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lashuna - Allum sativum Linn.

lashuna :

lashuna  : Allum sativum Linn. In Sanskrit, garlic is commonly known as lasuna or rasona. The species that is commonly available in India is botanically known as Allium sativum. Apart from its medical use, it is commonly used as a condiment in the kitchens of Indian houses. As a medicine, it has a significant position. 


In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the first recorded mention of garlics medicinal properties is 2000 BCE, when it was believed to possess miraculous properties for curing poisoning. The venerable Yellow Emperor, Huang-ti, now revered as a mythic god-like figure, was the father of Chinese culture and medical knowledge. He laid the foundations for the principals of TCM and wrote the first text on Chinese medicine. Legend has it that one day Huangti was out walking with his companions. They all stopped to enjoy the fruits of nature and ate an aroid plant (related to the philodendron) called yu-yu, which poisoned them. Huang-ti acted quickly, however, and divined the intrinsic medicinal properties of a nearby herb. Upon his suggestion, they all ingested the herb, thereby curing themselves of the poisoning.

The Yellow Emperors medical insights were recorded in a text known as the Huangdi Neijing, often translated as The Inner Canon of Huangdi. This ancient text is still the foundation for traditional Chinese medical practice.

Garlic has a very long history of use as a food and a medicine. It was given to the Egyptian labourers when building the pyramids because it was believed to confer strength and protect from disease, it was also widely used by the Romans. It is widely cultivated in most parts of the world for its edible bulb, which is used mainly as a flavouring in foods.

Taxonomical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Allium
Species: Allium sativum

Allied species:

A. sativum var. ophioscorodon (Link) Döll, called Ophioscorodon, or hard-necked garlic, includes porcelain garlics, rocambole garlic, and purple stripe garlics. It is sometimes considered to be a separate species, Allium ophioscorodon G.Don.
A. sativum var. sativum, or soft-necked garlic, includes artichoke garlic, silverskin garlic, and creole garlic.


Sanskrit: lashuna, rason, arishta, yavaneshta, mahaushadha, bhutaghna, ugragandha, amlakani, rasayanavara, jugupsita
English: garlic
Hindi: Lahsun
Urdu: Lahsunلہسن
Telugu: Velluli
Bengali: Loshun
Marathi: Lasun
Konkani: लोसुण (losuN)
Oriya: rasuna, ରସୁଣ
Gujarathi: Lasan
Tamil: Poondu
Malayalam: veluthulli
Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳುಳ್ಳಿ
Punjabi: Lasan
Munda: रसुंडि – लहसुन
Arabic: ثوم, فوم Fum, Thoum, Thum
Spanish: ajo
Assamese: নহৰু
Japanese: ニンニク
Chinese: 蒜頭 [syun tàuh] Syun tauh, Suen tau
French: Ail, Thériaque des pauvres
German: Knoblauch
Burma: Chyet thon phew.
Nepal: लावा, लाभा Lava, Labha
Persian: Seer, Sir.
Sinhalese: සුදුළුනු
Tulu: bolluli
Greek: Σκόρδο Skordo


There are two subspecies of A. sativum, ten major groups of varieties, and hundreds of varieties or cultivars.


लशुनस्तु रसोनः स्यादुग्रगन्धो महौषधम् | 
अरिष्टो म्लेच्छकन्दश्च यवनेष्टो रसोनकः ||१९०|| 
यदामृतं वैनतेयो जहार सुरसत्तमात् | 
तदा ततोऽपतद् बिन्दुः स रसोनोऽभवद् भुवि ||१९१|| 
पञ्चभिश्च रसैर्युक्तो रसेनाम्लेन वर्जितः | 
तस्माद्रसोन इत्युक्तो द्रव्याणां गुणवेदिभिः ||१९२|| 
कटुकश्चापि मूलेषु तिक्तः पत्रेषु संस्थितः ||१९३|| 
नाले कषाय उद्दिष्टो नालाग्रे लवणः स्मृतः | 
बीजे तु मधुरः प्रोक्तो रसस्तद्गुणवेदिभिः ||१९४|| 
रसोनो बृंहणो वृष्यः स्निग्धोष्णः पाचनः सरः | 
रसे पाके च कटुकस्तीक्ष्णो मधुरको मतः ||१९५|| 
भग्नसन्धानकृत्कण्ठ्यो गुरुः पित्तास्रवृद्धिदः | 
बलवर्णकरो मेधाहितो नेत्र्यो रसायनः ||१९६|| 
हृद्रोगजीर्णज्वरकुक्षिशूलविबन्धगुल्मारुचिकासशोफान् | 
दुर्नामकुष्ठानलसादजन्तुसमीरणश्वासकफांश्च हन्ति ||१९७|| 
मद्यं मांसं तथाऽम्लञ्च हितं लशुनसेविनाम् | 
व्यायाममातपं रोषमतिनीरं पयो गुडम् | 
रसोनमश्नन् पुरुषस्त्यजेदेतान् निरन्तरम् ||१९८|| 


