The effecs of the garlic and its healing properties have been known for thousands of years. The builders of the pyramids in ancient Egypt used it to increase their strength and endurance; in the 19th century, Louis Pasteur explored its antibacterial properties; in both World Wars, doctors used it to treat wounds.
The garlic is related to red onion, shallot and other similar plants of the genus Allium. The whole plant has a characteristic smell, but the smell is, as well as the taste and healing properties of garlic, concentrated in the bulbs.
Most of the healing properties of garlic are given to him by more than a hundred of the sulfur compounds it contains. When the buld is crushed or chewed alliin, one of these sulfur substanced, is released and becomes allicin. Allicin gives garlic a scent and has a healing effect. Cooking prevents the formation of allicin and removes some other useful substances.
How does it work?
Traditionally, garlic is used in the treatment of many diseases and disorders. Today’s research is largely focused on its role in preventing heart and cancer disease.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: frequent use of garlic in the Mediterranean lands at least partially explains the weaker frequency of atherosclerosis in the inhabitants of these areas.
Several studies showed that garlic can act in various ways to prevent heart disease. It reduces the likelihood that blood platelets (cells important in the formation of the clot) stick to each other, and this reduces the risk of infarct. There is also evidence that this plant helps in the dissolution of proteins that stimulate the formation of blood clots, which would then adhere to plaques and thus clog the blood vessels.
The garlic partially lowers blood pressure, mainly on account of enlargement of the blood vessels, so blood can flow more easily. Recent studies that investigated the effect of this plant on lowering cholesterol levels did not yield unambiguous results. However, most physicians who are inclined to prescribe drugs of natural origin believe that garlic, along with some other substance that lowers cholesterol concentrations, can help patients. Garlic probably affect cholesterol production in the liver.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: garlic may work against cancer cells. It is particularly effective in preventing malignant diseases of the digestive system, and perhaps breast and prostate cancer, although it is not clear how. This has been explained by several mechanisms: this plant may increase the level of enzymes that break down the toxins due to which the malignant cell division may start. In addition, garlic reduces the production of nitrites that are associated with stomach cancer, and it also stimulates the work if immune system.
Its antioxidant properties are also important. Garlic is often effective against infectious diseases (viruses and fungi). Allicin disrupts the action of enzymes by which microorganisms destroy tissues and enter them. It has been shown that this plant successfully stops the fungi that cause athlete’s foot and ear inflammation in swimmers.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: take products that contain 4 mg of allicin per tablet, which is the ammount as in one lobe of garlic. For general health and in high cholesterol levels: take 400 to 600 mg of food supplement with garlic every day. For flu and cold: take 400 to 600 mg of food supplements, four times a day. For local action: apply garlic oil twice to three times a day on a sick skin. It can help with some skin disorders such as nipples and insect bites. You can also rub the skin with crushed garlic.
USE GUIDELINES: you can take garlic your whole life. But, if you are using it for cholesterol problems, you need a take a blood test in the lab after three months to see if it is working. If not, talk to your doctor about another preparation.
Possible side effects
Large quantities of garlic can cause problems with digestion, winds or diarrhea in some people. You can avoid these problems if you are using garlic capsules. The appearance of rash during the use of garlic preparations is also possible.
IMPORTANT: you should consult a doctor if you are taking medicines that slow down the blood clotting (anticoagulant or aspirin / andol) or those who lower blood pressure. Garlic can enhance the action of these medications.