Garlic

 

The name, like the plant, needs no embellishment.  Garlic has been used for thousands of years for flavour enhancement, medicine, endurance, and even in literature to keep vampires away!

I have had a chance over the past couple of weeks to observe just how well antibiotics work when they are prescribed for an illness that responds to them.  This led me to thinking of more natural alternatives than pharmaceutical antibiotics.

One of nature’s greatest healers is garlic.  When you look at a list of its properties you may even believe that it heals everything!

  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-Viral
  • Anti-Carcinogen
  • Anti-Thrombic

Garlic reduces bad cholesterol and raises good while clearing fat from the blood.  It’s a great antihistamine and works to help clear mucus in colds.

How Can Something that Smells Bad be so Good?

Garlic’s best action comes when the cells of the clove are first broken.  Breaking the membrane releases Allicin.  It is Allicin that gives garlic it’s antibiotic effect. The antibiotic effect of allicin is actually equivalent to 1% penicillin and was used by doctors in World War 1 to treat infected wounds.

Unfortunately the allicin begins to break down as soon as the clove is cut so fresh cut garlic or even eating a clove is the best way to get the most benefit.  This is not always a socially acceptable option.

There are freeze dried capsules available at natural food stores and Naturopaths offices.  These are a viable option.  My favorite option is Caesar Salad!  Homemade or prepared per order are great and tasty ways to get fresh garlic.  Unfortunately most Caesar Salads are made with pre-made dressing and are therefore not beneficial.

Heart Smart Garlic

After research was done on five clinical trials it was shown that 1/2  to 1 clove per day reduced serum cholesterol levels by 9%.  A second meta-analysis involving 16 clinical trials found the same amount reduced serum cholesterol by 12%.  A period of some months is generally needed to show a significant reduction.

Garlic relieves aortic stiffness thereby allowing freer blood flow and lowering blood pressure.  It is also thought that  the constituents of garlic have a vasodilating effect.

For further info on the benefits of Garlic see
and

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