Garlic is a wonder
Garlic and its cousins (onions, chives and scallions) are probably the most intriguing of all vegetables. Garlic lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart diseases, fights infection and boosts immunity. And, as if that weren’t enough, the data is strong for the prevention of cancers of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum. The National Cancer Institute is sponsoring a huge clinical trial on garlic’s ability to prevent stomach cancer. But why wait years for the results of this clinical trial?
It was Louis Pasteur who first described the antibacterial effect of garlic and onion juices. Garlic is effective even against antibiotic-resistant strains. It even kills Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a kind of bacteria which is implicated in the cause of some stomach cancers and ulcers.
The medicinal properties of garlic are now scientifically recognised. It is widely available in different forms in Britain as over-the-counter supplements, particularly to treat the blood conditions and as an antiviral medicine.
Human population studies suggest that eating garlic regularly reduces the risk of esophageal, colon and stomach cancer.(4,5) This may be partly due to garlicâ€™s ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds.Many publications have shown that garlic supports the cardiovascular system, while earlier trials suggest it may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
Warmed garlic juice, or a mixture made with oil and the boiled bulb has been dropped into the ear to relieve earache and deafness. In Ayurvedic and Siddha medicine garlic juice has been used to alleviate sinus problems. In Unani medicine, an extract is prepared from the dried bulb which is inhaled to promote abortion or taken to regulate menstruation. Unani physicians also use garlic to treat paralysis, forgetfulness, tremor, colic pains, internal ulcers and fevers
Many people avoid eating garlic since it can make one’s breath smell pretty strong. In that case, garlic supplements are a convenient alternative
For those who prefer it, odor-controlled, enteric-coated tablets or capsules with approximately 1.3% allin are available
Indeed, if youâ€˜re concerned about garlic breath, an aged extract or enteric-coated tablet is the way to go. If youâ€˜re treating an infection of some kind, a standardized high-allicin extract or the actual food is the better choice. Aging destroys garlicâ€˜s antibiotic properties.
Some individuals who are sensitive to garlic may experience heartburn and flatulence. Because of garlic’s anticlotting properties, those taking anticoagulant drugs should check with their nutritionally oriented doctor before taking garlic. Those scheduled for surgery should inform their surgeon if they are taking garlic supplement.