw or cooked* or for medicinal purposes. 3hey have a characteristic pungent,
spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considera#ly with cooking.
[1A]
1ther parts of the garlic plant are also edi#le. 3he leaves and flowers )#ul#ils* on the head )spathe* are
sometimes eaten. 3hey are milder in flavor than the #ul#s,
[2]
and are most often consumed while
immature and still tender. Immature garlic is sometimes pulled, rather like a scallion, and sold as Igreen
garlicI.
[2]
When green garlic is allowed to grow past the IscallionI stage, #ut not permitted to fully mature,
it may produce a garlic IroundI, a #ul# like a #oiling onion, #ut not separated into cloves like a mature
#ul#.
[21]
!dditionally, the immature flower stalks )scapes* of the hardneck and elephant types are
sometimes marketed for uses similar to asparagus in stir9fries.
[F]
Inedi#le or rarely eaten parts of the garlic plant include the IskinI and root cluster. 3he papery, protective
layers of IskinI over various parts of the plant are generally discarded during preparation for most culinary
uses, though in Jorea immature whole heads are sometimes prepared with the tender skins intact.
[22]
3he
root cluster attached to the #asal plate of the #ul# is the only part not typically considered palata#le in any
form.
4arlic is a fundamental component in many or most dishes of various regions, including eastern !sia,
,outh !sia, ,outheast !sia, the $iddle &ast, northern !frica, southern &urope, and parts of ,outh and
Dentral !merica. 3he flavour varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. It is often
paired with onion, tomato, or ginger. 3he parchment9like skin is much like the skin of an onion, and is
typically removed #efore using in raw or cooked form. !n alternative is to cut the top off the #ul#, coat the
cloves #y dri##ling olive oil )or other oil9#ased seasoning* over them, and roast them in an oven. 4arlic
softens and can #e eEtracted from the cloves #y s%ueeCing the )root* end of the #ul#, or individually #y
s%ueeCing one end of the clove. In Jorea, heads of garlic are fermented at high temperature5 the resulting
product, called #lack garlic, is sweet and syrupy, and is now #eing sold in the +nited ,tates, +nited
Jingdom and !ustralia.
4arlic may #e applied to different kinds of #read to create a variety of classic dishes, such as garlic #read,
garlic toast, #ruschetta, crostini and canapK.
1ils can #e flavored with garlic cloves. 3hese infused oils are used to season all categories of vegeta#les,
meats, #reads and pasta.
In some cuisines, the young #ul#s are pickled for three to siE weeks in a miEture of sugar, salt, and
spices. In eastern &urope, the shoots are pickled and eaten as an appetiCer.
Immature scapes are tender and edi#le. 3hey are also known as Igarlic spearsI, IstemsI, or ItopsI.
,capes generally have a milder taste than the cloves. 3hey are often used in stir frying or #raised like
asparagus.
[1(]
4arlic leaves are a popular vegeta#le in many parts of !sia. 3he leaves are cut, cleaned,
and then stir9fried with eggs, meat, or vegeta#les.
$iEing garlic with egg yolks and olive oil produces aioli. 4arlic, oil, and a chunky #ase produce skordalia.
2lending garlic, almond, oil, and soaked #read produces ajoblanco.
4arlic powder has a different taste from fresh garlic. If used as a su#stitute for fresh garlic, 1>/ teaspoon
of garlic powder is e%uivalent to one clove of garlic.
[edit]Storage
! #asket of garlic #ul#s
7eady peeled garlic cloves sold in a plastic container
-omestically, garlic is stored warm [a#ove 1/ LD )F' L;*] and dry to keep it dormant )so it does not
sprout*. It is traditionally hung5 softneck varieties are often #raided in strands called plaits or grappes.
0eeled cloves may #e stored in wine or vinegar in the refrigerator.
[2"]
Dommercially, garlic is stored at LD
)"2 L;*, in a dry, low9humidity environment.
