As the chill wet of winter settles in the incidence of coughs and colds grows. So it’s now time to get serious about natural alternatives to prescription antibiotics. One powerful natural remedy that’s been around for thousands of years to fight winter viruses is the garlic.
The humble garlic has enjoyed a long and illustrious reputation as a heal-all, and rightly so. Garlic has been used for healing since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Now science has confirmed that this humble bulb deserves its status and is indeed the medicinal giant it was always held to be.
Garlic was used by both the ancient Greeks and Egyptians to treat a range of health problems. From Egypt it spread through Pakistan and India into China. In many different cultures garlic was used to treat very similar ailments, including respiratory, digestive, fevers and rheumatism. In ancient Greece Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used it in the treatment of many diseases.
As a culinary herb garlic is relatively new and throughout history was more likely to be used for its medicinal properties. For a plant that offers so much to invigorate your palate, it seems almost too generous for it to have powerful healing properties as well.
It’s the active ingredient in garlic, allicin, a sulfur compound, that holds all the healing power. Allicin is the same ingredient that gives the strong odour and taste. This compound is produced when the clove surface is exposed to the air by crushing or cutting the clove.
Garlic acts as a broad spectrum antibiotic and is able to kill a wide variety of bacteria. Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill off millions of friendly bacteria that your body needs, garlic only targets the invading bacteria, and even promotes and increases your healthy bacteria. It is also a powerful anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-protazoal and antiparasitic efficient at destroying antigens, pathogens and any harmful micro-organism.
To gain the benefit of garlic it needs to have the strong garlic-y smell released by the active allicin. Without this aroma it won’t give you much benefit. The cut surface needs to be exposed to the air while it is raw. If you are going to cook it make sure it is crushed and left to sit for a while first.
HOW GARLIC HEALS
Some of the healing effects of garlic are:
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the world and hypertension is an important indicator. Garlic acts powerfully on the circulatory system, helping to lower hypertension and regulate cholesterol.
A 2013 study* found that taking a daily dose between 600-1500mg of aged garlic extract was as effective as the hypertensive drug Atenolol in reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period. It does this by widening the blood vessels
By lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol garlic reduces the risk of heart disease. However it doesn’t seem to affect triglycerides or HDL levels.
Although you won’t find garlic in your skin cream it is a strong acting topical treatment for acne. It possesses excellent anti-microbial properties to kill bacteria and works effectively to kill radicals swiftly.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Many ancient cultures used garlic to improve the capacity of labourers to work longer and harder by reducing fatigue. Today it can be used to relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and improve physical endurance. However no studies have been done into this use.
Garlic has a strong action on the respiratory system and is useful in treating asthma and bronchitis. As well as being effective in reducing the duration of common colds garlic can also be used to ward off colds and other viruses.
Garlic is known to boost immune function to reduce the incidence of colds and dramatically reduce the duration of colds by up to 70%. This wonderful bulb is a true superfood, containing many trace nutrients to strengthen immune function. Garlic is high in manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium and fibre. It also contains decent amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and vitamin B1 as well as small amounts of other nutrients.
To find out more ailments garlic heals plus how to use garlic to get the most benefits continue reading…
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only. They are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.