Garlic is well known as a natural health remedy that has long been used to treat various ailments. It is extremely easy to source in most countries and can be consumed cooked or fresh. It is most easily included in your food or can be eaten on its own. You don’t need to limit yourself to fresh garlic either. Garlic powder or dried garlic flakes are just as effective and super easy to keep in the cupboard for everyday use.
It is recommended that adults consume no more than one clove two or three times a day and those children have one quarter to one half a clove, once or twice a day.
Garlic is most well known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritis’s, etc. The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. Hence, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
Angiotensin II is a protein that helps our blood vessels contract thereby increasing the blood pressure. Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II and helps in reducing blood pressure. The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by the red blood cells. Hydrogen sulphide dilates our blood vessels and helps control blood pressure. Garlic also protects our heart against cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This cardio-protective property can be attributed to various factors. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch. Garlic may help reduce this and may also protect the heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. The sulphur-containing compounds of garlic also prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The anti-clotting properties of ajoene help prevent clots from forming inside the blood vessels.
Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol and reduce arterial plaque formation.
Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory property. It can help the body fight against allergies. The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone. Garlic has been show to improve allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis). Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop the itching due to rashes and bug bites.
Daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency and number of colds. Its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations. Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Its benefits in disorders of the lungs like asthma, difficulty of breathing, etc. make it a priceless medicine. Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.
Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of most types of cancer. This anti-cancer property is due to allyl sulphides found in garlic. PhIP, a type of heterocyclic amine (HCA), has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer among women. According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP into carcinogens.
Ferroportin is a protein which helps in iron absorption and release. Diallyl sulphides in garlic increase production of ferroportin and help improve iron metabolism.
Many researchers believe that obesity is a state of long-term low-grade inflammation. According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body. Pre-adipocytes are converted into fat cells (adipocytes) through inflammatory system activity. The anti-inflammatory property of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) found in garlic may help inhibit this conversion. This may help prevent weight gain. *As noted in the worlds healthiest foods.