[2']
4arlic will keep longer if the tops remain attached.
[F]
4arlic is often kept in oil to produce flavoured oil5 however, the practice re%uires measures to #e taken to
prevent the garlic from spoiling. +ntreated garlic kept in oil can support the growth of Clostridium
botulinum which causes the deadly #otulism illness5 refrigeration will not assure the safety of garlic kept in
oil. 3o reduce this risk, the oil should #e refrigerated and used within one week. Dommercially prepared
oils are widely availa#le. $anufacturers add acids and>or other chemicals to eliminate the risk of #otulism
in their products.
[2(]
3wo out#reaks of #otulism related to garlic stored in oil have #een reported.
[2F][27]
[edit]Historical use
4arlic has #een used as #oth food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating at least
as far #ack as when the 4iCa pyramids were #uilt. 4arlic is still grown in &gypt, #ut the ,yrian variety is
the kind most esteemed now )see 7awlinsonHs Herodotus, 2.12(*.
Gippocrates, 4alen, 0liny the &lder, and -ioscorides all mention the use of garlic for many conditions,
including parasites, respiratory pro#lems, poor digestion, and low energy. Its use in Dhina dates #ack to
2 2D&.
[1]
It was consumed #y ancient 4reek and 7oman soldiers, sailors, and rural classes ):irgil,Ecologues ii. 11*,
and, according to 0liny the &lder )Natural History EiE. "2*, #y the !fricanpeasantry. 4alen eulogiCes it as
the IrusticHs theriacI )cure9all* )see ;. !damsH Paulus Aegineta, p. AA*, and !leEander 8eckam, a writer of
the 12th century )see WrightHs edition of his works, p. '7", 1/F"*, recommends it as a palliative for the
heat of the sun in field la#or.
In the account of JoreaHs esta#lishment as a nation, a tiger and a #ear prayed to Gwanung that they may
#ecome human. +pon hearing their prayers, Gwanung gave them 2 cloves of garlic and a #undle
of mugwort, ordering them to eat only this sacred food and remain out of the sunlight for 1 days. 3he
tiger gave up after a#out twenty days and left the cave. Gowever, the #ear remained and was transformed
into a woman.
In his Natural History, 0liny gives an eEceedingly long list of scenarios in which it was considered
#eneficial )N.H. EE. 2"*. -r. 3. ,ydenham valued it as an application in confluent smallpoE, and, says
Dullen )Mat. Med. ii. p. 17', 17/A*, found some dropsies cured #y it alone. &arly in the 2th century, it
was sometimes used in the treatment of pulmonary tu#erculosis or phthisis.
Garvesting garlic, from Tacuinum sanitatis, 1(th century )2i#liothM%ue nationale*
4arlic was rare in traditional &nglish cuisine )though it is said to have #een grown in &ngland#efore 1('/*
and has #een a much more common ingredient in $editerranean &urope.
[citation needed]
4arlic was placed #y
the ancient 4reeks on the piles of stones at crossroads, as a supper
for Gecate )3heophrastus, Characters The !uperstitious Man*. ! similar practice of hanging garlic, lemon
and red chilli at the door or in a shop to ward off potential evil, is still very common in India.
[2/]
!ccording to
0liny, garlic and onions were invoked as deities #y the &gyptians at the taking of oaths. )0liny also stated
garlic demagnetiCes lodestones, which is not factual.*
[2A]
3he inha#itants of 0elusium, in lower &gypt )who
worshiped the onion*, are said to have had an aversion to #oth onions and garlic as food.
3o prevent the plant from running to leaf, 0liny )N.H. EiE. "'* advised #ending the stalk downward and
covering with earth5 seeding, he o#serves, may #e prevented #y twisting the stalk )#y IseedingI, he most
likely meant the development of small, less potent #ul#s*.
