Garlic is a well-known herb that has been used for centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties. It has a pungent and spicy flavor that adds a distinctive taste to many dishes. But did you know that garlic can also be extracted into an essential oil that has many health benefits and uses?
In this article, we will explore what garlic essential oil is, how it is made, what are its benefits, how to use it, and how to make your own garlic essential oil at home. Read on to discover the amazing properties of this natural remedy.
What is Garlic Essential Oil?
Garlic essential oil is a concentrated liquid that contains the volatile compounds of garlic. These compounds are responsible for the characteristic aroma and flavor of garlic, as well as its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.
Garlic essential oil is obtained by different methods of extraction from the bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum), a plant that belongs to the onion family (Alliaceae). Some of the main components of garlic essential oil are allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, allyl propyl disulfide, and methyl allyl sulfide.
Garlic essential oil is usually a clear pale yellow to orange-red liquid with a strong and irritating odor. It is insoluble in water and partially soluble in ethanol. It has a density of 1.050 to 1.095 g/mL and a refractive index of 1.550 to 1.580.
Garlic essential oil is mainly produced in Egypt, China, India, and other countries where garlic is widely cultivated and consumed. It is mainly used for the preparation of spice seasonings, food additives, cosmetics, perfumes, and medicines.
How is Garlic Essential Oil Made?
There are different methods of extracting garlic essential oil from the bulbs of garlic. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of yield, quality, cost, and safety. Here are some of the most common methods of extracting garlic essential oil:
Steam Distillation Method
Steam distillation is one of the oldest and most widely used methods of extracting essential oils from plants. It involves heating water to produce steam that passes through the plant material and carries the volatile compounds with it. The steam then condenses into a liquid that contains the essential oil and water. The essential oil can be separated from the water by using a separator or a decanter.
Steam distillation is a simple and inexpensive method that can produce high-quality garlic essential oil with a high yield. However, it also has some drawbacks, such as:
- It requires a large amount of plant material and water.
- It can cause thermal degradation or oxidation of some sensitive compounds.
- It can produce undesirable by-products or contaminants.
Solvent Extraction Method
Solvent extraction is another method of extracting essential oils from plants. It involves using an organic solvent (such as hexane, ethanol, or acetone) that dissolves the volatile compounds from the plant material. The solvent then evaporates leaving behind the essential oil.
Solvent extraction is a fast and efficient method that can produce high-quality garlic essential oil with a high yield. However, it also has some drawbacks, such as:
- It requires a large amount of solvent and energy.
- It can leave traces of solvent or impurities in the essential oil.
- It can alter or destroy some natural compounds.
Supercritical CO2 Extraction Method
Supercritical CO2 extraction is a modern and advanced method of extracting essential oils from plants. It involves using carbon dioxide (CO2) that is pressurized and heated to a point where it becomes a supercritical fluid. This fluid has the properties of both a liquid and a gas, and can penetrate the plant material and dissolve the volatile compounds. The CO2 then returns to its normal state and releases the essential oil.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is a gentle and selective method that can produce high-quality garlic essential oil with a high yield. It also has some advantages, such as:
- It requires a small amount of plant material and CO2.
- It does not cause thermal degradation or oxidation of the compounds.
- It does not leave traces of solvent or impurities in the essential oil.
- It can extract different compounds at different pressures and temperatures.
What are the Benefits of Garlic Essential Oil?
Garlic essential oil has many benefits for the health and well-being of humans and animals. Some of the benefits of garlic essential oil are:
Garlic Essential Oil for Skin Health
Garlic essential oil can help improve the health and appearance of the skin. It can:
- Treat acne, pimples, and blemishes by killing the bacteria that cause them.
- Heal wounds, cuts, burns, and infections by promoting tissue regeneration and preventing infection.
- Reduce inflammation, redness, and swelling by soothing the skin and reducing histamine release.
- Prevent fungal infections such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, and nail fungus by inhibiting the growth of fungi.
- Remove warts, corns, and calluses by softening and dissolving them.
