Allicin is a powerful sulfur compound obtained from garlic. Although it has many health benefits, such as possessing antioxidant activity, having anti-inflammatory properties, improving heart health and helping in the prevention of cancer, we will discuss the effects of allicin for infections.
In 1944, allicin from crushed garlic cloves was isolated and identified for its remarkable antibacterial activity. The following bacterial strains, including those resistant to antibiotics, have been found to be sensitive to allicin: escherichia coli, streptococcus, staphylococcus, salmonella, klebsiella, clostridium, pseudomonas, proteus, mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacillus and helicobacter pylori. In addition, allicin has antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic properties.
Treating and Preventing Infections with Allicin
Consuming fresh garlic can help in the treatment and prevention of infections. However, there are a few things you should know:
• Treating a serious infection with allicin should be under the supervision of a Naturopathic physician.
• In order for allicin to be effective, you need to chop or crush the garlic clove and let it sit for at least five to ten minutes.
• Eating raw garlic is recommended. If you do cook it, you should add it towards the end of the cooking time. It should not be exposed to heat for more than 15 minutes. Over-cooking can reduce the activity of allicin.
You can also get the benefits of allicin from garlic topically. To treat and prevent infection from cuts and scrapes, chop or crush a clove of garlic, place the garlic on a small piece of cheesecloth, fold the cloth and place the cloth (garlic side) to the wound. You can also apply the juice from the garlic clove directly to the injured area but, depending on the severity of the wound, it may cause an unbearable burning sensation. If this happens, wash it off immediately.
If you are unable to tolerate garlic or you just wish to avoid the bad breath, supplements are available. They are said to be effective but it is important to buy from a reputable source.
If using allicin for infections, whether treating or preventing, you should note the following:
• There are blood-thinning properties in garlic. Consuming too much before giving birth or surgery can increase one’s risk of hemorrhage.
• If taking blood-thinning medications, including aspirin, garlic can increase your risk of bleeding.
• If you are taking any medications or have a medical condition, it is advised to consult with your health care provider before including garlic in your daily diet.
Allicin from fresh Garlic: Nature’s Original Antimicrobial - https://www.allimax.us/Allicin.pdf
WHFoods: Garlic - https://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60
University of Maryland Medical Center: Garlic - https://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/garlic-000245.htm
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