[edit]Medicinal use and health benefits
Garlic, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g !"# o$%
Energy F2" kN )1'A kcal*
Carbohydrates "".F g
& Sugars 1.g
& 'ietary fiber 2.1 g
(at .( g
)rotein F."A g
9 #eta9carotene ( Og )P*
3hiamine )vit. 21* .2 mg )17P*
7i#oflavin )vit. 22* .11 mg )AP*
8iacin )vit. 2"* .7 mg )(P*
0antothenic acid )2(* .(AF mg )12P*
:itamin 2F 1.2"( mg )A(P*
;olate )vit. 2A* " Og )1P*
:itamin D "1.2 mg )"/P*
Dalcium 1/1 mg )1/P*
Iron 1.7 mg )1"P*
$agnesium 2( mg )7P*
0hosphorus 1(" mg )22P*
0otassium '1 mg )AP*
,odium 17 mg )1P*
.inc 1.1F mg )12P*
Manganese 1"*+, -g
Seleniu- 1.", /g
0ercentages are relative to
+, recommendations for adults.
,ource6 +,-! 8utrient -ata#ase
In in vitro studies, garlic has #een found to have anti#acterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. Gowever,
these actions are less clear in vivo. 4arlic is also claimed to help prevent heart disease
)including atherosclerosis, highcholesterol, and high #lood pressure* andcancer.
[1]["]
!nimal studies, and
some early research studies in humans, have suggested possi#le cardiovascular #enefits of garlic. !
DCech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of
animals.
["1]
!nother study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic
pla%ue deposits of cholesterol9fed ra##its.
["2]
!nother study showed supplementation with garlic eEtract
inhi#ited vascular calcification in human patients with high #lood cholesterol.
[""]
3he known vasodilative
effect of garlic is possi#ly caused #y cata#olism of garlic9derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red
#lood cells )72Ds*, a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the 72D mem#rane. Gydrogen
sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell9signaling molecule.
["']
! randomiCed clinical trial funded #y the 8ational Institutes of Gealth )8IG* in the +nited ,tates and
pu#lished in the Archives o" #nternal Medicine in 27 found the consumption of garlic in any form did not
reduce #lood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high #aseline cholesterol levels.
["(]
["F]
!ccording to Geart.org, Idespite decades of research suggesting that garlic can improve cholesterol
profiles, a new 8IG9funded trial found a#solutely no effects of raw garlic or garlic supplements
on <-<, G-<, or triglycerides... 3he findings underscore the haCards of meta9analyses made up of small,
flawed studies and the value of rigorously studying popular her#al remediesI. In an editorial regarding the
initial reportHs findings, two physicians from Weill Dornell $edical Dollege of Dornell +niversity, pointed
out that there may I#e effects of garlic on atherosclerosis specifically that were not picked up in the
studyI.
["7]
Gowever, a 212 meta9analysis of randomiCed, dou#le9#lind, place#o9controlled trials looking at the
effects of garlic on serum lipid profiles, found garlic was superior to place#o in reducing serum total
cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Dompared with the place#o groups, serum total cholesterol and
triglyceride levels in the garlic groups was reduced #y .2/ )A(P DI, 9.'(, 9.11* mmol <Q )0 R .1*
and .1" )A(P DI, 9.2, 9.F* mmol <Q )0 S .1*, respectively.
["/]
Allium sativum has #een found to reduce platelet aggregation
["A][']['1]['2]
and hyperlipidemia.
['2]['"]['']
In 27, the 22D reported Allium sativum may have other #eneficial properties, such as preventing and
fighting the common cold.
['(]
3his assertion has the #acking of long tradition in her#al medicine, which has
used garlic for hoarseness and coughs.
['F]
3he Dherokeealso used it as an eEpectorant for coughs
and croup.
['7]
Gowever, in contrast to these earlier claims concerning the cold9preventing properties of
garlic, a 212 report in the Dochrane -ata#ase of ,ystematic 7eviews concludes that Ithere is insufficient
clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. ! single
trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold #ut more studies are needed to
validate this finding. Dlaims of effectiveness appear to rely largely on poor9%uality evidence.I
['/]
4arlic is also alleged to help regulate #lood sugar levels. 7egular and prolonged use of therapeutic
amounts of aged garlic eEtracts lower #lood homocysteine levels and has #een shown to prevent some
complications of dia#etes mellitus.
