Garlic has a history of being used in cooking as well for its therapeutic properties for almost 7,000 years. The polysulfides or sulfur containing compounds found in garlic give it wonderful health benefits that help in fighting infections to controlling hypertension.
Health benefits of garlic:
- Studies have shown that the allistatin compound found in garlic is effective against fungi and bacteria like staphylococcus. Crushed garlic has been used to prevent infections in burn injuries as well as an alternative solution to fight bacteria that has grown resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics.
- The allicin compound in garlic helps to prevent blood vessels from contracting which helps to decrease high blood pressure.
- Ajoene is another compound that has anti-clotting properties that keeps unnecessary clots from forming in veins and arteries which helps maintain cardiovascular health.
Besides the sulfur containing compounds mentioned above, garlic has additional benefits of inhibiting inflammation and also works as an antioxidant.
Garlic contains nutrients such as Vitamin C and selenium. Garlic also helps maximize the iron in our system by stimulating ferroportin that helps iron circulate throughout our body.
Practical uses of garlic:
Garlic is available dried, powered, fresh and in capsule form. Fresh garlic is the most beneficial for health as well as providing the most flavor and aroma for dishes.
Crushing, chopping or chewing raw garlic releases the healthy compounds of garlic such as allicin. Allow the garlic to stand alone for a few minutes before using, to let the healthy substances in garlic build up.
Here are some ideas on how to use garlic:
- Make garlic tea by adding finely chopped garlic cloves to boiled water. Add ginger or lemon juice to make it more palatable.
- Make a potent tonic drink by adding a clove or two with other fresh fruits into a juicer.
- Disinfect small wounds by using essential oil or make a garlic paste by mashing garlic cloves with water. Spread the paste on a piece of gauze and apply the gauze to the wound, then wrap it with a bandage. Ensure that all the utensils used are sterilized.
Remember to consult your physician before adding any changes to your health regime.
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