Wed 9 Feb 2011
Garlic (Allium Sativum) is a plant with a very strong and bitter flavour which has been used for both culinary and medical purposes for hundreds of years. The key medicinal ingredient in garlic is allicin, which is known to have wonderful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties.
Garlic can be used to treat high cholesterol, parasites, respiratory problems, poor digestion, and low energy. Studies suggest that regularly eating garlic helps lower blood pressure, controls blood sugar and blood cholesterol, and boosts the immune system. It has also been found to reduce the risk of oesophageal, stomach, and colon cancer.
If taken in raw form the enzyme necessary to produce allicin may be destroyed in the stomach before having any positive effect. For this reason, dried or powdered garlic tablets are more suitable to take advantage of garlic’s immune-boosting qualities. Studies have shown that other forms of garlic such as cooked garlic, pickled garlic, and aged garlic are also beneficial.
In India garlic is one of the favourite seasonings; though as I always say excess of anything is not advisable!
Uses of Garlic
Garlic has been known to be used as a carminative, aphrodisiac, expectorant, and stimulant. It is also know to have a beneficial effect in certain cancers.
Garlic is known to have antiviral properties, which helps the body fight against allergies. Simply take one tablet of garlic supplement each day 2 or 3 weeks before the usual allergy season begins.
Garlic’s antibacterial properties make it a wonderful treatment for coughs and other throat irritations. Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections.
Garlic is considered to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the release of insulin in diabetics. Therefore an effective remedy is to take one capsule or tablet of garlic everyday.
High Blood Pressure
Clinical studies have shown that people with high blood pressure who took garlic capsules daily for up to five months lowered their blood pressure levels as effectively as patients taking prescription blood pressure drugs. A suggested dosage is 600-900mg garlic capsules once daily.
Studies have shown that taking 600-900mg of garlic everyday lowers cholesterol levels and reduces arterial plaque formation by 5–18%. Therefore, an effective natural remedy is to take one garlic tablet or capsule (600-900mg) once per day.
Garlic’s antibacterial, analgesic, and anesthetizing properties can help cure toothaches. Simply put some garlic oil or a piece of crushed garlic clove directly onto the affected tooth and the gum for instant relief.