Garlic is very stimulating and warming, and is known as an aphrodisiac, which awakens one’s desires. For this reason, yogis and monks in India avoid garlic.
Raw garlic is pungent, cleansing and has a laxative action. It is a useful remedy for Kapha conditions of fungus, viral or bacterial infections on account of accumulated phlegm. Raw garlic is hard to digest and may cause a sense of stagnation in the stomach or cause gas in some individuals.
Cooked or baked garlic makes it sweeter and easier to digest; it is nourishing, unctuous and balances excess Vata conditions of coldness and dryness, especially conditions of the nervous system. for this cause, it is cooked in milk.
In western medicine, garlic is used to prevent high blood pressure; perhaps because it is a blood thinner and stimulant, dilates blood vessels (vasodilator), increases sweat (diaphoretic), and increases urine (diuretic). These circulatory properties may also underlie garlic’s secret in preventing heart disease, atherosclerosis, and high cholesterol.
Taste: pungent, sweet
Natural Attributes: sharp, mobile, heavy, oily, sticky
Tissue impact (Vipak): sweet (nourishing)
Thermal impact (Virya): very heating
Dosha impact: Increases Pitta, decreases Vata and Kapha
Digestive impact (Agni): hard to digest (Raw), but if digestive powers are strong, garlic augments digestion. Easier to digest if cooked.
Channels (Srotas): opens
Strength (Bala): increases strength and stoutens body
Mind (Manas): Rajasic
Effect: aphrodisiac, digestive, adaptogen, nervine, semenogogue, antiviral, antibiotic, diaphoretic, antiparasitic, vasodilator, stomachic, anthelmintic, antifungal, antimicrobial, detoxicant, bronchodilator, decongestant, expectorant, blood thinner, sedative, galactogogue
Chinese five element impact: Water
Chinese medicine syndromes: Nourishes Kidney Yin and Yang
- Nourishment (rasa): heart disease, chronic fever, loss of taste/appetite, ear diseases, dysentery
- Blood-circulation-liver: eyes, piles (non-bleeding), blood stagnation
- Muscles: abdominal tumors
- Bones-joints-tendon-ligaments: fractures, arthritis (preventative)
- Nervous system: body pain, nervous disorders
- Reproductive and hormonal systems: increases semen, sexual virility, amenorrhea, vaginal infections
- Vital essence: rejuvenator
- Mental: improves intelligence
- Skin: leprosy and other skin diseases of Kapha nature
- Respiratory system: good for throat, cough, dyspnea, common cold, pneumonia, asthma, lung conditions, whooping cough
- Digestive system: breaks down undigested matter (phlegm), pain in abdomen, constipation, dropsy, weak digestive power, worms
- Cleansing: clears toxins, such as heavy metals
Harmful for: bleeding diseases, heat symptoms, yin deficiency (raw garlic), diarrhea, pitta disorders, after cleansings, impatience, the ill-tempered, weak digestive powers.