GARLIC: The Good Culinary And Medical Companion

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Those are famous words from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, often called the father of Western medicine. He actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions. 

Well… modern science has recently confirmed many of these beneficial health effects. We all know garlic's signature odour and taste. There are garlic lovers and garlic haters. But did you know that garlic is one of the most widely used ingredients all over the world, for more than 7,000 years? 

Native to central Asia, its use quickly spread across the continent, adapted to the Mediterranean diet and quickly became popular in Africa as well. Almost 5,000 years ago, it was cultivated by the Assyrians, Egyptians, Ancient Greeks and Jews, later by the Romans and so on, and served both culinary and medicinal purposes. 

Pythagoras called garlic “the king of spices”, not only for its taste but also for its healing benefits. An Egyptian manuscript which includes almost 800 drugs proves that 22 of them were made with garlic. It is widely used in folk and traditional medicine and it's known to treat many diseases and ailments. Garlic is highly nutritious, but has very few calories. Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious. A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains (3): Manganese: 23% of the RDA. Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA. Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA. Selenium: 6% of the RDA. Fiber: 1 gram. Decent amounts of Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1. 

Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything we need. 

Eating garlic on a daily basis can work wonders on your body, as simple as it is to find and consume it, it stimulates the immune system and normalizes your gut flora and can work as an effective natural antibiotic. Garlic can be really powerful, therefore it should be treated like medicine, when used as a cure, and not be over-consumed. It has the ability to kill several kinds of bacteria. Eating garlic on an empty stomach can help in the prevention and healing of a number of common diseases. Consuming it this way, enhances its effects as a powerful natural antibiotic. 

Could Garlic Really Substitute Antibiotics? Garlic is composed of nitrogenous substances, sodium, potassium, selenium, calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphuric, phosphoric acid, vitamin C, D, B, phytosterols, extractives, and essential oils. Furthermore, garlic is rich in phytoncides, like allicin, which is formed by the mechanical destruction of plants,  that is – crushing or grinding cloves of garlic. 

Allicin has a strong bacteriostatic effect which accelerates the cure of infections. Garlic can also fight fungal infections, which makes garlic a much more valuable medicine than that of many of today’s antibiotics. 

Garlic contains more than 400 different mineral components including a lot of antioxidants that number quite a few therapeutic properties. If you want to substitute antibiotics with garlic, it is important to consult your doctor first. Each case is different and surely requires special treatment. 

The Top 10 Health Benefits Of Garlic 1. Garlic prevents aging and clogging of arteries. 2. It helps significantly reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. 3. Garlic strengthens the immune system, by supporting your body's mechanism cope with harmful external influences. 4. It kills a large number of bacteria. 5. Garlic is extremely effective when taken to protect against heart disease. It reduces the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver which help prevent the development of atherosclerosis. 6. Garlic lowers blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory properties. 7. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and is an effective remedy for common colds. 8. It is recommended to use garlic for disorders of the nervous system. 9. Garlic helps kill the cells of multiform glioblastoma's, a malignant brain tumor. 10. Garlic also acts as an anticoagulant, which thins the blood and prevents the formation of dangerous blood clots, thus, reducing the risk of a stroke or heart attack. 

Also note that eating raw, pulverized garlic every day reduces the risk of lung and bowel cancer 40% New studies show that eating raw, pulverized garlic every day reduces the risk of lung and bowel cancer (and possibly others as well, these were two that were studied thus far) quite dramatically – as much as 40% and possibly even more. It is thought that the primary reason behind the drastic reduction in cancer risk is the compound allicin. 

The amount of garlic consumed in patients that saw this potent anti-cancer benefit was typically the equivalent of 1-3 full cloves of garlic a day.

 It is unclear whether there is a particular compound that causes this potent effect against lung and bowel cancer or whether it is more of a synergy between several of the potent compounds and antioxidants found in garlic. 

Researchers think that even people who may have pre-existing lung tissue damage and current and past smokers can benefit from this anti-cancer effect. After all, lung tissue can be damaged by many other toxins other than cigarette smoke such as environmental pollution, toxic household sprays and deodorizers, and a variety of other inhaled tissue toxins. Garlic also has often been cited as being good for cholesterol and extremely heart healthy according to numerous other studies on the subject.

It has shown that it can be a powerful vasodilator meaning it helps keep the blood vessels open and relaxed so blood can flow more freely, and it also has shown a benefit in keeping unhealthy cholesterol levels down. 

 

Side-Effects of Garlic Even garlic aren’t perfect Apart from garlic breath there are other possible side effects, especially if used to excess.

 Use common sense and don't overdo it. Raw garlic is very strong, so eating too much could produce problems, for example irritation of or even damage to the digestive tract. There are a few people who are allergic to garlic. Symptoms of garlic allergy include skin rash, temperature and headaches. Also, garlic could potentially disrupt anti-coagulants, so it's best avoided before surgery. As with any medicine, always check with your doctor first and tell your doctor if you are using it.

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