Garlic has a pungent smell, and is good in certain dishes, but is there more too it? Why is garlic so often considered a great, healthy herb? Well, for one, it has the vital chemical compound allicin, which is a wonderful therapeutic ingredient with many medicinal qualities. The allicin compound contains sulfur, which gives the garlic its pungent savor and peculiar smell. The health benefits of garlic are innumerable. It helps fight heart ailments, fight cold, cough, and lowers blood pressure.
Garlic is the oldest known medicinal plant variety or spice in existence. Mankind recognized the curative qualities of this magic herb over 3,000 years ago. Sir Louis Pasteur, the scientist who discovered pasteurization, effectively utilized the anti-bacterial qualities of garlic all the way back in 1858.
World War I medical surgeons used the health benefits of garlic juice as an antiseptic for treating war wounds. Garlic contains useful minerals such as phosphorous, calcium and iron, as well as trace minerals like iodine, sulfur and chlorine, which are also present in the cloves. In terms of organic compounds, garlic is one of the rare sources of allicin, allisatin 1, and 2.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Some of the health benefits of garlic are explained in greater detail below.
Diabetes: Diabetes can harm the kidneys, inhibit nervous system functions, cause heart disorders, and even lead to poor eyesight. The oil extracted from garlic may protect diabetic patients from these side effects.
High Cholesterol Levels: Of the two kinds of cholesterol –LDL and HDL, the former is bad for human health. Garlic, rich in the allicin compound, effectively prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. All those who have high cholesterol levels should include garlic in their daily diet.
Hypertension: Garlic is an herbal ingredient for curing hypertension. When exposed to high levels of pressure, the allicin present in garlic relaxes the blood vessels. Garlic also fights against thrombosis by reducing platelet aggregation.
Eye Care: Garlic is rich in nutrients like Selenium, Quercetin and Vitamin C, all of which help treat eye infections and swelling.
Ear Aches: Garlic is commonly used for curing ear aches, as it has several antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic properties. Garlic oil can be made at home by squeezing the juice of garlic cloves and adding it to olive oil. The mixture should be kept at room temperature for a few days, but shouldn’t be saved indefinitely, if made at home.
Intestinal Problems: Garlic clears up most intestinal problems like dysentery, diarrhea and colitis. Its role in dispelling worms is phenomenal. It does not affect the functioning of useful organisms in the intestine, which aid in digestion, but it does destroy the harmful bacteria present in the intestines.
Cold: Raw garlic is used to treat colds and coughs. At the very onset of a cold, you should eat at least two cloves of crushed garlic, which will thereby help in lessening the severity of your cold.
Infected Wounds: Garlic can be placed on infected wounds as an herbal treatment. It should be mixed with three drops of water, rather than using it in raw form, as the undiluted juice can irritate the skin.
Digestion: Daily inclusion of garlic in your diet aids in eliminating any digestive problems. Garlic assists in the normal functioning of the intestines for good digestion. Even swelling or irritation of the gastric canal may be rectified with garlic as a treatment.
Acne: Half the people in the world suffer from mild to severe forms of acne. Garlic may be used, along with other ingredients like honey, cream and turmeric, to treat acne scars and prevent the initial development of acne. Garlic acts as a cleanser and an antibiotic substance for soothing skin rashes.
Asthma: Boiled garlic cloves are wonderful as an alternative asthma treatment. Each night before going to sleep, a glass of milk with 3 boiled cloves of garlic can bring subsequent relief for patients with asthma. The asthma attacks may be brought under control by having crushed garlic cloves with malt vinegar as well.
Sexual Problems: Garlic has certain aphrodisiac properties, so this helpful herb can be utilized as an effectual sex rejuvenator. The health benefits of garlic are further known to enhance the libido of both men and women. People who overindulge in sexual activities should consume garlic in their diet or in supplemental form to protect themselves from nervous fatigue.
Cancer: The regular intake of garlic reduces the risk of colon, stomach and esophageal cancer. It aids in reducing the production of carcinogenic compounds, and also reduces the occurrence of tumors associated with breast cancer.
More Info on This Wonderful Herb
The health benefits of garlic were realized centuries ago by mankind. Garlic is very effective when eaten raw- either crushed or chopped. As little as one clove per day may bring vast improvement in your overall health. 2 to 3 cloves could prevent an attack of the common cold. Garlic used in cooking should be added last for more of a healthy impact. However, consuming too much garlic is also not very good as it may cause irritation in the digestive system. Garlic should be added as a part of a healthy normal diet, it does not need not be used as an alternative to anything. The only drawback is its pungent smell and taste that leaves bad breath, but other than that, garlic is a medicinal boon for mankind!