The health benefits of garlic are numerous especially when it is consumed fresh and raw. Garlic is loaded with rich medicinal benefits and healing properties primarily because of a sulfur compound called Allicin present in it. This also gives garlic its pungent odour. One milligram of garlic gives a broad spectrum of protection against pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites and many cancer fighting food.
“Allicin in garlic is best utilized when garlic is chopped or smashed at least 5 minutes before consumption.”
Garlic is from onion (Allium) family. It grows in many parts of the world and for ages is used in everyday cooking. Due to its strong smell and delicious flavor it is a very popular ingredient.
Garlic contains a little bit of everything we need. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and other nutrients like selenium and fiber. It also contains various other nutrients like Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1.
Garlic boosts immune system and is very effective against cough and cold. A daily dose of garlic in everyday meal is found to reduce cold significantly by 70%. Also check http://www.natural-cure.org/health-and-wellness/how-to-increase-immunity-5-natural-ways-to-boost-immunity/
The Allicin or the sulphur compound in garlic stimulates the natural defence of the immune system against cancer. Some studies show that high consumption of garlic reduces the risk of cancer by 50%.
Garlic is known to reduce hypertension or blood pressure which is responsible for heart attack or strokes. Research proves that four crushed clove of garlic taken everyday relaxes blood vessels up to 72% significantly reducing the blood pressure if taken over a period of 24 weeks. Check http://www.natural-cure.org/health-and-wellness/foods-to-reduce-blood-pressure/
Garlic is known to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) by 10-15%, which may also lower the risk of heart disease.. It is highly recommended for those having high cholesterol.
Allicin found in crushed garlic together with vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium found in garlic helps prevent common cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Applying garlic topically can kill bacterial and fungal infection and help heal wound.
Garlic contains antioxidants that protects the body from damage from free radicals and prevents aging. The antioxidants provide protective mechanism against oxidative damage that may help prevent dementia and alzheimer’s.
Garlic has been traditionally used for enhancing performance in athletes by reducing fatigue. It also benefits people with heart disease.
The sulfur compound found in garlic helps protect the body against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity like excess exposure to lead from car battery etc.
Garlic improves the estrogen deficiency in women
A daily dose of garlic extract of 2gm of garlic is known to significantly decrease estrogen deficiency in menopausal women. Onions and garlic also have beneficial effect on osteoarthritis.
Garlic must be fresh because the active ingredient is destroyed within one hour of crushing the garlic. Powdered, granulated, dried garlic may not have the same spectrum of medicinal benefits as raw garlic. Garlic pills have very negligible effect. Garlic clove taken intact does not convert the Allicin to its active ingredient.
Major drawback of garlic is it causes bad breath and some individuals may be allergic. If someone is having bleeding disorder then doctor’s recommendation is advisable before use.
Contact Jagadguru Kripalu Naturopathy Hospital for lifestyle consultations
by Pragya Sinha