Garlic is a species in the onion genus, Allium.


Also known as Allium sativum.


It is closely related to the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion.


It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran.


A common seasoning, with a history of several thousand years of consumption.


China produces some 80% of the world’s supply of garlic.


It is a perennial flowering plant growing from a bulb.


It has  a tall, erect flowering stem that grows up to 1 m (3 ft). 


Its leaf blade is flat, linear, solid, and approximately 1.25–2.5 cm (0.5–1.0 in) wide.


It may produce pink to purple flowers from July to September.


The garlic bulb is odoriferous.


The garlic bulb contains outer layers of thin sheathing leaves surrounding an inner sheath that encloses the clove.

The  bulb usually contains 10 to 20 cloves that are asymmetric in shape.


It produces hermaphrodite flowers. It is pollinated by bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects.


Many cultivars are sterile.


Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates.


Sexual propagation of garlic is possible, but nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground.


In colder climates, cloves are best planted about six weeks before the soil freezes, to have the bulbs produce only roots and no shoots above the ground.


Harvest is in late spring or early summer.


It grows well in loose, dry, well-drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4–9. 


There different varieties of garlic: hardneck garlic and softneck garlic.


Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates and produces relatively large cloves. 


Softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator and produces small, tightly-packed cloves.


Garlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlic’s energy into bulb growth. 


The scapes can be eaten raw or cooked.


Garlic plants are usually hardy and not affected by many pests or diseases., and are said to repel rabbits and moles.


In 2018, world production of garlic was 28.5 million tonnes, with China alone accounting for 78% of the total.


Fresh or crushed garlic yields the sulfur-containing compounds allicin, ajoene, diallyl polysulfides, vinyldithiins, S-allylcysteine, and enzymes, saponins, flavonoids.


When the garlic plant cells are injured phytochemicals responsible for the sharp flavor of garlic are produced.


  • Garlic plant cells broken by chopping, chewing, or crushing, cause enzymes stored in cell vacuoles to trigger the breakdown of several sulfur-containing compounds stored in the cell fluids.


Sulfur containing compounds are responsible for the sharp, hot taste and strong smell of garlic. 


Of the onion family, garlic has the highest concentrations of initial reacting  products, making garlic much more potent than onion, shallot, or leeks.


A  number of sulfur compounds contribute to the smell and taste of garlic. 


Allicin is the compound most responsible for the hot sensation of raw garlic. 


Allicin chemical opens thermo-transient receptor potential channels in food and are responsible for the burning sense of heat in foods. 


Cooking of garlic removes allicin, thus mellowing its taste.


Allicin, and its decomposition products are major contributors to the characteristic odor of garlic.


Its  distinctive aroma is a result of organosulfur compounds including allicin present in fresh garlic cloves and ajoene.


Ajoene forms cloves are crushed or chopped. 


When consumed  in quantity, garlic may be strongly evident in  sweat and garlic breath the following day, as sulfur compounds are metabolized, forming allyl methyl sulfide.


Allyl methyl sulfide (AMS) is not digested and is passed into the blood to the lungs and the skin, where it is excreted. 


AMS is a volatile liquid absorbed into the blood during the metabolism of garlic-derived sulfur compounds.


From the blood AMS travels to the lungs, and from there to the mouth, causing bad breath, and  to the skin, where it is exuded through skin pores. 


Washing the skin with soap is only a partial and imperfect solution to the odor.


Sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize bad breath.


Mixing garlic with milk in the mouth before swallowing reduced the odor better than drinking milk afterward.


Plain water, mushrooms, and basil may also reduce the garlic odor.


The effect of eating garlic may be present for a long time.


Parsley may alleviate garlic breath, and is included in many garlic recipes.


Sulfur compounds in garlic cause it to turn green or blue during pickling and cooking. 


The plant’s bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. 


With the exception of the single clove types, garlic bulbs are normally divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. 


Garlic cloves are used for consumption either raw or cooked. or for medicinal purposes. 


Its characteristic pungent, spicy flavor mellows and sweetens with cooking.


The leaves and flowers are edible are sometimes eaten. 


Inedible or rarely eaten parts of the garlic include skin covering each clove.