Synonyms in Ayurveda: lashuna, rason, arishta, yavaneshta, mahaushadha, bhutaghna, ugragandha, amlakani, rasayanavara, jugupsita

1.       Rasona, Rasuna, Rasonaka, Lasunana  - Which is short of one taste(sour)

2.       Ugragandha - Having strong odour

3.       Mahoushadha  - Having great medicinal value

4.       Mlecchakanda , Yavaneshta  - A bulb liked by yavanas

5.       Mahakanda, Sthulakanda  - Having a big bulb

6.       Vatari  - Which alleviates vayu

7.       Dirghapatrakka, Pruthucchanda  - Having long thick leaves

8.       Sikhimula, Sikhakanda  - Having branched bulb

9.       Jugupsita  - Which is hated by saints

Rasa: Kashaya Katu Lavana Madhura Tikta
Guna: Guru Teeskhsna
Veerya: Ushna
Vipaka: Katu
Karma: Vathakaphahara

It has many therapeutic properties like Anti-inflamatory, Gastro-protective, Anti-cancerous, anti-oxidant and skin glow enhancing etc. Garlic’s antidiabetic, antibiotic and perhaps anticancer effects are well-accepted world over because of the many of scientific literature supporting these effects. Garlic also has hepatoprotective, antioxidant, and antihelmentic effect. 


Garlic was originally a plant of warm temperate areas with a distinct cold season and a change of daylength from short days in the winter to long days in the summer. In Spring, when days are cooler and shorter, the plant focuses mainly on leaf growth, but with lengthening, hotter days the focus moves to bulb production. The plant can be grown in tropical areas, but only really succeeds at elevations above 500 metres, and preferably below 2,00 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 30°c, but can tolerate 7 - 35°c. It is able to tolerate temperatures down to at least -10°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 750 - 1,600mm, but tolerates 500 - 2,700mm.
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a sunny position in a moist light well-drained soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.6, tolerating 5 - 8.5 Dislikes very acid soils. The bulb is liable to rot if grown in a wet soil


Plant out the cloves with their noses just below the soil surface


The plant takes 90 - 180 days from planting to harvesting. Yields are within the range of 5 - 10 t/ha.
The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply.
Whilst bulb formation occurs in response to increasing daylength and temperature, it is also influenced by the temperature at which the cloves were stored prior to planting. Cool storage at temperatures between 0 - 10°c will hasten subsequent bulb formation, storage at above 25°c will delay or prevent bulb formation.
There are a number of named varieties.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer

Garlic is ready to harvest when there are four or five brown leaves. 




  • Volatile oil - 0.06-0.1%
  • Carbohydrates - Arabinose, Galactose etc
  • Vitamins - folic acid, Niacin, Riboflavin, thiamine, vit c
  • Amino acids - (arinic, Asparagic acid, methionine etc.);
  • Enzymes - allinase
  • Volatile compounds - allylalcohol, allylthiol, allylpropyl disulphide etc.


  1. Lasuna yoga, 
  2. Lasunadya taila, 
  3. Lasuna ksheerpaka, 
  4. Rasona kalka, 
  5. Rasona sarpi, 
  6. Rasona Phanda
  7. Lashunadi vati.

Parts used for medicinal purpose

Pods, ,


  • Paste - 1-6 g in single or divided dose per day.
  • Juice extract - 5-10 ml, once or twice a day.
  • Oil - 1-2 ml in single or multiple dose per day.
Acharya Kashyapa has also described its matra (dose) as laghu/minimum matra (4 pala/160gm), madhyam matra 6pala and uttam matra 8/10 pala. This has been quoted in context to fresh lashuna. For dried lashuna; matra has been given in terms of number of seeds which is 100, 60 and 50 as uttam, madhyam and laghu matra respectively 


No specific antidote is available for Allium toxicosis; however, supportive care may be helpful including hospitalization, administration of intravenous fluids and blood transfusions.


