Garlic belongs to the same family as the onion. Its bulb typically consists of 10-20 sections generally referred to as cloves. Its always been used as a kitchen ingredient for its aroma and flavour. It automatically brings a food to life. Beyond its kitchen functions, it’s always been anciently used medicinally in a lot of places like Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, Babylon etc. Infact, in ancient Egypt, it was placed in the tombs of the dead. Other places have used it to repel bugs and against plagues. Hippocrates, a popular ancient Physician, often referred to as The Father of Western Medicine was known to use garlics as prescriptions for a lot of conditions.
Even though it’s been used for health and medical purposes for decades, it’s only begun to gain attention and a lot of its health benefits have recently begun to be scientifically tested and confirmed. Most of garlic’s benefits stem from Allicin, a compound that contains sulphur. The compound is usually found in crushed and fresh garlic. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties are attributed to this compound.
Garlic’s health benefits are so powerful they are said to help prevent certain forms of cancer .
What’s the nutritional content of garlic?
Garlic contains a lot of nutrients which all contribute to its medicinal importance and effects. Below are the contents of garlic :
• Vitamins A, B Complex comprising of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, C,D, E and K
• Iron for the formation of red blood cells
• Organic thiosulfinate compounds (found in its bulb). They become allicin on crushing or chewing as a result of an enzymatic reaction.
• Selenium, a heart – healthy mineral
• Proteins and amino acids
• Dietary fibre
• Saturated, monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fat
Health Benefits Of Garlic
Purifying the blood will do a lot of things for your health, skin and even weight. The root of some of the skin problems you have could be tackled by purifying the blood, giving you a clearer skin. I bet you’re tired of having to hide those pimples behind makeup. Simply chew two cloves from the garlic and warm water to go with early everyday. You would also lose the unnecessary weight by also taking two cloves of garlic, except this time you’ll be having it with natural lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water. In the end, your system will be cleansed, toxins flushed, zits gone and weight lost!
Anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial
Garlic’s anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties have inspired its use as an antibiotic for over a thousand decades. It’s been found to be effective in warding off bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections. Infact, studies found that children’s tapeworm infections could be treated by drinking a diluted extract from garlic. It’s anti-bacterial properties also extend to the mouth. It is therefore able to keep away bacteria responsible for cavities. Even though you might not find the idea of a garlic mouth wash especially intriguing, still, taking just a little of the garlic extract is enough to prevent cavities and keep your detail health intact.
Can Reduce Blood Pressure
A high blood pressure is the leading cause of strikes and heart attacks in the world today. Still surprisingly, the blood pressure of people keeps rising. High blood pressure is also known as hypertension and this kills fast. It usually occurs as a result of deficiency in calcium in the advanced, an increase in C-reactive proteins and sulphur-containing deficiency. Fortunately, garlic could be the solution to the problem. It does this by reason of allicin, which increases the concentration of hydrogen sulphide. Hydrogen sulphide helps relax the blood vessels and prevents constriction. Studies find that taking garlic supplements causes the blood pressure to reduce as significantly as raw garlic would . Infact, one study says that it is as effective as using Atenolol in twenty four weeks. However, the doses for the supplements should be significantly high, equivalent to 4 cloves daily.
Cold and Flu
Garlic has been proven effective in relieving the sinuses and curing flu, generally. But beyond that, its also been found to boost the body’s immunity against the cold and flu overtime. Chewing about 3 cloves of garlic, raw or cooked would help achieve this. You could even simply get something garlic tea, with some honey to taste. If you cannot chew them, then you could simply add them to your foods – soups, broths, stews, they would still be able to fight your flu and cold. However, it’s absolutely best to have it raw.
Studies showed that its extract boosted the activities of the immune cells and reduced inflammatory proteins. Another study revealed that the average span of a cold was reduced by garlic. So when you’ve got a cold, and you’re in bed, sneezing – remember that garlic will be your friend to the end, literally. Try it out!
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
If you have a high cholesterol level, garlic helps to reduce the total and LDL(Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol. It does this by about 15%. It however, appear to have little reliable effect on the HDL(High Density Lipoprotein). LDL is one of the leading causes of strokes and heart attacks as it clogs the blood vessels, thereby multiplying the chances of a stroke or heart attack. Garlic is able to have an effect on the TDL and LDL by preventing the liver from producing cholesterol.
In ancient times, it seemed they knew of the immunity benefits of garlic. Many of them who had jobs that exposed them to diseases and infections took garlic to protect themselves. People who ate meat also ate garlic to protect themselves from falling sick as they believed meats could be a source of infections. Recently though, everybody takes it to boost immunity. Studies show that aged garlic extracts increases glutathione which in turn gets the white blood cells (lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils) stimulated. The white blood cells are the cells that R responsible for protecting the body from infections. Glutathione protects the immune cells from being damaged by free radicals.
The health benefits of garlic cannot be overemphasized. Use it to cook, chew its cloves raw, take garlic supplements or aged garlic extracts, whichever, simply make sure you maximize all of its benefits.
Like the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates would say
“Let your medicine be food, and let your food be medicine “