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Garlic

Mar 19, 2008
Garlic originated in central Asia; it's known for its medicinal values from ages. Indians thought it as aphrodisiac. It is closely related to onion. It was worshiped by Egyptians.

Medicinal values: Garlic contains a medicinal ingredient known as Allicin. Allicin is produced by the enzyme allicinase; which is degraded by heat and acid. Allicin is supposed to reduce cholesterol and decrease blood pressure. Garlic is approved for the treatment of hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis by German Federal Health Agency E.

Availability: Standardized preparations of 0.6% allicin are available as over the counter drugs.

Drug interactions: Garlic is believed to induce Cytochrome P450 system thus increasing the excretion of drugs which are metabolized by Cytochrome P450. It might enhance the effects of blood thinners.

Side effects: Side effects for garlic are rare and it is apparently safe to use chronically. Rarely gastrointestinal discomfort and flatulence can occur. Garlic has inhibitory action on platelet aggregation thus poses a risk of increased bleeding.

Caution: Talk to your doctor before taking garlic supplements. Do not take garlic supplements before medical consultation if you are on blood thinners, have clotting disorders, diabetes. Effects of garlic on unborn baby are not known. Consult your doctor if you are breast feeding, pregnant or planning to be a pregnant. There is no scientific information about garlic supplements in children. Seek medical advice before giving supplements to children.
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