( Allium sativum )
Everyone know what garlic is and most people love eating this spice either cooked, pickled or raw because of its great taste. The good news about Garlic is, this spice is not only super tasty but also an extraordinary medicine.
Garlic is known to be a very effective antimicrobial food with a broad spectrum of medicinal value. Garlic has been used since ancient time as spice and as well trusted medicine for many ailments.
Unlike in our modern society, Garlic has been well appreciated by physicians (doctors) in the past due to the exceptional healing qualities.
The scientific research only proving now the ability of Garlic in healing many diseases, but people in the ancient time already had this wisdom and have used garlic extensively as an effective remedy against many epidemic diseases like bubonic plaque, cholera, influenza, typhus and dysentery.
Garlic is known as a Russian penicillin. Penicillin is a group of modern antibiotic drug derived from a certain type of mold. The Russians used garlic as a medicine for combating respiratory diseases for a long time, even when the drug penicillin was discovered and sold in the market.
During the world war, the Red Army Russian soldiers were given garlic in order to protect them from the pathogenic infection and diseases. It is through this history, the garlic has gained the name as the Russian penicillin.
In ancient Indian & Chinese medicine
People in India have used and still using garlic as an essential ingredient in cooking as well in herbal medicine. Garlic is known in Ayurveda as a remedy against cough, rheumatoid arthritis, skin problem, diabetes, high cholesterol and for killing intestinal parasite.
China on the other hand, have also used garlic since thousands of years for its stimulating and warming qualities. The first recorded mention of garlic in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is around 2000 BC. There is a story of the father of Chinese medicine, the Yellow Emperor Huang-ti, to have saved his fellow companions from food poisoning by giving them garlic to eat.
This incident has made garlic rise to fame and found a place in Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica. The Chinese consider garlic to be a warming spice and have used it to treat Yang deficient disorders such as depression, weak digestion and poor immune system.
Strong weapon against bacteria & fungus
A peeled or crushed garlic, releases a strong smell due to the sulfur glycoside content. The major sulfur compound called allicin in garlic is the biological substance that is responsible for the strong antimicrobial quality.
A study shows that, allicin possesses a great anti bactericide power even when used in a very minimal amount. Allicin in dilution of 1:85000 to 1 :250000 has shown a strong antibacterial activity against several gram + and gram – bacteria. Garlic with its myriad of other sulfur compounds such as alliin, diallyl sulfide & ajoene works as a powerful herb to ward off not only bacteria but also harmful fungus.
Common cold & lung infection
The common cold is actually a viral infection that can infect through our nose, throat and lungs. If the viral infection gets severe, it can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonia - a fatal lung infection. Garlic has a special ability to work on the lungs and this is quite evident when a person exhale a strong garlic breath from eating garlic rich food.
Once the garlic is ingested in the stomach, allicin, the sulfur compound is vaporized through the lungs. The lungs have their own innate immunity surrounding the alveolar surfaces and the air pathways as a protective barrier. When we breath in the air, the immune cells around the lungs, filter out the bad bacteria and viruses.
When we eat garlic, the sulfur compound which is vaporized through the lungs, helps to strengthen this immune cells to ward off the disease causing pathogens which are responsible for common cold and flu.
Lowers cholesterol significantly
Garlic is an excellent herb to lower cholesterol effectively. Garlic can reduce cholesterol in the blood by encouraging bile production. Bile is a greenish yellow fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder for digesting fat in the food.
In the process of making this bile acid, the liver uses excess cholesterol in the blood. Eating fresh garlic in a raw form or cooked helps to encourage the liver to take up excess cholesterol from the blood and convert it into a bile acid.
Those who have a cholesterol issues, can eat garlic without the need to take any stronger drugs. Garlic is quite effective in lowering cholesterol without dangerous side effects.
How much garlic to take?
According to traditional dosage, it is recommended to take around 3 to 6 cloves of garlic everyday to see a significant improvement. Garlic can be consumed raw, roasted, cooked, pickled or by making garlic oxymel.
Garlic should not be consumed raw by those who have a sensitive stomach. Such people should start with a single clove of fresh or roasted garlic and slowly increase the number as per the tolerance. Garlic has a warming effect and those who have a hot body constitution should not eat raw garlic in huge amount but can eat cooked garlic in moderate amount.
For those who worries about garlic induced stinky mouth can eat parsley, drink raw beetroot juice or a fresh glass of milk to minimize the effect.