Garlic or Allium sativum, is a member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes onions, chives and leeks. The word garlic comes from Old English garleac, meaning “spear leek.” It is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds including thiosulfinates (allicin), sulfoxides (alliin), and dithiins (ajoene) that are a cause for its pungency but more importantly imparting the strong medicinal attributes. Individual cloves are enclosed in a thin white, mauve or purple sheath, around a head or bulb. When raw, garlic has a fiery, pungent and crunchy flavor and becomes mellow and creamy when cooked.
History of Garlic:
Garlic has been used in cooking for more than 5,000 years. Cultivated by ancient Egyptians, it is native to Central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and Europe regions. Garlic was introduced into various regions throughout the globe by migrating cultural tribes and explorers. By the 6th century BC, garlic was known in both China and India, where it was revered for its culinary and therapeutic properties, finding its way into Ayurveda. It was not until 1940s that Americans started adopting Garlic into their culinary culture.
Why Garlic is considered to be possibly the Ultimate Curative Herb?
- Recent research has confirmed and quantified that whole extracts of Garlic and Ginger have the ability to stop several species of multi-drug resistant bacteria. Read this interesting article: “Garlic and Ginger Inhibit Drug Resistant Bacteria”
- WHO has also reported how Antibiotic resistance is potentially the biggest threat to mankind and could undermine Healthcare and lead to pandemics in the very near future. Read the full article here: “WHO report: Antibiotic resistance on the rise across the globe”
- Posted by one of CureJoy’s leading experts, the article “When Antibiotics Fail, Are Herbs the Answer?“ explores how herbs (including garlic) can take over where Antibiotics are failing.
- Improves Heart Health: Garlic cleanses the arteries and veins, thins blood, prevents blot clots, and nourishes the arteries maintaining their ability to stretch, preventing fatal heart diseases like heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
- Anti-Clotting: Garlic increases the production of nitric oxide in the blood, which helps dilate blood vessels and dissolve blood clots.The anti-clotting properties of ajoene, a sulphur containing compound found in garlic, help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body.
- Soothes Respiratory System: The distinctive overwhelming odor and taste in garlic comes from the Sulphur content, which accelerates the activities of mucous membranes in the upper respiratory tract, relieving compression and mucus. Its antibacterial phytochemical properties help in treating throat irritations and potent expectorant qualities help treat chronic bronchitis and asthma.
- Anti-Bacterial: Garlic has a rich combination of vital nutrients like Vitamin C, B6, allicin, potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and flavonoids, rendering it with antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast, worm infections, and bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.
- Prevents Diabetes: Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics.
- Cures Skin Ailments: Applying fat dissolving garlic extracts to corns on the feet and warts on the hands alleviates the pain and hastens the healing process. Its anti fungal properties help heal ringworm and athlete’s foot.
- Anti-Cancer: Organosulfida contained in garlic helps the liver to process toxic chemicals, including cancer-causing chemical compounds, lowering risk of stomach and colon cancer. Diallyl sulphides found in garlic inhibit the transformation of heterocyclic amines into carcinogens, preventing breast cancer.
- Lowers Cholesterol: Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides, bad LDL cholesterol, and reduce arterial plaque formation.
- Fights Allergies: Garlic anti-inflammatory property helps the body fight allergies. The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone which relieves allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis), and itching due to rashes and bug bites.
- Provides Pain Relief: Garlic anti inflammatory property relieves joint pains especially arthritis.
- Stabilizes Blood Pressure: Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of Angiotensin II, a protein that contracts blood vessels, helping reduce blood pressure. Red blood cells convert polysulphides into hydrogen sulphide gas which dilates our blood vessels and helps control blood pressure.
- Relieves Toothache: Garlic also has analgesic properties, antibacterial and anesthetizing, which can help cure toothaches.
- Treats Acne: Garlic has antibiotic properties and contains compounds that are useful to clean the blood. But not entirely using garlic only, but you have to do further treatment.
- Improves Iron Metabolism: Diallyl sulphides in garlic increase iron metabolism by stimulating the production of Ferroportin, a protein which helps in iron absorption and release.
- Aphrodisiac: Garlic thins the blood, dissolves blood clots, dilates the blood vessels and improves blood circulation, rejuvenating the sexual functions.
- Assists in Weight Loss: The anti-inflammatory property of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) found in garlic may help inhibit conversion of Pre-adipocytes into fat cells (adipocytes), aiding weight loss.
Side Effects and Precautions:
- People diagnosed with lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) should avoid garlic.
- Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism, regardless of whether the garlic is fresh or has been roasted.
- Garlic is known for causing bad breath (halitosis) and a pungent smelling sweat, which is caused by allyl methyl sulfide (AMS).
- Allergy to garlic can manifest into symptoms that can include irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis.
- Like Aspirin, Garlic and garlic supplements have been linked to reduced platelet aggregation, that increases the risk of bleeding, particularly during pregnancy and after surgery and childbirth.