Garlic powder has a different taste from fresh garlic. If used as a substitute for fresh garlic
Garlic chives, an herb with a garlicky flavor, are an obvious substitute


garlic powder is adultered with chalk and talc


contrindications  - Kaphaj and pittaj vikaras, agni mandya, old age, sutika (puerpera), Garbhini, shishu (child), aama rog (indigestion), jwara (fever), atisaara(diarrhea), kamala (jaundice), diseases of mukha and throat, shosha, immediately after vaman (emesis), virechana (purgation), nasya and basti .
 Best ritu(season) to use lashuna is pausha and magha (hemant- shishir) i.e. in the month of December and January. Again its matra and use depends upon satmya, jatharagni (digestive power) and kaala (age/time period/ritu). 

Commercial value:

Garlic is a great low-maintenance cash crop


Garlic plants grow about 60 cm (2 feet) tall. Depending on the variety, the long leaves typically arise from a short hard stem above the bulb or emerge from a softer pseudostem made up of overlapping leaf sheaths. 

The bulb is covered with membranous skin and encloses up to 20 edible bulblets called cloves.

 The spherical flower cluster is initially enclosed in a pair of papery tapered bracts; the bracts split open when the green-white or pinkish flowers bloom. 

Flower stalks sometimes arise bearing tiny bulbils (tiny secondary bulbs that form in place of flowers) and sterile blossoms. 


-A clove of bulb shows tri to tetrangular appearance in outline; outer scale consists of an outer epidermis, followed by hypodermal crystal layer, mesophyll made of parenchyma cells and an inner epidermis; both outer and inner epidermis consists of sub rectangular cells; hypodermis consists of compressed, irregular, tangentially elongated cells, each cell having large prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate, while many cells contain small prismatic crystals also, mesophyll several layers of parenchymatous cells having a few vascular tissues with spiral vessels; inner epidermis similar to outer one; inner scale similar to outer scale but outer epidermis composed of sclerenchymatous cells; prismatic crystals in hypodermis slightly smaller. In surface view cells of outer epidermis elongated, narrow with thin porous wall while those of inner epidermis similar to outer one but non-porous; cells of hypodermal crystals layer ellipsoidal with thick porous walls, each cell having large prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate, many cells also contain small prismatic crystals in addition to bigger ones; inner scale shows markedly sclerenchymatous cells with greatly thickened walls and very narrow lumen; cells of hypodermal crystal layer somewhat smaller with walls more frequently pitted, size of crystals also smaller.

Geographical distribution:

It is cultivated all over India. But mainly found in Karnataka, Ludhiana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.


-Garlic cloves that exist are adapted to many ecological zones through their
response of growth and bulbing to temperature and photo period, their cold hardness and duration of bulb
dormancy. (Takagi 1990). Diversity also exists in size of cloves their number, bulb weight, colour and number
of outer skins size and vigour of the foliage, and the comparison of wide range of cloves growing in a
standard environment. Jone & Mann (1963) concluded that there was no justification of using some of the
species they suggested the name Rocamble‖ might be applied to the wild species, Allium scordosasum. This
has occasionally been so named and it has been used for food but it is not cultivated (John Parry species vol 1

Plant conservation:

Whilst bulb formation occurs in response to increasing daylength and temperature, it is also influenced by the temperature at which the cloves were stored prior to planting. Cool storage at temperatures between 0 - 10°c will hasten subsequent bulb formation, storage at above 25°c will delay or prevent bulb formation.