['A][(]
0eople taking insulinshould not consume medicinal amounts of
garlic without consulting a physician.
4arlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II.
[(1]
$ore
recently, it has #een found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.(P fresh garlic shows good
antimicro#ial activity, although the ma?ority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.
[(2]
4arlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections )especially chest pro#lems*, digestive disorders, and
fungal infections such asthrush.
[("][(']
4arlic can #e used as a disinfectant #ecause of its #acteriostatic and
#acteriocidal properties.
[']
4arlic has #een found to enhance thiamin a#sorption, and therefore reduces the likelihood for developing
the thiamin deficiency#eri#eri.
[((]
In 1A2', it was found to #e an effective way to prevent scurvy, #ecause of its high vitamin D content.
[((]
4arlic has #een used reasona#ly successfully in !I-, patients to treat Cryptosporidium in an
uncontrolled study in Dhina.
[(F]
It has also #een used #y at least one !I-, patient to treat toEoplasmosis,
another protoCoal disease.
[(7]
4arlic supplementation has #een shown to #oost testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet.
[(/]
! 21 dou#le9#lind, parallel, randomised, place#o9controlled trial, involving ( patients whose routine
clinical records in general practice documented treated #ut uncontrolled hypertension, concluded, I1ur
trial suggests that aged garlic eEtract is superior to place#o in lowering systolic #lood pressure similarly to
current first line medications in patients with treated #ut uncontrolled hypertension.I
[(A]
[edit]0ther uses
3he sticky ?uice within the #ul# cloves is used as an adhesive in mending glass and porcelain in Dhina.
[2]
!n environmentally #enign garlic9derived polysulfide product is approved for use in the &uropean +nion
)under !nneE 1 of A1>'1'* and the +J as a nematicide andinsecticide, including for use for control
of ca##age root fly and red mite in poultry.
[F]
[edit]1dverse effects and to2icology
4arlic is known for causing halitosis, as well as causing sweat to have a pungent HgarlickyH smell, which is
caused #y allyl methyl sulfide )!$,*. !$, is a volatile li%uid which is a#sor#ed into the #lood during the
meta#olism of garlic9derived sulfur compounds5 from the #lood it travels to the lungs
[1]
)and from there to
the mouth, causing #ad #reath5 see garlic #reath* and skin, where it is eEuded through skin pores.
Washing the skin with soap is only a partial and imperfect solution to the smell. ,tudies have shown
sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutraliCe #ad #reath.
[F1]
$iEing garlic
with milk in the mouth #efore swallowing reduced the odor #etter than drinking milk afterward.
[F1]
0lain
water, mushrooms and #asil may also reduce the odor5 the miE of fat and water found in milk, however,
was the most effective.
[F1]
3he green, dry HfoldsH in the center of the garlic clove are especially pungent. 3he sulfur compound allicin,
produced #y crushing or chewing fresh garlic, produces other sulfur compounds6 a?oene, allyl
polysulfides, and vinyldithiins.
[1]
!ged garlic lacks allicin, #ut may have some activity due to the presence
of ,9allylcysteine.
In a rat study allicin was found to #e an activator of 370!1. 3he neurons released neurotransmitters in
the spinal cord to generate pain signals and released neuropeptides at the site of sensory nerve
activation, resulting in vasodilation, as well as inflammation.
[F2]
!llicin is released only #y crushing or
chewing raw garlic and cannot #e formed from cooked garlic.
,ome people suffer from allergies to garlic and other plants in the allium family.
