Allium sativum L.

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341 : 5

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Allium sativum L.


Allium sativum L.


Myanmar: kyet-thun hpyu, casaun-phet-tine. English: garlic.


Central Asia. In Myanmar, grown mostly in Shan State as a cultivated plant.


Root (Bulb): Garlic is used to support blood and eye health, alleviate fevers and skin disorders, increase perspiration and semen production, stimulate the bowel and the bladder, and to promote virility and longevity. A half teaspoon of garlic powder, steeped in honey and taken at bedtime, is used as a vitalizing tonic to stimulate appetite and promote healthy sleep. It is used to break up phlegm, as well as to strengthen the blood and the gall bladder. Sap from cut garlic bulbs is a remedy for skin conditions, including ringworm, scabies, eczema, freckles and similar facial skin discolorations. Garlic milk, made by boiling seven large bulbs in 40 ticals (ca. 0.5 kg) of pure milk, cooling the mixture for about 10 minutes, and boiling it a second time, is ingested daily for hypertension. A teaspoon of garlic juice mixed with a bit of water and sugar is used to treat whooping cough; garlic juice is taken for coughs, bloated stomachs, and sores on the stomach. To alleviate flatulence, garlic is soaked in sesame oil with a bit of salt and ingested before meals. Infants are given single roasted garlic bulbs for colic and indigestion. For goiter, two drops of garlic oil are applied to the throat, as well as ingested three times a day. Garlic juice mixed with salt is consumed or rubbed at the temples as a remedy for headaches. Because of its germicidal properties, garlic is used to treat lung problems, deep wounds and sores; its juice is also rubbed on the body to ease aches and pains. A mixture consisting of two cloves of garlic boiled in sesame oil is poured warm into the ear as a remedy for deafness, infections, and aches. Garlic is a component of medicines that treat incompletely healed wounds, irregular menstruation, and various malaises (term used where cause of illness not specified in Agriculture Corporation 1980) of men.


Medicinal uses of this species in India are discussed in Jain and DeFilipps (1991). Chemical constituents, pharmacological action, and medicinal use of this species in Indian Ayurveda are discussed in detail by Kapoor (1990).

The medicinal uses of garlic in the Caribbean region, as well as its chemistry, biological activity, toxicity and dosages, are discussed by Germosén-Robineau (1997). The chemical constituents, pharmacological activities, and traditional medicinal uses of garlic on a worldwide basis are discussed in detail by Ross (1999). A pharmacognostical profile including medicinal uses of this species in Africa is given in Iwu (1993). Details of the active chemical compounds, effects, herbal usage and pharmacological literature of garlic are given in Fleming (2000). A detailed discussion of garlic, i.e., natural history, association with humanity, antiherbivory and insect defenses, and medicinal uses (antibiotic and antitoxin actions, cholesterol regulation), is found in Kaufman et al. (1999).

Garlic prolongs elasticity of the aorta ( Leigh 1998), resulting in healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system. Garlic also has antimicrobial effects on Candida albicans and Coccidioides immitis ; fresh garlic juice lowers cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, which helps to prevent blood clotting and thus heart attack and strokes; garlic has free radical scavenging activity which amplifies the bodily antioxidant system; and, garlic lowers concentrations of nitrates, the precursors of the carcinogen nitrosamine, in the gastric juice of the stomach and provides protection against the development of stomach cancer ( Lau 1996).


Agricultural Corporation (1980).