Garlic is used by almost every family. It is used widely as a flavoring in cooking. Garlic is a bulbous herb vegetable and its scientific name is Allium Sativum; closely related to the onion, scallion, chive, leek, and shallot. Garlic is used as a remedy also for over 3000 years. Garlic is most commonly used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. Garlic bulb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the ‘cloves’. Each small clove is a power bank of flavor as well as medicinal properties. Garlic is very low in calories, saturated fats, and sodium. It has several useful minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron, and trace minerals like iodine, sulfur, and chlorine. Every 100 grams of garlic have 150 calories, 33 grams of carbs, and 6.36 grams of protein. Garlic is also enriched with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, and manganese.
The scientific name of garlic is Allium Sativum and it is one of the rare dietary sources of organic compounds, allicin, allisatin 1, and allisatin 2. Its organic sulfur compound allicin gives it its pungent smell and makes it a healthy addition to your diet. In foods and beverages, fresh garlic, garlic powder, and garlic oil are used to add flavor.
Health Benefits of Garlic:
Garlic has many benefits. Garlic is best if you consume it raw. Its bioactive components sulfur and phytonutrients have many health benefits. Here are some health benefits of Garlic.
Cold and Flu:
Garlic is very beneficial in Cold and Flu. It is known to boost the function of the immune system. Taking 2-3 cloves of garlic a day with a touch of honey or ginger is not only going to relieve a stuffed nose and cure a cold but also build your immunity against frequent cold and flu.
You can also read about Swine Flu.
Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar:
Garlic is also beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can make you prone to developing Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Obesity, etc. Taking garlic by mouth helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin. Human studies have found that garlic has a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. Garlic can reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) by about 7-9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by about 4-6 mmHg in people with high blood pressure. Sulfur deficiency is one of the reasons for high blood pressure and therefore supplementing the body with organosulfur compounds can help stabilize blood pressure.
You can also read about Myths and Facts About Diabetes.
Garlic also helps and prevents almost all Cardiovascular Diseases. Have a clove of raw garlic in the morning before your morning walk to keep cardiovascular diseases miles away. Garlic can lower total and LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides do not seem to be affected. Investigators believe red blood cells turn the sulfur in garlic into hydrogen sulfide gas that expands our blood vessels, making it easier to regulate blood pressure.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-parasitic:
Garlic is one of the best medicinal treasures. It also works as anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic even garlic acts as an effective herbal remedy for the infected wound. Studies suggest diluted garlic extract helps children with tapeworm infections. A garlic-based mouthwash may not sound like fresh, minty breath but a very small quantity of its extracts is sufficient to ward off cavity-causing bacteria.
Garlic also helps in bone health. A study says that garlic may impact estrogen levels in menopausal women that reducing the risk of Osteoarthritis. Age and an unhealthy lifestyle can make your bones weak, which means that fractures and Osteoporosis. Garlic is very helpful in Osteoporosis and Arthritis. A study says that garlic oil is able to suppress ovariectomy-induced bone resorption. Garlic also helps to suppress the matrix-degrading enzymes and therefore prevents damage to the bones. It may also minimize bone loss and improve overall bone health in both, men and women.
Skin and Hair:
Garlic also helps and protects your skin and hair. Garlic’s antioxidants and antibacterial properties can clear up your skin by killing acne-causing bacteria. The invigorating properties of garlic protect the skin from the effect of free radicals and slow down the depletion of collagen which leads to loss of elasticity in aging skin. It is also an effective remedy for fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworms. This herb is an effective skin cleanser and an antibiotic substance that helps resolve several skin conditions, including skin rashes, psoriasis, cold sores, and blisters. Additionally, it also helps in cell synthesis, protecting against UV rays, and in delaying aging.
Garlic is good for hair also. Rubbing crushed garlic extract on your scalp or massaging with garlic-infused oil is known to prevent and even reverse hair loss.
Helps In Treating UTI And Kidney Infections:
Do not under-estimate the Garlic. Yes, garlic is preventing from Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) also. Scientists have found that garlic can help treat or prevent the growth of P. aeruginosa, a pathogen that colonizes the urinary tract walls and is responsible for recurring UTIs and kidney infections. Garlic is also effective against E.coli growth in the urinary tract.
Garlic also boosts your digestion system. It helps clear up most intestinal problems like dysentery, diarrhea, and colitis. Its role in dispelling worms is phenomenal. It does not affect the good bacteria in the intestine but destroys the harmful ones. It not only enhances digestion but also helps relieve stomach gas.
Helps In Reducing Yeast Infections:
Yeast infection is very common in women. If you experience uncomfortable itching and burning sensation in your private parts, accompanied by a smelly discharge, you may have contracted a yeast infection. Garlic is a natural remedy for yeast infections. Scientists have found that fresh garlic extract is highly effective against Candida infections. In another study, the researchers found that garlic was effective against candida vaginitis.
May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer:
According to a study, people who ate raw garlic at least twice a week during the 7 year study period had a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Organo-sulfur compounds found in garlic have been identified as effective in destroying the cells in glioblastomas; a type of deadly brain tumor. Taking garlic may reduce the risk of developing Breast Cancer and stomach cancer as garlic strengthens the immunity of the body against Cancer.
Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia:
Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia and garlic is also effective against Alzheimer’s disease. A bioactive compound S-allyl-cysteine, found in garlic is neuroprotective in nature. Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of garlic also help prevent neurological deterioration.
So, garlic has much health benefits but before you start taking garlic, there are some cautions also and these are:
- Asthma patients should not consume garlic as it may have side-effects.
- Garlic should be avoided before surgeries or medical operations.
- Do not consume more than 2-3 garlic cloves in a day without consulting a doctor.
- If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor before increasing your garlic intake.