History of Ingredient
Garlic, scientifically known as Allium sativum, is a plant with a rich history, tracing back over 5,000 years. Originating from Central Asia, it swiftly took root in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Greek cultures.
Revered not only for its culinary prowess but also its medicinal qualities, garlic was often utilised by ancient physicians to address an array of health concerns. Throughout the centuries, garlic’s reputation has grown, with historical figures such as Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, prescribing it for its therapeutic properties.
Garlic’s potency arises from its complex chemical constitution. The primary bioactive compound responsible for many of its health benefits is allicin.
Allicin is released when garlic is chopped, crushed, or chewed, allicin undergoes rapid metabolism to produce other sulphur-containing compounds, like diallyl disulphide and s-allyl cysteine, which have been the subject of numerous studies.
Benefits of Ingredient
Garlic is celebrated for a host of health benefits, thanks to its rich profile of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant properties. Regular consumption has been associated with improved cardiovascular health, with potential to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, garlic showcases potent antimicrobial properties, making it effective against certain bacteria and fungi. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory attributes might aid in combatting common colds and enhancing immune system performance.
Root Powder vs Extract
The supplementation industry offers garlic in various forms: root powder and extract being the most prevalent. Root powder is essentially dried and ground garlic, preserving most of its natural constituents.
On the other hand, garlic extract is a concentrated form, ensuring higher doses of the active compounds. While the root powder retains the holistic essence of garlic, including its dietary fibre and other nutrients, the extract, especially aged extracts, may offer a more potent dose of the beneficial compounds without the pronounced garlic odour.
Forms of Consumption
The manner in which garlic is consumed has evolved over time, adapting to modern lifestyles and preferences. Here are the most common forms:
- Raw Garlic: Consumed directly, it’s potent and offers the freshest form of allicin. However, its strong taste might be off-putting for some.
- Garlic Oil: Ideal for culinary use, it adds flavour and the benefits of garlic to dishes.
- Capsules & Tablets: A favourite in the supplementation industry, these offer a convenient and odourless method of consumption. They can be tailored to deliver specific doses and might sometimes be blended with other beneficial ingredients.
- Aged Garlic Extract: This form is odourless and is believed to have enhanced antioxidant properties.
- Liquid Extracts: Typically used for tinctures, these can be added to beverages or consumed directly.
Safety + Dosages
Generally well-tolerated, garlic’s consumption has minimal side effects when adhered to recommended dosages. Overconsumption might result in digestive issues, body odour, or breath concerns.
Dosages vary based on the form (raw, powdered, or extract) and the intended health benefit. It’s always prudent to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regime.
Use and Legality in UK, EU, US, and Globally
Garlic, given its natural origin and long history, is legal and widely consumed globally. In the UK, EU, and US, garlic supplements are categorised as food supplements, meaning they don’t require a prescription and can be purchased over-the-counter.
For those keen on delving deeper into the intricacies of garlic as a supplement or exploring its potential for their brand, please don’t hesitate to contact us.