What is Allicin?
Allicin is a phytochemical which acts as garlic’s defence mechanism against attacks by pests. When the garlic plant is attacked or injured it produces allicin by an enzymatic reaction. The enzyme alliinase, converts the chemical alliin to allicin, which is toxic to insects and microorganisms. The antimicrobial acivity of allicin was discovered in 1944 by Cavallito. Purified allicin is not sold commercially because it is not stable and has an offensive odour. Allicin extracted from garlic loses its beneficial properties within hours and turns into other sulphur containing compounds. Diallyl trisulfade, which is similar to allicin but is chemically produced, is stable and is used for treatment bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections.
Allicin is the predominant thiosulfinate in garlic (Allium sativum). Allicin is the chemical responsible for the typical and offensive odor of garlic. It acts on the respiratory system as can be seen by rubbing garlic on the soles of your feet and in a few moments you will notice the odour of garlic on your breathe.