Exploring the Therapeutic Uses of Garlic in Ayurveda

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Garlic, known as Lasuna in Ayurveda, is a herb that has been used for centuries not just for cooking but also for its numerous health benefits. Ayurvedic texts, including the Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Ashtanga Hridaya, highlight garlic as a potent remedy with various therapeutic uses. This blog post delves into the role of garlic in Ayurvedic medicine, its benefits, and how it is used according to ancient treatises.

Garlic in Ayurvedic Literature

Ayurvedic texts describe garlic as a powerful rasayana (rejuvenative) and balya (strength-promoting) herb. It is considered to have a hot potency (ushna virya), which makes it effective in balancing the Kapha and Vata doshas, though it can increase Pitta due to its heating qualities.

Charaka Samhita

In the Charaka Samhita, garlic is praised for its five-fold effects, known as panchakarma. It is noted for its effectiveness in treating arthritic conditions, asthma, and diseases caused by maladjustments of Vata and Kapha doshas. Garlic’s role in enhancing digestion (dipana) and in purifying blood (raktashodhaka) is also emphasized.

Sushruta Samhita

The Sushruta Samhita adds that garlic is beneficial for the heart, has aphrodisiac properties, and can act as an antidote against poisons. It mentions garlic’s use in treating skin disorders and worms, as well as its effectiveness in clearing blocked channels (srotoshodhana).

Ashtanga Hridaya

The Ashtanga Hridaya further elaborates on the uses of garlic, describing it as instrumental in treating fatigue, sciatica, and rheumatism. It also underscores its role in treating digestive disorders, reinforcing its use as a carminative and as a stimulant of the gastric fire (agni).

Therapeutic Benefits of Garlic

  1. Digestive Health: Garlic stimulates the appetite and aids digestion. It helps in treating indigestion, flatulence, and colic, especially in cases where sluggish digestion leads to a buildup of toxins.
  2. Cardiovascular Health: Ayurveda recognizes garlic’s efficacy in reducing the buildup of plaque in arteries, thereby reducing cholesterol levels and preventing heart diseases.
  3. Respiratory Conditions: Its expectorant properties make garlic beneficial in treating common cold, sinusitis, and other respiratory conditions by helping clear mucus from the lungs.
  4. Antimicrobial Properties: Garlic’s natural antibacterial and antiviral properties make it a common remedy for fighting infections and boosting immunity.
  5. Anti-inflammatory and Pain Relief: Garlic is used in Ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in the management of pain and swelling associated with various forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Practical Applications of Garlic in Ayurvedic Treatments

  • Raw Garlic: Consuming raw garlic can help tackle digestive issues and boost immune function.
  • Garlic Paste: Applying a paste of garlic externally can alleviate joint pains and rheumatic conditions.
  • Garlic Oil: Garlic oil is beneficial for earaches and in some cases, for chest congestion.
  • Cooked Garlic: Cooking garlic can moderate its intense properties, making it suitable for those with a sensitive stomach or Pitta imbalance.

Precautions and Contraindications

Despite its many benefits, garlic is not recommended for everyone in Ayurveda. Its heating properties may aggravate Pitta-related conditions like acidity or rashes. It is also traditionally advised to avoid garlic in cases of extreme heat, during pregnancy, and while undergoing detoxification therapies.


Garlic holds a revered place in Ayurveda, backed by centuries of use and numerous ayurvedic texts. Its multifaceted applications range from boosting digestive health to providing relief from respiratory ailments, showcasing its versatility as a medicinal herb. However, like all potent botanicals, it is best used under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to tailor its use according to individual health needs and dosha imbalances. Understanding and integrating the wisdom of ancient treatises on garlic can help harness its full therapeutic potential in a balanced and effective manner.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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