Garlic is wonder food with well-known all over the world. The myth being that it originated in Siberia. However, it has been grown in the steppes and eastern Persia for many eons. It finds earliest mention in the Zend-Avesta. The garlic plant is for the same family as onion. Garlic and wellness are closely linked as it has strong medicinal properties. It is known that garlic was fed to athletes during the Ancient Olympics to enhance performance. Probably, one of the earliest known performance enhancer!
The white garlic bulb consists of several cloves inside. They are all wrapped in thin white skin. It has been used in flavoring food worldwide and in several cultures of the world. That continues even in the modern age due to its strong aroma and taste. Food toppings in pizzas and pastas besides that in curries irreplaceable consists of garlic.
Garlic is a known anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasatic besides known as a blood thinner. The multiple medicinal uses of garlic places it utmost in any kitchen store. It has been used as an antibiotic ages before invention of modern ones which we find in stores today.
Here we discuss the various known medical benefits of ginger and how it effects our wellness in general.
Garlic is known for its strong aroma and consumption leading to bad breath. This is caused by the sulfurous substance in it called Allicin. It is an organosulphur compound. It is produced when garlic cloves are crushed or chopped. Allicin is known to reduce inflammation and offer anti-oxidant benefits. It is an oily, slightly yellowish substance.
On crushing or chopping garlic cloves, allinase is released. This is an enzyme. Allinase then catalyses the production of allicin from aliin which is present in raw garlic. Allicin is the key component connecting garlic and wellness.
Garlic and Heart Health
Garlic is best known as the Heart’s friend. It helps to reduce cholesterol specially the bad ones – serum cholesterol and triglycerides. It also helps in controlling blood pressure. Scientific trials have proved these cardiovascular effects of garlic. Besides, establishing that garlic does not have any significant side effects when treating as a cardiovascular medicine.
Medical research has proved that garlic is effective in preventing thrombosis. It also prevents the aggregation of platelets and strengthen the coronary blood vessels. All leading to prevention of cardiovascular diseases and good heart health. Heart health is the most popular subject connecting garlic and wellness.
Nutritionists recommend taking 2-3 cloves of raw garlic on empty stomach for good heart health. There is a specific way to taking it though. Take the cloves between your teeth and cut it slightly, then swallow it with a glass of water for best results.
Garlic and Ear Irritation
One function of garlic is it’s anti-bacterial properties. This comes from the properties of Allicin again.
A long time use of garlic has been in treating ear irritation and infection. Ear infection is caused due to viral or bacterial infection in the middle ear. The area gets filled with fluid and is quite painful. Garlic oil extracted out of dried garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. This when administered in the ear provides relief immediately.
Garlic and Skin Care
The anti-oxidant properties of Garlic has a longtime known effect on the skin. It reinforces the collagen in the skin and makes it look youthful. Consuming garlic regularly has a profound effect on your skin. You regain the natural glow on your face.
It’s anti-fungal property prevents some major skin-diseases like ringworm and fungus growth in skin folds. It is known to treat some fungus induced sexually transmitted diseases as well which is still unproven in modern medical experiments yet.
One home remedy is to apply cut garlic on fungus infected skin area, wrap up with a bandage and observe the healing in a few days. This has worked as a home remedy for there is no doubt that will work anytime.
The side effects of garlic are yet to be proved scientifically yet. Though, anything should be taken in moderation. A high dosage of garlic’s main content – Allicin is known to effect the liver adversely. Hence, it is always better not to abuse the usage.
Besides, it is a well-known fact that noblemen in ancient world did not consume garlic due to its foul smell. People on fast and specially people in some religions like Jainism do not consume garlic as this is supposed to give a high.
Garlic is undoubtedly one of the best healthy food provided by nature. Regular use of garlic comes handy in having a healthier heart and a glowing skin. The therapeutic effects of ginger has been carried over many ancient cultures until the modern day. Hence, do consume garlic but in moderation.
I would love to read your opinion about garlic and its usage. Please leave your comment in the comment box below and watch out this space for wellness related articles.
8 Replies to “Garlic and Wellness”
Garlic is a favorite flavoring and has enhanced a number of the dishes I cook. The fact that is has a proven reputation for health benefits is just a good side thing. I even read a suggestion to use it for treating your weak nails by digging your nails in a clove of garlic and leaving for 10 minutes, right before bedtime. Allow the residue to remain on the nails all night, washing in the morning. So the uses are broad, besides the ones about being a blood thinner and good for heart health that you covered in your article.
The capsules are so easy to take and produce little odour in the breath of the one taking them that that is a my favorite way to make sure I have this important diet component on a daily basis. I had not heard the story about the garlic being fed to athletics before a competition. That was interesting, and a better way than some prepare nowadays. Garlic also grows well in a home garden site with enough growing days. It is a bit slower than green onions, but not as long as regular onions, in our area.
Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience here Sami. Your suggestion for treating weak nails is superb.
It is difficult to take garlic raw and capsules provide a solution for this.
Thanks once again for your comprehensive comments.
I was aware of many of the positive attributes of garlic, but you have provided information of which I was not previously aware. In fact, here at my home we use garlic in a variety of dishes as well as sauteing it to add to popcorn. I was pleasantly surprised when I found garlic among the many items that arrived today from our local organic farm that delviers produce to our door. I have gained much information from your article and it is appreciated.
Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience here Joseph. Garlic is grown in gardens in temperate climates almost everywhere in the world now.
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this post here. To make the best use of this here, garlic can really make the difference in here. I will always make the best use of this garlic for a lot of things. Though I know that garlic can be good for a lotof things and seeing this here, it can make a lot of difference. Thanks
Thanks for your comment Carol,
Yes Garlic is a wonder food with numerous medicinal properties acknowledged since ancient days.
I love everything garlic. I love the taste so much that I can actually eat it raw but I am not sure that my spouse love it that much. lol We all know that horrible garlic bread. Thank you for sharing this fun fact, did not know that it is originated in Persia. Oh wow, I did not know that it is better to take it on an empty stomach, I am going to have to try your technique. Thanks for sharing about this wonderful herb!
Thanks for your comments and experience with using raw garlic! Do let us know your experience with having garlic on empty stomach.