What is Allicin?
Allicin is a compound contained in garlic. Chemically is an organic compound that contains a thiosulfinate functional group. In addition to its many other health benefits (allicin has antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory capacity, cardiovascular regulating activity, and cancer preventing properties), allicin is a powerful antibacterial compound that may be used to treat and prevent infections.
Allicin has been found to be able to kill many types of bacteria including Salmonella, E. Coli, Clostridium, Bacillus cereus, Helicobacter pylori, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, and many others. In addition to its antibacterial activity, allicin also exhibits antifungal and antiviral activities. So, allicin can truly be used to treat and prevent many types of infections.
Allicin for treating and preventing infections
You can get enough allicin to treat and prevent infection by consuming garlic on a daily basis. However, be aware that allicin is not readily available in fresh garlic. Allicin is formed by the action of an enzyme (alliinase) upon crushing a garlic glove. A precursor (allin) is transformed in allicin by the enzyme.
The enzyme alliinase can not survive digestion (the low pH of the stomach will quickly deactivate the enzyme). Thus, ingesting raw garlic will not reap the full beneficial antibacterial effects of allicin. If you want to get a significant amount of allicin with your garlic consumption you will need to crush the garlic glove and let it stand for a few minutes before ingesting it. In this way you are absolutely sure to have allicin within your garlic glove.
To treat or prevent infections in minor cuts and bruises on your skin you can also use allicin from garlic. To do this crush garlic and apply over the cut or place the garlic on a small piece of cheesecloth, and place the cloth over the wound.
One of the potential issues with consuming garlic is the bad breath problem. Consuming garlic on a daily basis will surely produce some garlic odor coming out from your mouth. If you can not tolerate this odor you can use garlic supplements. However, you need to look for the allicin content of these supplements. Some of them may not even contain allicin at all. To treat and prevent effectively infections with garlic supplement you need to have allicin in it.
Garlic has many potential health benefits. Garlic can produce allicin (and many other organic compounds) with antibacterial, antifungal, anti parasitic and antiviral properties. These compounds, including allicin, can effectively be used to prevent and treat infections. The easy way to this is to eat a crushed glove of garlic on a daily basis. Use the power of allicin to your advantage to treat and prevent infections,
Vaidya, et al (2009). Garlic: Source of the Ultimate Antioxidants. Angewandte Chemie 121 (1): 163-6.
Cutler and Wilson (2004). Antibacterial activity of a new, stable, aqueous extract of allicin against methicillan-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. British J.of Biomedical Sc. 61 (2): 71-4.