Garlic (Allium sativum) is widely recognised as a culinary herb and a potent natural medicine. It is a natural antimicrobial and unlike most antibiotics, garlic does not destroy the body's normal flora. Garlic is a health-building herb, rich in potassium, zinc, vitamins A and C and selenium. It also contains sulfur, calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1 and iron. Thousands of research studies have been done on garlic over the past 40 years - by 1996 there were at least 1,808 scientific studies. These studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of garlic - an example of good research showing what millions of people of all cultures throughout history have known!
Garlic is a potent immune system booster. It is also an active anti-microbial, agent - effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. It is also an anti-inflammatory and acts as shield against radiation therapy. It also has analgesic and fever reducing properties. You can take garlic in large doses to destroy viruses and bacteria without damaging yourself. Garlic is best eaten fresh and finely chopped as commercial production and cooking can destroy much of the natural activity of the fresh cloves. Fresh garlic can be used in salads, salad dressings and other dishes.
If you are eating fresh garlic however you need to be wary of where the garlic comes from and how it has been treated. Ninety percent of the garlic eaten in Australia (for example) is imported and every single bulb is fumigated with one the world's most dangerous chemicals, Methyl Bromide. Methyl Bromide is highly toxic to humans and all living things. Acute exposure burns the skin and causes severe kidney damage. It has devastating effects on the central nervous system which could be fatal - so growing our own has a special attraction!
Garlic can be used:
- in fighting infections - it is an antiseptic with antibiotic and antifungal action. It is effective against:
- herpes infections such as cold sores, genital herpes and chicken pox
- all infections of the gastrointestinal tract - including helicobacter pylori (the bacteria which contributes to peptic ulcers)
- urinary tract infections
- upper respiratory tract infections such as colds, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis and so forth
- ear infections - can be treated by placing garlic oil on a piece of cotton wool in the ear (you need to be sure that the ear drum is intact before doing this - if in doubt seek professional assistance)
- candida infections
- in all cardiovascular conditions. It:
- tones the heart and circulatory system
- helps to lower the blood pressure
- reduces high cholesterol and blood fats
- reduced high blood sugar levels
- reduces blood clotting abnormalities
- helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by inhibiting at least two enzymes involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver
- in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers. There are statistical studies that show a correlation between garlic consumption and low cancer rates. Garlic also limits the side effects of chemo and radiotherapy.
- in respiratory conditions where is acts as a decongestant and reduces mucous and phlegm production.
- As an antioxidant.
The active ingredients in garlic are alliin (which give the garlic its taste) and allicin, a sulphate (which gives the garlic its odour). Only the allicin have been found to have activity at around normal garlic consumption levels (3-5g per day). Allicin has been shown to be essential to most of the antimicrobial and cholesterol lowering effects and probably also the anti-blood clotting and antioxidant effects. The anti-cancer effects appear to be shared about equally between allicin and other unidentified components. Some sources suggest that large quantities of garlic should not be consumed prior to surgery, as garlic can prolong bleeding time. People taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin and heparin should be careful about taking too much garlic. There are rare occasions when garlic can cause gastrointestinal symptoms or allergic reactions.Garlic is a wonderful culinary and medicinal herb. It is a potent immune booster and natural antimicrobial. It is effective in treating infections, cardiovascular disease and can be of assist in reducing the risks of certain types of cancers.
Dr Jenny Tylee is an experienced health professional who is passionate about health and wellbeing. She believes that health is not just absence of disease and seeks to actively promote vitality and wellness through empowering others. She encourages people to improve their health byquit smoking, cleansing their body, taking essential vitamin and mineral supplement and many other methods, including herbal remedies.
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