To use garlic essential oil for skin health, you can:
- Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, or almond oil) and apply it directly to the affected area.
- Add a few drops to your face mask, moisturizer, or toner and apply it to your face.
- Add a few drops to your bath water or shower gel and soak or wash your body.
Garlic Essential Oil for Hair Growth
Garlic essential oil can help stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. It can:
- Nourish the scalp and hair follicles by providing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Increase blood circulation to the scalp by dilating the blood vessels.
- Prevent dandruff, dryness, and itchiness by moisturizing and balancing the scalp.
- Fight against hair lice, mites, and other parasites by repelling them.
- Strengthen the hair shafts and prevent breakage by improving the elasticity of the hair.
To use garlic essential oil for hair growth, you can:
- Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, castor, or sesame oil) and massage it into your scalp and hair.
- Add a few drops to your shampoo, conditioner, or hair mask and use it as usual.
- Add a few drops to your hair spray or gel and style your hair.
Garlic Essential Oil for Immune System
Garlic essential oil can help boost the immune system and prevent diseases. It can:
- Enhance the production and activity of white blood cells by stimulating the bone marrow.
- Activate the natural killer cells and macrophages by modulating the cytokines.
- Inhibit the growth and spread of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites by interfering with their metabolism.
- Reduce inflammation, pain, and fever by inhibiting prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
- Detoxify the body by stimulating the liver and kidneys.
To use garlic essential oil for immune system, you can:
- Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as olive, sunflower, or grapeseed oil) and rub it on your chest, back, neck, or feet.
- Add a few drops to your diffuser, humidifier, or vaporizer and inhale it.
- Add a few drops to your tea, honey, or water and drink it.
Mullein garlic oil is a herbal oil that is used for external use. It is a proprietary blend of extracts of Calendula flower, St. John’s Wort, Mullein flower, and Garlic bulb extract. It is commonly used for ear health and is recommended for external use only. To use, the oil is slightly warmed and 2-3 drops are placed in the ear 2-3 times per day. It is important to note that it should not be used for swimmer’s ear or with a perforated eardrum.
Garlic Essential Oil for Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Garlic essential oil can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It can:
- Relax the blood vessels by producing nitric oxide.
- Reduce the viscosity of the blood by preventing platelet aggregation.
- Lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase.
- Increase the HDL (good) cholesterol by stimulating lipoprotein lipase.
- Protect the blood vessels from oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals.
To use garlic essential oil for blood pressure and cholesterol, you can:
- Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as flaxseed, hempseed, or avocado oil) and massage it on your chest, arms, or legs.
- Add a few drops to your salad dressing, soup, or sauce and eat it.
- Add a few drops to your capsule or tablet and swallow it.
Garlic Essential Oil for Infections and Wounds
Garlic essential oil can help treat infections and wounds. It can:
- Kill or inhibit various pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherich coli, Salmonella typhi, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger.
- Enhance the healing process by stimulating collagen synthesis and granulation tissue formation.
- Prevent scarring and keloid formation by regulating the expression of fibroblast growth factor and transforming growth factor.
- Relieve pain and itching by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses.
To use garlic essential oil for infections and wounds, you can:
- Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, or almond oil) and apply it directly to the infected or wounded area.
- Add a few drops to a cotton ball, gauze, or bandage and cover the infected or wounded area.
- Add a few drops to a warm compress or poultice and place it on the infected or wounded area.
How to Use Garlic Essential Oil?
Garlic essential oil can be used in various ways depending on the purpose and preference of the user. Some of the common ways of using garlic essential oil are:
Garlic Essential Oil as a Seasoning
Garlic essential oil can be used as a seasoning to enhance the flavor and aroma of various dishes. It can:
- Add a spicy and savory taste to soups, stews, sauces, dips, dressings, marinades, and curries.
- Complement the flavor of meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, cheese, and tofu.
- Balance the sweetness of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and desserts.
To use garlic essential oil as a seasoning, you can:
- Add a few drops to your cooking oil or butter and heat it slightly before adding other ingredients.
