Garlic which goes by the scientific moniker of Allium Sativum, is plant with a strong pungent and bitter flavor that has been used for both cooking and as a medicine for hundreds of years. The key beneficial ingredient of garlic is the compound allicin which is reported to have anti bacterial, anti fungal as well as anti-oxidant properties.
Garlic has many health benefits and has been used throughout the ages to treat a large number of ailments including high cholesterol, parasites, respiratory problems, digestive issues and lethargy. Clinical studies have been done which suggest that a diet that regularly involves garlic can help a person lower their blood pressure, keep their blood sugars and cholesterol levels under control , and help improve their immune system. Research also indicates that garlic can help lower the risk of certain cancers including esophageal, stomach and colon cancers.
While consuming garlic in its raw form has become a popular way to supplement, it has been shown that the enzyme needed to produce alliicin in crushed garlic may be destroyed in the stomach before it can actually have any beneficial effects. Because of this, it has been suggested that dried or powder garlic tablets may be a more advantageous way to benefit from the immune boosting qualities of garlic. Taking garlic that has been cooked, pickled, or aged is also a good way to receive the benefits of allicin.
What you can use garlic for:
The antiviral properties of garlic can help the body fight off invading allergens. Start taking one garlic tablet a day two to three weeks before allergy season begins.
The bacteria fighting properties of garlic make it a great treatment for coughs as well as other throat irritations. Some research also indicates that garlic may help reduce the severity of upper respiratory infections.
Garlic may help regulate blood sugar levels, thereby increasing the release of insulin in diabetics. Supplementing one capsule or tablet of garlic everyday can help diabetic keep their blood sugar under control.
High Blood Pressure
In clinical studies, people who took a 600-900 mg garlic capsule once a day for five months ended up effectively lowering their blood pressure on par with other patients taking the more traditional blood pressure prescription drugs.
Taking 600 to 900 mg of garlic a day may also lower your cholesterol levels and reduce arterial plaque formation by 5 to 18%.
Besides being antibacterial, garlic is also a natural analgesic and pain reliever that can help ease an aching tooth. Apply some garlic oil or a piece of crushed clove directly onto the afflicted tooth and gum for instant relief.
The infection and bacteria fighting capabilities of garlic make it an effective cure for warts and other problems. Simply take a fresh clove of garlic, cut off its tip and then run the exposed area directly on the wart for a few seconds. Do this each night before bed until the wart disappears.
While there are not too many serious side effects to worry about when using garlic, some people are allergic to the plant and may display a rash after eating or using it. Consuming too much garlic may also produce stomach irritation, heartburn, or flatulence. Since it has blood thinning and anti clogging properties, be sure to check with your doctor about taking garlic before surgery or if you are taking anti-coagulant drugs.
Yulia Berry is an independent health researcher and author of the best selling e-books Aloe – Your Miracle Doctor and ‘Pharmacy in Vegetables’. She distributes a weekly newsletter regarding great home remedies and has written dozens of natural health articles published on hundreds of websites worldwide.