[1]
,ymptoms can
include irrita#le #owel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, #reathing difficulties, and, in rare
cases, anaphylaEis. 4arlic9sensitive patients show positive tests to diallyl disulfide, allylpropyldisulfide,
allylmercaptan and allicin, all of which are present in garlic. 0eople who suffer from garlic allergies will
often #e sensitive to many plants, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger,
and #ananas.
4arlic reduces platelet aggregation )as does aspirin*5
[F"]
this had caused very high %uantities of garlic and
garlic supplements to #e linked with an increased risk of #leeding, particularly during pregnancy and after
surgery and child#irth,
[F'][F(]
although culinary %uantities are safe for consumption.
,everal reports of serious #urns resulting from garlic #eing applied topically for various purposes,
including naturopathic uses and acne treatment, indicate care must #e taken for these uses, usually
testing a small area of skin using a very low concentration of garlic.
[FF]
1n the #asis of numerous reports of
such #urns, including #urns to children, topical use of raw garlic, as well as insertion of raw garlic into
#ody cavities, is discouraged. In particular, topical application of raw garlic to young children is not
advisa#le.
[F7]
3he side effects of long9term garlic supplementation, if any eEist, are largely unknown, and
no ;-!9approved study has #een performed. Gowever, garlic has #een consumed for several thousand
years without any adverse long9term effects, suggesting modest %uantities of garlic pose, at worst,
minimal risks to normal individuals. 0ossi#le side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating,
diCCiness, allergic reactions, #leeding, and menstrual irregularities.
[F(]
3he safety of garlic supplements
has not #een determined for children5
[F/]
some #reastfeeding mothers have found their #a#ies slow to feed
and have noted a garlic odour coming from their #a#y when they have consumed garlic.
[F'][FA]
4arlic may interact with warfarin, antiplatelets, sa%uinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel
#lockers, %uinolone family of anti#iotics such as Dipro,and hypoglycemic drugs, as well as other
medications.
[F']
$em#ers of the alium family might #e toEic to cats or dogs.
[7]
,ome degree of liver toEicity
has #een demonstrated in rats, particularly in eEtremely large %uantities eEceeding those that a rat would
consume under normal situations.
[71]
[edit]0roperties
When crushed, Allium sativum yields allicin, an anti#iotic
[72]
and antifungal compound )phytoncide*
discovered #y Dhester N. Davallitoand colleagues in 1A''. It has #een claimed that allicin from crushed
garlic can #e used as a home remedy to help speed recovery fromstrep throat or other minor ailments
#ecause of its anti#iotic properties
[citation needed]
. ;resh or crushed garlic also affords the sulfur9containing
compounds alliin, a?oene, diallyl polysulfides, vinyldithiins, !9allylcysteine, and enCymes, 2
vitamins, proteins, minerals,saponins, flavonoids, and $aillard reaction products, which are not sulfur9
containing compounds. ;urthermore, a phytoaleEin )alliEin* was found, a nonsulfur compound with a T9
pyrone skeleton structure with antioEidant effects, antimicro#ial effects,
[7"]
antitumor promoting effects,
[7']
inhi#ition of aflatoEin 22 -8! #inding,
[7']
and neurotrophic effects. !lliEin showed an antitumor
promoting effect in vivo, inhi#iting skin tumor formation #y 30! and -$2! initiated mice.
[7']
!nalogs of
this compound have eEhi#ited antitumor promoting effects in in vitro eEperimental conditions. Gerein,
alliEin and>or its analogs may #e eEpected useful compounds for cancer prevention or chemotherapy
agents for other diseases.
3he composition of the #ul#s is approEimately /'.AP water, 1"."/P organic matter, and 1.("P
inorganic matter, while the leaves are /7.1'P water, 11.27P organic matter, and 1.(AP inorganic matter.
[7(][7F]
3he phytochemicals responsi#le for the sharp flavor of garlic are produced when the plantHs cells are
damaged. When a cell is #roken #y chopping, chewing, or crushing, enCymes stored in
cell vacuoles trigger the #reakdown of several sulfur9containing compounds stored in the cell fluids
)cytosol*. 3he resultant compounds are responsi#le for the sharp or hot taste and strong smell of garlic.
