Garlic: It Does More Than Ward Off Evil
Certainly, if you have been watching the Food Channel, you no doubt have seen chefs use garlic in abundance. Letís explore garlic; its history and health benefits.
Garlic is a member of the lily family and, as a dried root, is native to central Asia. However it should be interesting to note it was widely used more than 5000 years ago. This herb was fed to workers who built the Great Pyramid at Giza. In
addition, Greek athletes ate it to build their strength. In the United States, it was first cultivated in New Orleans by French settlers and, subsequently, missionaries brought it to California where it is grown today. In addition, garlic cloves have been used for thousands of years and their use has been recorded in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, India, Russia and Europe. Known as Russian penicillin, garlic has been used to treat ear infections, cholera and typhus. As a natural antibiotic, garlic was used during both world wars as a disinfectant.
What are the health benefits of garlic?
Not only does it strengthens the immune system; helps prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol; fights infections; digestive aid; alleviates gas, but is an anti-inflammatory herb as well. Studies have shown garlic can suppress the growth of tumors, and is a potent antioxidant good for cardiovascular conditions. It is an antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, lowers high blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol and fat in the bloodstream. It is also generally regarded as a preventive measure for colds, flu and other infectious diseases. Its antibacterial properties help to fight infections, its cancer-inhibiting properties help to prevent cancer, and its anticoagulant properties help contribute to good cardiovascular health. It also works as a digestive aid and relieves gas.
At least nine studies show that garlic decreases the incidence of cancer, especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract among those who consume it regularly. Garlic has also been used to treat for intestinal worms and other intestinal parasites. Today, garlic cloves are being used for infections, specifically chest infections, digestive disorders, and thrush. Additionally, the allicin in fresh garlic is said to aid in lowering blood sugar levels. Allicin is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more Allicin is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect.
While there is a myth that one can ward off evil spirits by wearing garlic around oneís neck or hanging it in windows, you can be assured that it is more useful when consumed. Fresh garlic bulbs are preferred. Next time you visit your local supermarket, pick up two or three cloves and keep them on hand. While it may have a pungent odor, roasting a garlic bulb will afford a sweet and savory taste.
Garlic is formally known as Allium sativum L. This is an herb which grows bulbs under ground, and the above ground shoots look much like green onions do. Garlic is used for cooking and flavoring foods, but it's also one of nature's most powerful natural medicines too.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that's quite potent. Not only will it kill harmful bacteria and germs which cause a variety of sicknesses, garlic will also cure a wide variety of infections inside and outside of the body. Garlic is a wonderful anti-fungal herb too, which means it can be used to kill fungus related infections in or out of the body as well.
The powerful antibiotic part of garlic is a compound which occurs naturally in the plant. This compound is known as allicin, and just one (1) milligram of this substance has the equivalent potency of fifteen (15) standard units of Penicillin.
Allicin is also what makes garlic have it's strong, pugnent odor too though, and a common mistake many new natural health enthusiasts make these days is to buy garlic supplements which are marketed as "odorless". Marketing companies and manufacturers like to make odorless garlic because it is more appealing to the general population.
Everyone wants the health and wellness benefits garlic can bring to them, but they don't want to smell like garlic because of it. So they try to take the easy way out and buy odorless varieties instead. And unfortunately the odorless varieties are generally a waste of time, money, and effort. Since they don't have the naturally occuring allicin that's in real garlic, they also don't have the healing potential you get from real garlic.
Keeping real garlic bulbs on hand at all times in your pantry - or even growing garlic outside in the garden or in a kitchen window is usually the best way to always ensure you have it when it's needed, and you have it at it's strongest. If you're not able to do this however, then keeping real garlic supplements on hand is the next best option.
The natural antibiotic properties of garlic make it a powerful weapon to use for ear infections, throat infections - any type of infection humans have actually. Take the supplements internally or eat fresh bulbs to kill the harmful bacteria inside your body which is causing the infections.
For fungus related problems such as toenail or fingernail fungus, rub fresh cut garlic bulbs on the affected areas several times each day, or pierce garlic oil capsules and rub those on instead.
Garlic is also an excellent herb to use for maintaining the proper balance of flora in your intestinal tract, which helps prevent excessive gas, indigestion, and other digestive problems. When used regularly, garlic also helps maintain normal blood sugar levels, helps strengthen blood vessels and arteries, and can help prevent plaque build up which leads to heart problems too.
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