Garlic (Allium sativum).

Plant Part Used: Bulb.

Dominican Medicinal Uses: The bulb is traditionally ingested raw for high blood pressure, upper-respiratory infection, common cold, flu-like symptoms and cough, and the alcohol extract is taken internally for sinusitis. The bulb skins are traditionally prepared as a tea and taken internally for indigestion and gastro-intestinal complaints.

Safety: The bulb is generally regarded as safe for human consumption. Reported adverse effects include skin burns due to topical application (especially in children with prolonged exposure). Adverse effects associated with internal use include halitosis, body odor, gastrointestinal irritation, constipation, headache, nausea, fatigue and vertigo.

Contraindications: Not to be taken at therapeutic doses for 10 days prior to surgery due to antiplatelet activity and risk of excessive bleeding. The bulb is contraindicated during lactation.

Drug Interactions: Chlorzoxazone: garlic may reduce drug metabolism. Indomethacin and NSAIDs: risk of excessive bleeding. Protease inhibitors: reduced blood levels. Drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 2E1: garlic may inhibit efficacy. Forskilin: garlic may potentiate antiplatelet activity.

Clinical Data: The following effects have been investigated in human clinical trials: treatment of atherosclerosis, common cold, coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and unstable angina pectoris.

Laboratory & Preclinical Data: The following biological activities have been investigated in laboratory and preclinical studies (in vitro or animal models): antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antifungal, antihypertensive, antineoplastic, antinociceptive, antioxidant, anti-platelet-aggregant, antithrombic, antiviral and immune enhancing.

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