Dread food poisoning? Take garlic.
Diallyl sulphide,the active ingredient of the humble garlic,a study conducted at Washington State University and published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy has found,is 100 times more effective in killing Campylobacter Jejuni,the most common cause of food poisoning,than some of the most advanced antibiotics.
Researchers compared the effect of diallyl sulphide on a film of Campylobacter formed on food with that of ciprofloxacin and erythromycin,two of the most advanced antibiotics used to treat food poisoning,and found that diallyl sulphide eliminated planktonic cells and sessile cells in biofilms at a concentration that was at least 100-fold less than used for either ciprofloxacin or erythromycin on the basis of molarity.
This result prompted the researchers to conclude that given such potency,diallyl sulphide could not only be effective against food poisoning but also emerge as a powerful agent to deal with drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
Doctors,however,seem less enthusiastic. There have to be control trials before pronouncing judgment on the efficacy of any drug, said Dr S Chatterjee,medicine consultant at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. The same should apply to garlic.
That,of course,is standard scientific procedure. But if trials establish the potency of diallyl sulphide,it will bolster the reputation of garlic as the natures wonder drug. Garlic is believed to have anti-cancer properties and is effective in keeping in check cholesterol and blood pressure as well as cold and flu.