HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARLIC (Healthy Living) – By Noeline

Garlic (Allium sativum), is used widely as a flavouring in cooking, but it has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history; it has been taken to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases.
Garlic belongs to the genus Allium and is closely related to the onion, rakkyo (an onion found in Asia), scallion, chive, leek, and shallot. It has been used by humans for thousands of years and was used in Ancient Egypt for both culinary purposes and its health and therapeutic benefits.

Garlic fruit

FAST FACTS ON GARLIC
In many countries, garlic has been used medicinally for centuries.
Garlic may have a range of health benefits, both raw and cooked.
It may have significant antibiotic properties.
HISTORY
There are many medicinal claims about garlic.
Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about 5,000 years ago.
Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue.
The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance-enhancing” agents used in sports.
From Ancient Egypt, garlic spread to the advanced ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley (Pakistan and western India today). From there, it made its way to China.
According to experts at Kew Gardens, England’s royal botanical centre of excellence, the people of ancient India valued the therapeutic properties of garlic and also thought it to be an aphrodisiac. The upper classes avoided garlic because they despised its strong odour, while monks, “…widows, adolescents, and those who had taken up a vow or were fasting, could not eat garlic because of its stimulant quality.”
Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers.
bulbs-and-bowl-of-garlic

 
6 SURPRISING WAYS GARLIC BOOSTS YOUR HEALTH
Powerful smell, powerful health benefits Garlic. Roasted in olive oil, it can melt in your mouth like butter, while chopped and raw, it can taste pungent and sharp. Either way, this herb-like vegetable offers significant benefits — on the inside and out. It’s the organic sulfur compound allicin in garlic that gives it its pungent smell and makes it a healthy addition to your diet.
1. Boost immunity: In test tubes, garlic appears to kill cancer cells, and studies involving people show some of the same outcomes. According to the Iowa Women’s Health Study, involving 41,000 middle-aged women, those who routinely ate garlic, fruits and vegetables had a 35 percent lower colon cancer risk. Benefits came from raw and cooked garlic – not supplements.
2. Work as an anti-inflammatory: Research has shown that garlic oil works as an anti-inflammatory. So, if you have sore and inflamed joints or muscles, rub them with the oil.
3. Improve cardiovascular health: The verdict is still out on whether garlic improves your cholesterol levels, but research does indicate it can have a positive impact on your arteries and blood pressure.
Investigators believe red blood cells turn the sulfur in garlic into hydrogen sulfide gas that expands our blood vessels, making it easier to regulate blood pressure.
The German Commission E, similar to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, recommends 4 grams of garlic daily – the size of one large clove – to reduce your risk of heart disease.
4. Give you better hair & skin: Garlic’s antioxidants and antibacterial properties can clear up your skin by killing acne-causing bacteria. Some data shows rubbing raw garlic over pimples can clear them away. Be aware, though, that it could cause a burning sensation on your skin.
5. Protect your food: Those same antibacterial properties in fresh garlic can kill the bacteria that lead to food poisoning, including salmonella and E.coli. Don’t use garlic as a substitute for proper food sanitation and food handling, though.
6. Treat athlete’s foot: Garlic also fights fungus. If you have athlete’s foot, soak your feet in garlic water or rub raw garlic on your feet to attack the itch-causing fungus.
MAXIMIZE THE GARLIC
While you can steep chopped garlic in hot water to make tea, covering the taste with honey, taking advantage of garlic’s benefits is a little complicated. Heating it or putting it in a recipe can change its pH balance. The enzymes from the allicin need a few minutes to start working, so let it sit after you mince, crush or chop it.
You’ll get the most benefit from raw garlic. But if you choose to cook it, don’t heat it above 140°F. Higher temperatures kill the allicin, so add garlic to your recipes when you’re almost done cooking.
how-to-mince-garlic

CAUTION
Garlic’s health benefits are plenty, but don’t add too much to your diet too quickly. Overdoing it can cause discomfort, including upset stomach, bloating, diarrhoea, bad breath and body odour.
You may also get a stinging feeling on the skin if you handle significant amounts of fresh and dried garlic. To avoid garlic-induced skin lesions, wear kitchen gloves.
On rare occasions, garlic supplements can cause headaches, fatigue, appetite loss, muscle aches, dizziness and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks or skin rashes.
If you take blood thinners, taking a garlic supplement can increase the medication’s effect, making it even harder for your blood to clot.
Let’s eat and leave healthy using our natural herbs, fruits and roots.
By Noeline

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