Garlic for Health
Garlic has been hailed down the ages as a herb. It has been used as a medicine, as a beauty aid and even as a talisman against evil. This little bulb contains calcium, phosphorous, iron, Vitamin C and a small amount of vitamin B complex. Its strong odour is considered serious social handicap. Nevertheless, it has been used throughout the world to cure ailments ranging from the common cold to cancer.
Egyptians regularly ate garlic to maintain their health and strength. The Chinese, Japanese and Indian physicians recommend garlic for treating high blood pressure, heart disease and rheumatism. Researchers during the last half of the century confirmed what ancient herbalists have known all along – that garlic is a broad- spectrum antibiotic. It is anti- bacterial, anti fungal, anti- parasite and anti viral.
The heart and lung machine: Garlic has been found to work wonders for the cardiovascular system. Garlic has been found very effective at lowering blood cholesterol. It was found that consumption of raw garlic reduces the tendency of blood to form clots. It has been found as effective as aspirin, which is considered as potent blood- clot inhibitor.
Garlic has proved effective as decongestant and expectorant for common colds and other diseases of the chest. Regular doses of garlic protect the lungs in bronchitis, tuberculosis and pneumonia. Its prophylactic action keeps the mucous moving through the lungs.
Anti- cancer activity:
Numerous tests done on animals have shown that garlic has been effective against tumors. Fresh garlic also fights out breasts’ cancer in mice. Garlic has been found to be better antioxidant than Vitamin E which has been used to reverse liver damage.
Garlic for Sexual Debility: Garlic has been used to treat sexual debility and impotency. It is said to have pronounced aphrodisiac effect and is particularly useful to old men who suffer from nervous tension and diminishing sexual powers. The widespread and use of garlic in Spain and Italy probably contributes in some measure to the famed libido of the people of these countries.
How to have garlic & eat it too: Garlic oils, capsules, pills etc are they as effective? Some experts say that these works while others say that these pills or compounds have none or very little of the active garlic compounds. As far as possible use fresh garlic. Raw garlic helps to kill bacteria and boosts the immune system. Fresh garlic is said to thin the blood and lower cholesterol levels. Also valuable in coughs and colds since it regulates the mucous. Garlic is a vasodilator for and helps dilate blood vessel and helps lower blood pressure.
How do you get rid of garlic breath?: Some advice coffee, honey, yogurt, milk, wine and cloves. The chlorophyll in parsley, some say, masks the strong garlic smell. You could also try chewing mints or gum or may be a cardamom (elaichi). For the past 5000 years garlic has been used as an anti- coagulant, anti – septic, carminative and even as a hair restorer. This pungent herb has been used to treat all sorts of diseases like arthritis dropsy, influenza and tuberculosis. Some recommend just one clove of garlic a day as a maintenance dose for those in fairly good health. If you’re allergic to it then of course you should avoid it.
It tastes great in salads, it makes a superb flavoring in bread, it enhances the taste of vegetarian as well as non- vegetarian curries, it tastes delicious in soups, it adds both taste and disease fighting power to just about every dish made from it.
Some healthful tips:
Raw garlic may prove to be heaty for some individuals. They may get boils on the back, armpits or on the face. So, begin by eating one chopped raw clove a day. Slowly increase amount to 2 cloves a daily.
Raw garlic is found to be more beneficial than cooked garlic.
Garlic is known to have potent blood- cleansing, immunity- boosting and antioxidant properties.
Cooked garlic does retain some of its healing properties. So, use it liberally in cooking.
Garlic is central in so many of the world’s cuisines that it is easy to incorporate it in almost any dish except desserts.
(As published in Hindustan Times dated October 21, 2019)
ANJALI MUKERJEE, Nutritionist, Founder Director-Health Total, having health centres in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune.
Health Total treats obesity & other health related disorders.
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