Spice Rack Remedies
Healing Qualities of Garlic
“Eat onions in March and garlic in May, and the rest of the year your doctor can play.” Olde Folk Rhyme
A plant from the onion (Allium) family, garlic is grown for both its medicinal benefits and its distinctive aroma and flavour in cooking. The medicinal qualities of garlic has been well known and used for over 5,000 years all around the world. Garlic is low in calories and high in manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium; as well contains a moderate amount of other essential nutrients and elements.
Garlic has long been prescribed as a remedy for digestive disorders, flatulence, worms, respiratory infections, viruses, skin diseases and stamina to name a few. Garlic is known for its medicinal uses as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and as a detox.
Studies suggest garlic lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improves energy levels when taken on a daily basis. Garlic has also been found to significantly improve estrogen levels in menopausal women which improved bone health and reduced the effects of osteoarthritis. If that is not enough, new studies also suggest garlic is a powerful cancer blocker.
The chemical compound called allicin found in garlic is highly effective at destroying harmful microorganisms that are responsible for most infections. Allicin can clear up some digestive disorders such as diarrhea and colitis by destroying the harmful bacteria in the intestines. Raw garlic taken daily can also be used to prevent viruses like the common cold.
Garlic contains antioxidants that protect the body against oxidative damage which contributes to ageing and age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimers. Garlic’s antioxidant protection supports healthy DNA from damage and from producing cancerous tumours. The antioxidant’s in garlic also protect the heart from bad cholesterol levels which are worsened with oxidative stress. Garlic also reduced the accumulation of soft plaque which prevented the formation of new plaque in the arteries.
A study published in 2014 through the US National Library of Medicine, found that garlic has the potential to lower blood pressure similar to standard blood pressure medications. It explains that the polysulfides in garlic promote the opening and widening of blood vessels which in-turn lowers blood pressure.
Eating garlic regularly has also shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. Garlic can increase the amount of insulin that is released and improve glucose tolerance.
According to the National Cancer Institute, several population studies have shown that an increased daily intake of garlic reduced the risk of many types of cancers. Garlic’s antibacterial properties along with its antioxidant ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances and enhance DNA repair all contribute to its cancer prevention.
Garlic is most effective when taken raw for its microbial properties, although cooked garlic still effective. The anti-oxidative qualities of garlic are not effected by whether it is cooked or not. Garlic is enjoyable in many dishes, raw, sautéed, roasted or baked. The amazing health benefits of garlic are enhanced when the cloves are chopped, activating the allinase enzymes in the vegetables cells. Enjoy garlic in your next dish and may you live a long healthy life.
Written by: J. Marshall
• NCBI: US National Library of Medicine / Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24035939
• NCBI: US National Library of Medicine / Potential of garlic in lowering high blood pressure: mechanisms of action and clinical relevance: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266250/
• Authority Nutrition: An Evidence Based Approach / 11 Proven Health Benefits of Garlic: https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic/
• WHFoods: The World’s Healthiest Foods / Garlic: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60
• NCBI: US National Library of Medicine / Comparison of therapeutic effects of garlic in patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22151785
• NCBI: US National Library of Medicine / The effect of garlic tablet on pro-inflammatory cytokines in postmenopausal osteoporotic women: a randomized controlled clinical trial: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23039014
• Natural News / Garlic Boosts Overall Antioxidant levels and Blocks Cancer: http://www.naturalnews.com/025821_garlic_antioxidant_cancer.html
• Dr. Axe: Food is Medicine / 7 Raw garlic benefits for reversing disease: https://draxe.com/7-raw-garlic-benefits-reversing-disease/
• NIH National Cancer Institute / Garlic and Cancer Prevention: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/garlic-fact-sheet