Garlic is a cooking staple, belonging to the genus “allium,” and is closely associated with onions, scallions, and chives. In the Philippines, we know garlic as “bawang.” Bawang has this distinct smell that is perfect for most Filipino and Asian dishes, since it can easily sweeten or mellow down the taste of a dish. Aside from cooking, bawang uses and benefits include treatment and prevention of various health conditions and illnesses.
Bawang is primarily used for conditions related to the heart and circulatory system. Some of the notable conditions include the following:
There are several studies that show that garlic can reduce a person’s overall cholesterol, most especially the bad cholesterol, also known as LDL.
Another notable benefit of Bawang is that it can reduce the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure by a considerable amount in people with high blood pressure.
Bawang basically produces a chemical referred to as ‘allicin.” Allicin is credited for creating that memorable scent of garlic. While there are products that promise to reduce the odor that garlic emits, the process actually disrupts the effectiveness of garlic, especially if you will use it for medicinal purposes.
Precautions & Warnings
What should I know before using Bawang?
Among the known side effects of excessive use of Bawang are nausea, gas, heartburn and diarrhea.
How safe is Bawang?
Clinical trials are not yet enough to validate the regular use of garlic as a food supplement, or how it can possibly affect prescription medications.
Special Precautions & Warnings
If you are taking medicines for blood pressure, use garlic with caution as this may lower the blood pressure to a disadvantageous level. If you are pregnant or lactating, make sure that you consult your doctor first. Otherwise, do not use it.
If used for cooking or as short-term treatment for certain conditions, Bawang is normally safe to use. However, when taken in high doses as medicine, it can be very dangerous. Additionally, if applied to skin, this may cause burn-like damage.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Bawang is safe to use and consume during pregnancy, only when taken in normal amounts. As a medicine, Bawang uses and benefits can only be taken within a safe level. Since there is no reliable information as to the effect on pregnancy and lactation, it is recommended to avoid using it without the doctor’s go signal.
Fresh garlic may also increase the risk of bleeding or prolong bleeding during or after surgery.
Bawang can irritate the gastrointestinal tract, especially if you have digestion problems.
These are some of the most notable side effects of Bawang uses and benefits:
- Burning sensation in the stomach or mouth
- Bad breath
- Body odor
- May increase the risk of bleeding
- Allergic reactions
- Skin irritations
What interactions may I have with bawang?
Cyclosporine, which belongs to a class of immunosuppressants, may interact with garlic. Taking garlic together with this immunosuppressant might actually decrease the efficiency of the drug. Consult with your doctor before taking garlic.
Contraceptive drugs containing estrogen. Studies show that garlic may increase estrogen breakdown, rendering birth control pills to be ineffective at some point. If you are taking contraceptives along with garlic, you may want to use additional forms of birth control.
Anticoagulant drugs. These types of drugs also interact with garlic. Garlic may slow down the blood clotting process, so if you are using anticoagulants on the side, too, the chances of bleeding and bruising might be relatively higher than usual.
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.
What is the usual dose for Bawang?
For high blood pressure
- Garlic tablets. 300mg to 1500mg, may be used in divided doses daily for at least 24 weeks.
- Garlic powder tablets. 2400mg taken as one dose or 600mg daily for at least 12 weeks.
- Garlic extracts (in capsule). 960mg to 7200mg used in divided doses daily for at least 6 months.
For high blood cholesterol
- Aged garlic extract. 1000mg to 7200mg used in divided doses daily for at least 4 months.
- Garlic powder tablet. 600mg to 900mg taken in divided doses daily for at least 6 weeks.
- Other garlic powder products. 300 mg taken twice daily for at least 12 weeks.
What Form Does Bawang Come in?
Generally, you can eat raw garlic bulbs, as long as you are not bothered by the pungent smell. Garlic may be fried and roasted. It can also be soaked in vinegar for at least 30 minutes, or boiled in water for around 5 minutes. You can take 2 pieces of bawang three times a day, after meals.
Bawang uses and benefits also come in food supplements that are sold as tablets or garlic extracts.
Learn more about herbal medicine here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.