,ome of the compounds are unsta#le and continue to react over time. !mong the mem#ers of the onion
family, garlic has #y far the highest concentrations of initial reaction products, making garlic much more
potent than onion, shallot, or leeks.
[77]
!lthough many humans en?oy the taste of garlic, these compounds
are #elieved to have evolved as a defensive mechanism, deterring animals such as #irds,insects,
and worms from eating the plant.
[7/]
! large num#er of sulfur compounds contri#ute to the smell and taste of garlic. !llicin has #een found to
#e the compound most responsi#le for the IhotI sensation of raw garlic. 3his chemical opens
thermotransient receptor potential channels that are responsi#le for the #urning sense of heat in foods.
3he process of cooking garlic removes allicin, thus mellowing its spiciness.
[7A]
!llicin, along with its
decomposition products diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide, are ma?or contri#utors to the characteristic
odor of garlic, while other allicin9derived compounds, such as vinyldithiins and a?oene show #eneficial in
vitro #iological activity.
[1]
2ecause of its strong odor, garlic is sometimes called the Istinking roseI. When
eaten in %uantity, garlic may #e strongly evident in the dinerHs sweat and garlic #reath the following day.
3his is #ecause garlicHs strong9smelling sulfur compounds are meta#oliCed, forming allyl methyl
sulfide. !llyl methyl sulfide )!$,* cannot #e digested and is passed into the #lood. It is carried to the
lungs and the skin, where it is eEcreted. ,ince digestion takes several hours, and release of !$, several
hours more, the effect of eating garlic may #e present for a long time.
[1]
3his well9known phenomenon of Igarlic #reathI is alleged to #e alleviated #y eating fresh parsley.
[/]
3he
her# is, therefore, included in many garlic recipes, such as pistou, persillade, and the garlic #utter spread
used in garlic #read. Gowever, since the odor results mainly from digestive processes placing compounds
such as !$, in the #lood, and !$, is then released through the lungs over the course of many hours,
eating parsley provides only a temporary masking. 1ne way of accelerating the release of !$, from the
#ody is the use of a sauna.
[citation needed]
2ecause of the !$, in the #loodstream, it is #elieved #y some to act as a mos%uito repellent, #ut no
clinically reported evidence suggests it is actually effective.
[/1]
[edit],piritual and religious perceptions
4arlic has #een regarded as a force for #oth good and evil. !ccording to DassellHs -ictionary of
,uperstitions, there is an Islamic myththat considers that after ,atan left the 4arden of &den, garlic arose
in his left footprint and onion in the right.
[/2]
In &urope, many cultures have used garlic for protection or
white magic, perhaps owing to its reputation as a potent preventative medicine.
[/"]
Dentral &uropean folk
#eliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires.
[/"]
3o ward off
vampires, garlic could #e worn, hung in windows, or ru##ed on chimneys and keyholes.
[/']
In #oth Ginduism and Nainism, garlic is considered to stimulate and warm the #ody and to increase oneHs
desires. ,ome devout Gindusgenerally avoid using garlic and the related onion in the preparation of foods
for religious festivities and events. ;ollowers of the Nainreligion avoid eating garlic and onion on a daily
#asis.
! #elief among some Gindus is that when -evas and !suras fought for nectar during churning of the
ocean of milk ),amudramathan* in the other world, two !suras were a#le to get access to nectar and had
some %uantity in their mouths in stealthy ways. Jnowing the !surasH foul play the 4od cuffed the heads of
those !suras #efore they could swallow it and as a result nectar fell down on the earth from their mouths
in drops which later grew as garlic5 that is why the vegeta#le has such wonderful medicinal properties.
In some 2uddhist traditions, garlic 9 along with the other five Ipungent spicesI 9 is understood to stimulate
seEual and aggressive drives to the detriment of meditation practice.

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