General Use:

  • This herb is loaded with the anti-oxidants properties and it helps to reduce the oxidative stress in body. It helps to protect cells from free radical damage.
  • Use of this herb helps to minimize the bone loss by balancing the estrogen levels in females. Daily consumption of this herb helps to overcome the estrogen deficiency in females.
  • This herb helps to maintain the healthy cholesterol levels in body. It helps to lower the LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) and increases the HDL (Good cholesterol) levels in the body.
  • Being aphrodisiac in nature this herb helps to improve the libido and enhances sexual desire. In males it is quite good to resolve the various problems like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction and sexual weakness.
  • Use of this herb is quite good for hair strengthening. It helps to maintain the hair healthy and strong. It strengthens hair follicles and promotes the hair growth. Its use is quite effective to reduce the hair fall also.
  • This is known to be a good herb for digestive problems like indigestion, gastric disorders, gastritis, bloating, bowel movements, flatulence, heart burn and stomach aches. It is also acts as the laxative hence relieves the constipation. Hence this herb helps to maintain the good health of digestive system and can be used for the treatment of diarrhea and cholera.
  • This herb acts as the cardiac tonic hence it helps in strengthening of heart muscles. So use of this herb is quite good to maintain the good heart health.
  • Use of this herb is quite good in the hypertension as it helps to reduce the high blood pressure level in the body.
  • Anti-bacterial properties of this herb are quite beneficial in the treatment of respiratory infections like cough and throat problems. It boosts up our immunity and increase the bodys stamina to fight against the infections.
  • This herb helps in releasing insulin in the body. It helps to maintain the healthy blood sugar levels in the body. Hence use of this herb is quite good for diabetes patients.
  • It has been found that people who eat garlic have less chances of developing colon, esophageal or stomach cancer.
  • Use of rasona oil is quite good to suppress the pain in ear.
  • This herb is also good to manage the brain disorders like Alzheimers disease and Dementia.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties of this herb are quite good in sciatica and chest pain problems. As use of this herb helps in the reduction of body pain.

Therapeutic Uses:

Garlic is hypolipidaemic, fibrinolytic, anticoagulant, hypoglycaemic, antibacterial, antifungal (due to presence of allicin, allistatin, scrodinine)., anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic. Juice obtained from the bulbs of garlic revealed good oestrogenic activity in albino rats and didn’t reveal any antiimplantation activity. Thus it can be used in preconceptional period as it is shukra-shonita-garbha janana. Ethnobotanical studies have revealed that it is useful in premature ejaculation and for sexual vigour in addition to above said actions

Systemic Use:

Lashuna is a very commonly used Indian spice. Acharya Vagbhatta and Kashyapa has considered it as rasayana. While describing the properties and benefits of lashuna Acharya Vagbhatta has quoted that  bhrish teekshna i.e. highly penetrating(deep into the tissues), ushna (hot in potency), katu paaka rasa (pungent in taste), sara, hridyay (good for heart) and keshya (hairs), guru(heavy to digest), vrishya(aphrodisiac), snigdha (unctuous), rochna deepana (improves taste and digestion), bhagna sandhana kara (helps union of fractures), balya (gives strength), rakta pitta pradushaka (vitiates blood and pitta), cures kilasa(leucoderma), kushtha (skin diseases), gulma(abdominal tumors), arsha (haemorrhoids), prameha, krimi, diseases caused by kapha and vata, shwas, kaasa, peenas (nasal catarrh).
 It is a rasayana (rejuvenator of the body) 

. Acharya Kashyapa has described different rasas in different parts of lashuna. Its seeds contain katu rasa, pushpa naal (floral stalk) has lavana (salty) and tikta (bitter) rasa, leaves contain kashaya (astringent) rasa. Its vipaka is madhura. Being sweet in taste it is guru and being sneha yukta (unctuous) it is brinhaniya. It is ayushya (increases longevity), deepana, vrishya (aphrodisiac), aarogyakar (keeps body away from diseases). It boosts memory (medha, smriti), bala, varna and is chakshuprasadana, sroto shodhaka (purifies all the channels in body), shukra shonita garbha janak, yayasthapaka (delays ageing process). Women using lashuna in diet don’t get affected by pelvic diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and infertility. It also maintains their beauty 

 As per the references available in Kashayap samhita, the herb is one of the best fertility promoting drug. Its use has been advised in vaataj vikaras, pushpa and veerya vikaras (diseases) . The term pushpa is a wide term in ayurveda that includes menstrual blood, hormones and ovum. In males also use of lashuna increases body strength, intelligence, longevity and is shukra dharaka . Thus it can be used in males to cure ejaculatory disorders e.g premature ejaculation, inappropriate ejaculation.


Since rasona is devoid of sour tastes, it should be ingested with buttermilk. Since wine is the best sour stuff. Rasona should be ingested with wine, meat soup in Vata diseases.


