“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. Those are the famous words from the ancient Greek Physician Hippocrates, often called The Father of Western Medicine. He actually used to prescribe garlic for a variety of medical conditions. It Contains a Compound Called Allicin, which has potent medicinal properties.
While garlic ranks as an excellent source of manganese and vitamin B6, a very good source of vitamin C and copper, and a good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, and calcium, it is the sulfur compounds in garlic that serve as its spotlight nutrients in terms of overall health benefits. The sulfur-containing compounds in this allium vegetable have been shown to provide us with health advantages in a wide variety of body systems, including: our cardiovascular system, immune system, inflammatory system, digestive system, endocrine system, and detoxification system.
There is something irresistible about the aroma of roasted garlic and while it is a common ingredient in every kitchen, in ancient times it was highly valued for it’s numerous health benefiting properties, which are still used in many cultures today. Our Ancestors have used it as a bug repellent, Medieval Europe against plague, and the Egyptians would even bury it along with their dead.
- Prevention of Heart Disease: Consuming garlic on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin, and is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. We should remember that the sulphur-containing compound Allicin tends to lose its medicinal properties when garlic is cooked whole. Studies show it is better to consume it raw or semi-cooked to derive any of its benefits.
- Cancer Prevention: Several studies have indicated an association between daily consumption of garlic and the prevention of stomach and colorectal cancers. It is said to strengthen the immunity of the body against cancer.
- For Skin and Hair: It’s invigorating properties protect the skin from the effect of free radicals and slow down the depletion of collagen which leads to loss of elasticity in aging skin. Applied topically, it does wonders to skin infected with fungal infections and provides relief from skin ailments like eczema.
- Cold and Flu: Garlic is going to provide you relief from cold and flu symptoms. Taking 2-3 cloves raw or cooked a day or sipping some garlic tea (with a touch of honey or ginger to lift up the taste) is not only going to relieve a stuffy nose and help cure the cold but it will also build your immunity against any future outbreaks.
- Thins the Blood: Consumption has been shown to thin the blood which can aid in preventing heart disease, the formation of blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.
- Lowers Your Cholesterol: A study found that the consumption of garlic reduced cholesterol by 9 to 12 percent, in addition to reductions were noted in LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
- Helps Your Joints: A study found that those who eat high amounts of garlic were less likely to have osteoarthritis.
There are many more benefits to taking garlic, just too many to mention. It goes without saying that Garlic is one of the most powerful, healing, and delicious gifts Mother Nature has given us. It is generally regarded as more beneficial if taken raw or partially cooked, and make sure before consuming it is best to allow the cut or crushed garlic to be exposed to the air for at least 5 to 10 minutes in order for the compounds to become fully activated.