Garlic, Allium sativum, is a member of the plant family Liliaceae. It is native to central Asia but is now widely cultivated for both culinary and health-supporting use. The pungent tasting flesh of the garlic bulb has made it a staple flavoring ingredient in the kitchens of many cultures. In addition, garlic has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, in many different cultures, for purposes as diverse as fighting the common cold to preventing wound infections. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed in the ability of garlic to enhance strength and endurance, and it was fed to workers, soldiers, sailors, and competing athletes. In China and Japan, garlic was used as a wide-spectrum healing tonic. Today garlic is used for its antioxidant properties and to support the immune system, cardiovascular health and detoxification.