- Add a few drops to your dish at the end of cooking or before serving.
- Add a few drops to your salt, pepper, herbs, or spices and sprinkle it over your dish.
Garlic Essential Oil as a Massage Oil
Garlic essential oil can be used as a massage oil to relax the muscles and joints. It can:
- Improve blood circulation and oxygen delivery by dilating the blood vessels.
- Reduce muscle tension and spasms by relaxing the smooth muscles.
- Alleviate joint pain and stiffness by reducing inflammation and swelling.
- Stimulate the lymphatic system and eliminate toxins by increasing the drainage of lymph fluid.
To use garlic essential oil as a massage oil, you can:
- Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sesame, or apricot kernel oil) and massage it on your body.
- Add a few drops to your bath water or foot soak and immerse yourself in it.
- Add a few drops to your hot towel or cloth and place it on your body.
Garlic Essential Oil as an Inhalant or Diffuser
Garlic essential oil can be used as an inhalant or diffuser to improve the respiratory system and mood. It can:
- Clear the nasal passages and sinuses by loosening the mucus and phlegm.
- Relieve coughs, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma, and allergies by soothing the airways and reducing inflammation.
- Prevent colds, flu, pneumonia, and other infections by boosting the immune system and killing pathogens.
- Enhance the mood and mental clarity by stimulating the brain and nervous system.
To use garlic essential oil as an inhalant or diffuser, you can:
- Dilute it with water and inhale it from a bowl or pot.
- Add a few drops to your diffuser, humidifier, or vaporizer and diffuse it in your room.
- Add a few drops to your pillowcase, handkerchief, or tissue and inhale it.
How to Make Your Own Garlic Essential Oil?
Garlic essential oil can be made at home using simple ingredients and equipment. Here is a homemade garlic oil recipe that you can try:
Homemade Garlic Oil Recipe
|Fresh garlic cloves
|Carrier oil (such as olive, coconut, or almond oil)
|Glass jar with lid
|Peel and chop the garlic cloves into small pieces
|Place them in a glass jar and cover them with carrier oil
|Close the lid tightly and shake well
|Place the jar in a sunny spot for 2 weeks
|Strain the oil through a cheesecloth or coffee filter
|Store the oil in an amber glass bottle in a cool and dark place
Garlic essential oil is a natural remedy that has many benefits and uses for health and wellness. It can help improve skin health, hair growth, immune system, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, infections, wounds, and more. It can also be used as a seasoning, massage oil, inhalant, or diffuser. It can be easily made at home with fresh garlic cloves and carrier oil.
Garlic essential oil is a powerful and versatile oil that can enhance your life in many ways. However, it is also a potent and irritating oil that should be used with caution and moderation. Always dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin or ingesting it. Avoid contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, and other sensitive areas. Do not use it if you are allergic to garlic or have a bleeding disorder, stomach ulcer, or low blood pressure. Consult your doctor before using it if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medication.
Garlic essential oil is a wonderful gift from nature that can help you achieve optimal health and happiness.
- Is garlic essential oil safe for consumption?
Garlic essential oil is safe for consumption when used in moderation and properly diluted. However, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before adding it to your diet.
- Can garlic essential oil replace fresh garlic in recipes?
Yes, garlic essential oil can be a convenient substitute for fresh garlic in recipes. A little goes a long way in terms of flavor.
- Are there any known allergies associated with garlic essential oil?
Some individuals may be allergic to garlic, so it’s important to perform a patch test before applying it topically or using it in aromatherapy.
- How can I use garlic essential oil for hair care?
To promote hair health, mix a few drops of garlic essential oil with a carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil) and massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for a few hours or overnight before washing it out.
- Where can I purchase high-quality garlic essential oil?
You can find reputable brands of garlic essential oil in health food stores, online retailers, or local pharmacies. Be sure to read product reviews and check for certifications.
Thank you for exploring the incredible world of garlic essential oil with us. To continue your journey into the realm of health and wellness, visit espanolhealth.com for more informative blogs on health, medicines, doctors, health tech, and hospitals.