Rasona specially pacifies the Kapha Dosha which makes it useful to regulate the blood cho-lesterol levels and also removing toxins from the body. 

Clinical trials:

Small studies have shown that garlic exerts antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Topical and dietary garlic traditionally has been used in the treatment of infections—particularly digestive, respiratory, and derma-tologic infections—ranging from diarrhea and vaginitis to colds and warts, but few good clinical studies support this use.


  1. Rizwan Ashraf Effects of Allium sativum (Garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., Vol.26, No.5, September 2013, pp.859-863
  2.  Veena Dhawan, Garlic supplementation prevents oxidative DNA damage in essential Hypertension Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry July 2005, Volume 275, Issue 1–2, pp 85–94
  3.  Gómez-Arbeláez D ,Aged garlic extract improves adiponectin levels in subjects with metabolic syndrome: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover study. Mediators Inflamm. 2013;2013:285795. doi: 10.1155/2013/285795. Epub 2013 Feb 28.
  4. Silagy C,Garlic as a lipid lowering agent–a meta-analysis. J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1994 Jan-Feb;28(1):39-45.
  5.  Kojuri J,Effects of anethum graveolens and garlic on lipid profile in hyperlipidemic patients. Lipids Health Dis. 2007 Mar 1;6:5.
  6.  Amagase H,Intake of garlic and its bioactive components J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3s):955S- 62S. doi: 10.1093/jn/131.3.955S.
  7.  Borek C1,Garlic reduces dementia and heart-disease risk. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):810S-812S. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.3.810S
  8.  Ezeala, C. C., I. N., “Fresh garlic extract protects the liver against acetaminophen-induced toxicity.” The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness 7, no. 1 (2009).


 Do not consume more than three to four raw cloves of garlic a day. • Patients having heart and other problems should take medical advice before consum-ing it. • Its best to avoid garlic before any surgery because it could probably disturb Anticoa-gulants. • If patient is on any medication, always check with doctor first before taking raw garlic. 
• Asthma patients should not use it as it worsens the symptoms of Asthma. • Do not use in sensitive skin. Raw garlic can burn delicate skin! Do not use directly on skin if skin is sensitive or susceptible to rashes or other skin reactions without consulting doctor first. People who are or may be allergic to garlic or any of its sulfur compounds shouldnt try direct garlic application on skin too.

Toxicity studies:

Although, garlic is a natural Anti-biotic but a very small number of people have been known to exhibit Hypersensitivity to garlic. Garlic allergy includes skin rash, temperature and head-aches. Garlic intolerance could result in Heartburn or Flatulence.

Use in other system of medicine:

Edibility / Culinary 
- Widely used by Filipinos for flavoring dishes.
- In the Philippines, bulbs used for hypertension. Also used as diuretic, and eaten fresh or burned for coughs in children.
- Arthritis, rheumatism, toothaches: Crush several cloves and rub on affected areas.
- Crush clove applied to both temples as poultice for headache.
- Crush garlic or cut clove crosswise and rub directly to areas of insect bites.
- Decoction of leaves and bulbs for fever and as hypotensive, carminative, expectorant, and antihelmintic.
- Juice from freshly crushed garlic used for colds, cough, sore throat, hoarseness, asthma and bronchitis.
- Decoction use for tonsillitis.
- Steam inhalation of chopped garlic and a teaspoon of vinegar in boiling water used for nasal congestion. 
- Fresh garlic has been used as a complement to INH therapy for tuberculosis. In Mexico, fresh bulb is eaten as a preventive for tuberculosis.
- In India, garlic juice diluted in water, applied externally to prevent hair from turning grey.
- Diluted juice used for earaches and deafness.
- In the Antilles, used as vermifuge.
- Also used for menstrual cramps.
- Used for digestive problems and gastrointestinal spasms.
- Infusion of a peeled broiled clove used for gas pains.
- Juice of bulb with common salt applied to bruises and sprains; also used for neuralgia and earache.
- Rubbed over ringworm for soothing effect.
- In WWI, fresh raw juice was used as antiseptic for control of wound suppuration. 


Garlic, Allium sativum L. is a member of the Alliaceae family, has been widely recognized as a valuable spice and a popular remedy for various ailments and physiological disorders. st bacterial, viral, mycotic and parasitic infections

KEY WORDS: lashuna, Allium sativum Linn.

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