Historically, in medieval days, Allium sativum was carried around as a charm to wish away evil spirits and vampires. Now days, Allium sativum is commonly known as garlic, and is known for variety of uses within food and medicine.
Garlic is best known for its favorable effects on cardiovascular health. Garlic is believed to be effective in preventing and treating high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, atherosclerosis, and respiratory infections.
For many decades, people have been using garlic and garlic-based supplements to prevent a myriad of health conditions including high blood pressure, flu, colds, coughs, bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems, and menstrual pain.
When garlic bulbs are crushed, the primary active ingredient alliin is released. Alliin is converted into another compound called allicin which in turn produces other compounds: ajoene, allyl sulfides, and vinyldithiins. Allicin and its derivatives are what give garlic its characteristic odor and many of its medicinal effects.