Having Greek heritage in my family, I’ve been familiar with the smell and taste of garlic since I was a baby. I love garlic in all varieties of food from Italian to American meals. Because of its lovely aroma and great taste, garlic is used in a multitude of recipes and is found in almost every kitchen. Wherever I might be, its delicious scent reminds me of home.
Garlic can be used in several ways. It’s a very versatile plant. Usually, it is used in cooking for a tasty flavor and a yummy scent but there are other uses as well. In fact, people have been using garlic for its healing benefits for several thousands of years. Studies today are proving that the ancients were correct about these benefits and garlic truly does have natural compounds that can provide some potentially powerful healing effects.
Two important reasons to consider a long term relationship with garlic:
Garlic is great for your heart
Since garlic contains a high level of antioxidant activity, it helps to protect against tissue damage and promotes the prevention of heart disease within the body. Eating a bulb or two of garlic a day can possibly save your life. Some doctors believe that it can significantly aid in scrubbing the plaque build up in the blood vessels and reverse heart disease caused by this plaque. Some studies also suggest that garlic may help to prevent blood clotting.
Garlic fights against cancer
In several lab studies, garlic has been shown to slow the progress and spread of different types of cancers. It has been shown to stimulate the production of anti cancer enzymes and it aids the body in fighting harmful free radicals. By eating garlic regularly, the risk of cancers developing or spreading in the body are lowered considerably. Some physicians also believe garlic oil can assist in shrinking tumors.
So what makes garlic a super food?
Allicin is a super antioxidant. It is activated when cloves of garlic are crushed or chopped. The experts are in agreement that allicin is the main active ingredient found in garlic that provides healing properties. Studies have shown that harmful free radicals in the body are rapidly attacked and broken down by allicin, helping to prevent damage of tissues in people who eat it regularly. It is also considered to have powerful antibiotic properties.
How do we get the benefits?
Garlic can be consumed in a number of ways. Cooked garlic and dried garlic both have been proven to have some of the same benefits as fresh cloves but must be consumed in larger quantity. Fresh, pulverized garlic cloves have the highest potency and are best for healing in comparison to dried or cooked cloves.
Experts in the field of natural medicine and nutrition recommend eating 1 to 3 cloves daily to achieve maximum benefits. To increase the healing potential, the clove should be chopped finely or crushed and left to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before consumption.
Tip: An excellent way to enjoy freshly chopped or crushed garlic cloves is by mixing with a small amount of olive oil and then dip your favorite healthy bread. Cucumbers can be a great choice for dipping as well (Pureed garlic works best for veggie dipping).
Garlic can assist the body in the fight against several ailments
Garlic is a super hero when it comes to warding off negativity in the human body. Eating it regularly can do wonders for your immune system. In some cases, topical application has been shown to aid in healing certain skin conditions. Below is a list of ailments proven to be effected by garlic. Each condition listed has either been shown to improve or has been shown to be prevented by the consumption or application of garlic.
Increases Absorption of iron and zinc
Cold and Flu
Immune System Boost
Garlic can provide a boost to your overall health even if you are in good condition.
Other interesting facts:
- Louis Pasteur noted the antibacterial properties in garlic and thus, it was used as an antiseptic in World War One.
- A spray made from crushed garlic and water can be used in the garden to fend off pests like spiders, whiteflies, aphids, and others.
- Garlic is an excellent mosquito repellent.
- Glass and china can be mended by using the sticky juice within the garlic cloves as an adhesive.
- To help heal mouth sores and ulcers, use a crushed garlic and warm water rinse.
- The fear of garlic is called, alliophobia.
*Note: Garlic is very toxic to dogs! Don’t give it to them under any circumstance.