The papery layers are generally discarded during preparation for most culinary uses.


The root cluster of the bulb is the only part not typically considered palatable in any form. 


Garlic powder has a different taste from fresh garlic. 


Research to determine the effects of consuming garlic on hypertension:  produces only a small reduction in blood pressure, 4 mmHg, and there is no clear long-term effect on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.


Garlic consumption has no effect on blood levels of lipoprotein(a), a biomarker of atherosclerosis.


Garlic may reduce platelet aggregation, and those  taking anticoagulants should be cautioned about consuming garlic.


A meta-analysis found a moderate inverse association between garlic intake and some cancers of the upper digestive tract.


A meta-analysis found decreased rates of stomach cancer associated with garlic intake, but with limited degree.


 A meta-analyses found similar results on the incidence of stomach cancer, but no effect of garlic on colorectal cancer.


Meta-analyses found limited evidence for an association between higher garlic consumption and reduced risk of prostate cancer, however another meta-analysis of epidemiological studies found garlic intake to be associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer.


Reviews found insufficient evidence to determine the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold.


Garlic bulb clove juice can be used as an adhesive in repairing glass and porcelain.


Garlic-derived polysulfide product is approved as a nematicide and insecticide.


It is a cause of bad breath and body odor.


Allergies to garlic and other species of Allium exist and may manifest with:


irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis.


Garlic-sensitive people also  positive sensitivity to many other plants, including onions, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas.


Burns from garlic being applied topically has been reported.


Numerous reports of burns to children, make topical use of raw garlic not advisable.


Long-term garlic supplementation use is possibly associated with gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, dizziness, allergic reactions, bleeding, and menstrual irregularities.


Some breastfeeding mothers have found  their babies can have a garlic odor coming from them.


Consumption of excessive garlic with anticoagulants arguments may lead to a higher risk of bleeding.


It may interact with warfarin, saquinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, quinolones and hypoglycemic drugs, among other drugs.


Alliums may be toxic to cats or dogs.


Nutritional value of garlic per 100 g (3.5 oz)


Raw garlic is 59% water, 33% carbohydrates, 6% protein, 2% dietary fiber, and less than 1% fat.


Energy 149 kcal


Carbohydrates 33  1 g Sugar


2.1 g Dietary fiber


Fat 0.5 g


Protein 6.36 g


Vitamins Quantity %DV


Thiamine (B1) 17% 0.2 mg


Riboflavin (B2) 9% 0.11 mg


Niacin (B3) 5% 0.7 mg


Pantothenic acid (B5)12% 0.596 mg


Vitamin B6 95% 1.2350 mg


Folate (B9) 1% 3 μg


Choline 5% 23.2 mg


Vitamin C 38% 31.2 mg




Calcium 18% 181 mg


Iron 13% 1.7 mg


Magnesium 7% 25 mg


Manganese 80% 1.672 mg


Phosphorus 22% 153 mg


Potassium 9% 401 mg


Sodium 1% 17 mg


Zinc 12% 1.16 mg


Water 59 g


selenium 14.2 μg, 2.1 g


Fat 0.5 g


Protein 6.36 g




Thiamine (B1) 17% 0.2 mg


Riboflavin (B2) 9% 0.11 mg


Niacin (B3) 5% 0.7 mg


Pantothenic acid (B5) 12% 0.596 mg


Vitamin B695% 1.2350 mg


Folate (B9) 1% 3 μg


Choline 5% 23.2 mg


Vitamin C 38% 31.2 mg




Calcium 18% 181 mg


Iron 13% 1.7 mg


Magnesium 7% 25 mg


Manganese 80% 1.672 mg


Phosphorus 22% 153 mg


Potassium 9% 401 mg


Sodium 1% 17 mg


Zinc 12% 1.16 mg


Typical serving size of 1–3 cloves or 3–9 grams of garlic provides no significant nutritional value.


Garlic contains several nutrients with 20% or more of the daily value: vitamins B6 and C, and the dietary minerals manganese and phosphorus, and is also a moderate source (10–19% DV) of certain B vitamins, including thiamine and pantothenic acid, as well as the dietary minerals calcium, iron, and zinc.






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