Members of the genus Allium (e.g., garlic and onion) have been cultivated for thousands of years, initially for the religious significance and medicinal properties and latterly for their pungency and characteristic flavors. Sanskrit record shows its therapeutic use about 5000 years ago, and it has been used for at least 3000 years in Chinese medicine. An Egyptian medical papyrus, Papyrus Ebers, dating from around 1500 BC, describes various garlic preparations act against such conditions as headaches, body weaknesses, and throat disorders. The Egyptians and Greeks regarding garlic as a general protector against old-age and illness. Garlic was regularly chewed by athletes participating in the ancient Olympic games, because of its claimed stamina-improving qualities. The first century (A.D.) Indian medical manuscript based on sources some five centuries earlier, the term rocker-some heater, described onions and garlic as improving digestion, stimulating the heart, relieving eye disorders as well as possessing diuretic and anti-rheumatic activity. In 1858, Louis Pasteur identified garlic’s antibacterial activity. In World War I and World War II, it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene.
The following research investigates the garlic allicin impact on various bacterium.
Salmonella, Escherichia coli (Adler and Beuchat, 2002),
Pseudomonas, Proteus, Staphylococcus aureus (Cavallito, 1944),
Escherichia coli, Salmonella (Johnson and Vaughn, 1969),
Klebsiella (Jezowa and Rafinski, 1966),
Micrococcus, Bacillus subtulis (Sharma et al., 1977),
Clostridium (De Witt et al., 1979),
Mycobacterium (Delaha and Garagusi, 1985),
and Helicobacter (O’Gara et al., 2000).
It has been documented that garlic exerts a differential inhibition between beneficial intestinal microflora and potentially harmful enterobacteria (Ress et al., 1993).