Garlic Health Benefits

Among the medicinal herbs, garlic health benefits undoubtedly rank as the most popular herbal remedy. Many health problems can be prevented or cured by garlic. Across different cultures, the power of garlic has convinced many from the earliest century up to the present, yet researches on garlic health benefits are still being undertaken.

The historical uses of garlic have been recorded across cultures throughout the world. Evidence from the ancient Egyptian tombs, from 3,200 B.C were discovered inscribed on the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The pyramid builders used garlic and believed it gave them strength to finish the task. In France, where the Great Plague broke killing 100,000, crushed garlic were concocted in wine and drank by the gravediggers to protect themselves from the plague. Soldiers who were severely wounded during the World War I and World War II put garlic on their wounds to prevent gangrene or infection.

Nowadays, garlic health benefits various medical issues. Many health problems can be prevented and treated with simply a daily dose of a clove of garlic.

Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

There are several factors that can cause cardiovascular disease. These include raised serum total cholesterol, raised low density lipoprotein (LDL), and increased LDL oxidation (free radical damage), increased platelet aggregation (clumping), hypertension, and smoking.

Regular intake of garlic can reduce blood cholesterol and may increase HDL and LDL ratio. HDL refers to good cholesterol and LDL refers to bad cholesterol. Many studies proved that taking garlic orally is associated with lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This can prevent a person against possible heart disease and stroke.

Prevent Blood Clots

Blood clotting is a normal way when bleeding is stopped to begin the healing following an injury. However, a blood clot is harmful when it blocks an artery or vein to stop the blood flow. This is called thrombus. People with a thrombus in a brain artery suffer from a stroke. More fatal is a thrombus blocking an artery in the heart because it can result to a heart attack.

To prevent blood clot, one can take garlic. It can increase nitric oxide production in the blood vessels. It helps to dilate the blood vessels, and aids in fibrinolysis or dissolving of blood clotting.

Fight Infections

A study of 150 people who received either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks on “cold season” revealed that garlic helps in the prevention and treatment of the common cold. Results of the study showed that those who received garlic had significantly fewer incidences of colds than those who received placebo. Furthermore, when the same people were exposed to colds, the symptoms quickly disappeared from those given garlic compared to those receiving placebo.

There are sulfur compounds found in garlic such as allicin. It also has vitamin C, B6, selenium, magnesium, potassium, calcium and manganese and flavonoids thus garlic was discovered to fight many kinds of bacteria and viruses in test tubes. However, in one small study, the garlic ingredient ajoene in a cream effectively resolve problem on athlete’s foot, a fungal infection.

Topical creams of garlic may help treat fungal infections such as Tinea cruris and Tinea corporis. More garlic products are being marketed these days such as garlic-oil ear drops ,which are used for ear infections.

The same sulfur compounds in garlic exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by stopping the activity of inflammatory enzymes. Garlic plus vitamin C can reduce the pain accompanying arthritis and asthma attacks.

Prevent Cancer

Garlic can improve a person’s immune system. It has anti-cancer components that can prevent colon cancer and stomach cancer. People with more garlic in their food intake or diet have less risk of colorectal cancer or pancreatic cancer. Garlic supplementation can also reduce the development of cancer cells among people with family history of breast, prostate and throat cancers. Also, it is found that aged garlic lowers heart and intestinal damage common to chemotherapy patients.

Other garlic health benefits especially from pharmaceutical researches suggest that fresh, raw garlic huge quantities may have anti parasitic properties against the roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, and other common type of intestinal parasite.

Make Your Own Garlic Concoction

Get a clove or two of garlic and crush them into lukewarm water. Drink twice a day. However, be careful not to drink it on an empty stomach if you are garlic-sensitive. This drink also serves as a natural body detoxifier. It can also be applied directly to acne spots or herpes, but only if your skin is not hyper-sensitive to garlic.

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