It’s been said that if Onion is Queen then surely Garlic must be King. Garlic and Onion both belong to the genus allium and in turn alliums belong to the Alliaceae family. Both contain an abundance of healthful nutrients. The fundamental difference is that Garlic is much more potent than Onions. Alliums grow wild almost everywhere there are humans and have been used in a wild state for many thousands of years. The historical record suggests that Garlic and Onions have been cultivated for culinary and medicinal use for at least 5,000 years. Garlic is rich in vitamins such as B and C and Folic acid. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, germanium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Garlic is also extremely rich in antioxidants such as Quercetin. But one of the most remarkable ingredients in Garlic is Alliin. When fresh Garlic is cut, crushed, or chewed, an enzyme is released that converts this alliin to allicin acid. This allicin is perhaps the single most healthful aspect of Garlic. Generally speaking, allicin sulfur gives Garlic it’s pungent flavor and odor and the more intense the flavor and odor, the more healthful. It is theorized that this pungent sulfur is a defense mechanism produced by the plant to keep animals from grazing on it.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and anti-fungal. It has been used successfully to fight bacterial infections, treat candida(yeast), strengthen the immune system, and treat and prevent the common cold. Garlic’s antibiotic properties are so profound that Garlic has been shown to kill even the most drug resistant strains of bacteria. Garlic is also good for overall cardiovascular health. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, lower serum cholesterol, thin blood by inhibiting platelet aggregation, and help dilate blood vessels, reducing the risk of blood clots and therefore reducing the risk of heart attack. Garlic is a natural chelator, whereas the sulfur in Garlic bonds with heavy metals such as lead and mercury and makes them harmless for easy excretion from the body. The anti-parasitic action of Garlic has been used successfully to treat tapeworm and hookworm infestation in humans and animals. In fact, Albert Schweitzer used Garlic to cure amoebic dysentery in his African clinics. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant. These amazing antioxidant properties, coupled with the minerals germanium and selenium, put Garlic on the cutting edge of cancer treatment and prevention. Garlic even has anti-viral properties. Evidence suggests that Garlic may be effective against influenza, herpes, and viral encephalitis. And as if all this wasn’t enough, Garlic has also been shown effective at balancing insulin levels, making it a good choice for helping treat diabetes.
With all these health benefits you would think that everyone would be ready to start eating fresh Garlic with every meal. But wouldn’t it just have to be that something so beneficial comes with such an unpleasant side affect: Garlic breath. The very defense mechanism that this amazing herb has developed is so beneficial to our overall health, yet the people around us might not be so happy. Well, here are some suggestions to help you achieve the benefits of Garlic and keep your significant other from sleeping in the next room. When Garlic is cooked it is mellowed significantly but so are the health benefits. When eating Garlic raw to get maximum benefit, try consuming it later in the day and be careful not to overindulge. Most likely you can find the right amount to eat so that the odor will have dissipated before you face the world again the next day. You may also want to consider odorless Garlic in capsule form. Either way, anytime you are considering a healthy meal, consider Garlic as part of it.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains.