The Medicinal Properties and Benefits of Garlic

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. These are famous words by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates who is often called the father of western medicine. He actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Garlic is one of the most common ingredients used in the Indian kitchen but apart from imparting flavors to food, this small, white pod also has immense medicinal properties. Used since time immemorial to treat various ailments, garlic is one ingredient in your kitchen that has a number of uses.

Scientifically known as allium sativum, garlic is used mainly as a flavoring agent widely around the world. Garlic also has numerous medicinal properties that help prevent many health-related problems. This pungent herb has been utilized by people for thousands of years for both therapeutic and culinary purposes as well.

Garlic plays a vital role in treating cardiovascular problems like increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. It helps prevent liver problems, flatulence, intestinal worms, rheumatism, controls blood sugar, and fever, and also fights against respiratory problems.

It is also used to build immunity and treat bacterial and fungal infections. Garlic gets its pungent smell due to the presence of a number of sulfur-rich compounds. The compound allicin has many anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties.

Experts believe that is best to eat garlic after chopping or mincing it and letting it rest for a while. and many men and women prefer garlic to improve and boost their sex life or for sexual help.

Garlic is also one of the food ingredients that unite world cuisine. It is also widely used in Indian dishes as a flavoring agent in various cuisines and this adds to its importance.

Since garlic is easily accessible and available, its regular consumption in daily life is a blessing. It has numerous medicinal properties and health benefits. Garlic has been an integral part of most remedies and has been successful in treating various ailments.

Garlic Benefits

List of Benefits of Garlic:

1. Control Cholesterol:

Consuming garlic regularly for two months helps in reducing LDL by 3-15mg/dl and total cholesterol by 11-23mg/dl in adults with dyslipidemia. The anti-clotting properties of ajoene, a compound present in garlic, helps prevent the formation of clots inside the blood vessels.

The sulfur-rich compounds of garlic also prevent the blood vessels from getting blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Garlic also helps protect the heart from the damaging effects of free radicals. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch and garlic can help maintain this elasticity.

2. Anti-Cancer Properties:

Garlic reduces the risk of different types of cancer. Garlic’s anti-cancer properties are due to the presence of allyl sulfides which inhibit the transformation of PhlP (a type of compound that has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer) into carcinogens.

2. Combats Allergies:

Garlic is full of essential compounds that help prevent viral and bacterial infections which causes allergy. Consuming raw garlic is also said to kill bacteria like e-coli and others that cause food poisoning in people. It is also great for treating skin infections as it contains antiviral and antibacterial properties. Ajoene, the compound present in garlic, is also said to cure numerous skin infections.

3. Maintains Blood Pressure:

The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into hydrogen sulfide by the red blood cells that help dilate the blood vessels and help control blood pressure. IF your blood pressure levels are of concern, there are natural alternatives to control it instead of using blood pressure medication that one can try after a consultation with a doctor. Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II (a protein that is responsible for an increase in blood pressure) and helps in reducing blood pressure levels.

4. Good for The Respiratory System:

Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis. The daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency of colds. Also, its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations.

6. Beats Anaemia:

Diallyl sulfides present in garlic increase the production of ferroportin (a protein that helps in the absorption and release of iron) and improve iron metabolism which is helpful in preventing iron deficiency and associated diseases like anemia.

5. Controls Blood Sugar Levels:

This herb increases the levels of insulin and regulates blood sugar levels in the body, especially in diabetics.

7. Skin Infections:

It even helps treat skin infections, so all you need to do is apply some freshly extracted garlic juice from crushed garlic to the infected area, twice daily. Then wash off the juice with water.

Garlic Nutritional Value

Nutritive Value of Garlic:

Garlic is low in calories but a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C, and vitamin B 6 and also contains selenium and copper in sufficient amounts.

  • Garlic contains a variety of potent sulfur-containing compounds which gives it a characteristic pungent odor.
  • It has medicinal properties because of the presence of a substance called ‘allin’ which is an antibiotic.
  • This vegetable (though it is seldom eaten by itself) is also used to treat digestive of all kinds.
  • The extracts from garlic can lower serum cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
  • Garlic contains a substance called Ajoene which has hypotensive properties, making it useful in decreasing hypertension.
  • Garlic has hypoglycemic properties too.
  • This vegetable also boosts immunity and stimulates the natural killer activity of the body.
  • Being rich in antioxidants, garlic protects the heart from the damage of free radicals.
  • Consuming garlic on a regular basis can also help in preventing the chances of cold and flu.
  • Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections.
  • Garlic contains allicin a compound that promotes our blood circulation in the sexual organs in men as well as women that help boost the libido.
  • Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.
  • Garlic also has anti-cancer properties due to the allyl sulfides it contains.
  • Garlic’s antioxidant property helps to improve brain function by reducing oxidative damage thereby preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • It is a good detoxifier as it protects the organs from damage by metal toxicity.
  • Garlic consumption by menopausal women significantly decreases estrogen deficiency markers thereby helping reduce osteoarthritis.
  • The high sulfur content of garlic contains keratin which stimulates hair growth and fortification. Therefore, it is also useful in treating alopecia.
SOURCE: B-Positive Health Magazine

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