Garlic: empiricism or science?

Gabriella Aviello, Ludovico Abenavoli, Francesca Borrelli, Raffaele Capasso, Angelo Antonio Izzo, Francesca Lembo, Barbara Romano, Francesco Capasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Garlic (Allium sativum L. fam. Alliaceae) is one of the best-researched, best-selling herbal remedies and is also commonly used as a food and a spice. Garlic constituents include enzymes (for example, alliinase) and sulfur-containing compounds, including alliin, and compounds produced enzymatically from alliin (for example, allicin). Traditionally, it has been employed to treat infections, wounds, diarrhea, rheumatism, heart disease, diabetes, and many other disorders. Experimentally, it has been shown to exert antilipidemic, antihypertensive, antineoplastic, antibacterial, immunostimulant and hypoglycemic actions. Clinically, garlic has been evaluated for a number of conditions, including hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, intermittent claudication, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, common cold, as an insect repellent, and for the prevention of arteriosclerosis and cancer. Systematic reviews are available for the possible antilipidemic, antihypertensive, antithrombotic and chemopreventive effects. However, the clinical evidence is far from compelling. Garlic appears to be generally safe although allergic reactions may occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1796
Number of pages12
JournalNatural Product Communications
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Botany
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Drug Interactions
  • Garlic
  • History, 17th Century
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Neoplasms
  • Phytotherapy
  • Historical Article
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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