Garlic – The essence of life
Garlic – ‘Allium sativum’ appears in healing traditions all over the world. Its distinguishing smell in a nice white (or purple) ‘dress’ alone make it the number one choice for Mediterranean and Far Eastern cuisine, but garlic also has a huge number of health benefits as well.
Garlic is one of the first cultivated plants found in human history with traces found in caves dating back to 10000 B.C. Its first known origins are in south East Asia but it spread quickly through trade roots as soon garlic was all over the planet.
‘Allium sativum’ means something like improved, cultivated smelling onion. Garlic is in the same family as ‘onions’ this is the most widely known and cultivated member. Beware of GMOs variates though: garlic, like many other vegetables now is genetically modified in some parts of the world.
Contained in garlic, among many other things are:
ajoene – which is responsible for the fungicide effect of garlic;
allicine – is a kind of sulphuric compound responsible for most of the smell, the wide spectre antibacterial effect.
alil-sulfites – are considered to have cancer healing effects, tests need to be effected; many other sulphuric compounds responsible for garlic’s smell and anti-thrombus, antioxidant and germicide effects.
One of the main reasons people avoid garlic’s medical and healing properties is its pungent small and aroma , after ingesting garlic the above mentioned sulphur compounds enter the blood stream and from there the lungs causing bad breath the smell is also excreted through pours on the skin.
But what can you do to avoid this?
There are many remedies to avoiding the smell of garlic, one such idea is to eat parsley coffee beans and dill after your daily garlic, but to us this seems a bit of a far fetched approach and you should probably come to terms with the fact that if you eat a lot of garlic the aroma will stay with you for some time.
Medical uses for garlic.
- Thrombus – Garlic can help prevent thrombus – Aka: blood clot’s.
- Arteriosclerosis – Effects of garlic on atherosclerosis
- Infections – Garlic can be a a great treatment for infection even able to fight hospital super bugs such as MRSA.
- Pneumoni – Garlic is considered as an amazing treatment for those who have pneumonia if only it would be given in ample quantities during the treatment.
- Candida – Simply adding three raw crushed garlic cloves to your diet every day for about three weeks.
- Diabetes – Diabetics can benefit from the ability of lowering blood sugar levels of garlic.
Garlic can also significantly improve the coronary healing effects of hawthorn, and can even enhance the general strengthening effects of ginseng.
Bulgarian researcher Vesselin Petkov, published papers in 1960 proving that garlic is an effective “medicine” for use with arteriosclerosis and lowers the cholesterol level in blood. Other European experiments show garlic may improve the detoxication of the body from lead and other heavy metals.
A lot of garlic’s unique health properties disappear or transform during any kind of culinary procedure with heat. As with most vegetables in its raw state garlic holds many more health benefits than after being cooked
How to use garlic?
General indication is to shatter garlic, or cut into real small pieces and leave it for a few minutes to “get ready”. The agents get activated due to the air. Also, oily conditions make them more effective: make macerates of garlic, shatter it, mix it with some oil and use after some minutes for best results even as a spice.
Pour 1 L boiled and cooled water into a big jar. Add 30 cloves of garlic (I’d say cut into very small pieces), 3 teaspoons of honey (in case of pollen allergy try fructose) and 150g fresh yeast. Leave it covered by some cloth for 9-10 days, shake or stir it daily cautiously. It is going to get “clean” and translucent. Filter it, put in smaller jars and keep it in the fridge. Take 1-2 teaspoons 1-2 times daily after the meals and based on my personal experience: with a lot of yoghurt. This prevents the side-effects, not in all, but at least in many cases.
No garlic should be taken in any case of stomach inflammation or used on other mucosal surfaces as its agents can cause gastroenteritis. It may increase the risk of excessive bleeding in surgery if consumed in high quantity. Its best to avoid garlic for at least 1 week before any operation.
Article written by Eva Mercz
Edited by cal ince
Contraindications: Francis Brinker, N.D.: Herbal contraindications and drug interactions plus herbal adjuncts with medicines, 4th expanded version, 2010, Eclectic Medical Publications, Oregon, USA.
Homeopathy: Andreas Wacker: Heilpflanzen der Homöopathie, 2008, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags GmbH; Stuttgart, Germany.
Recipes and basic agents: Fight Back with Food – Use nutrition to heal what ails you; 2002 The RDA Inc, USA.
Effects and recipes: Dr. Oláh Andor – A természet patikája; 1989, Kossuth Kiadó; Budapest, Hungary. (‘Andor Oláh M.D.: The pharmacy of nature’)
History: Rácz János: Növénynevek enciklopédiája; 2010, Tinta Könyvkiadó, Budapest, Hungary. (‘János Rácz: Encyclopaedia of herbal names’) and Herodotus: The Histories
About prof. Vesselin Petkov: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0007/000747/074776eo.pdf
Nutrition facts: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3035