Garlic is very famous for its unique pungent like fragrance. Some people enjoy whereas for some it’s really awful. It’s mostly associated with bad breath. But it becomes very important to move our focus towards the areas which it benefits. Consumption of garlic for a regular man is very minimum quantity. There are many few preparations in which garlic is traditionally added. But now it’s time not to use garlic only as a spice/ herb but also as a medicine.
Garlic helps in treating almost all the diseases in some or the other way. It has great medicinal properties. Usage of garlic was started in very ancient times but recent studies have revealed all its secrets. Garlic is also recommended by the physicians as a secondary therapy. Dieticians and nutritionists are also recommending garlic or garlic supplements especially to heart patients. But it’s not just effective and useful for heart patients. You need not be a heart patient to take its benefits. There are broad areas where it is found to be so useful.
Cold and garlic: This practice of treating cold with cloves or many cloves of garlic is very old. Our ancestor believed that consuming raw garlic clove treats cold. Ancestor practiced this method due to their experience but now many studies have revealed reason behind it. They have found out that garlic extract improves or immune system and maintains antioxidants level in the body which acts as a supports system and prevents health related diseases.
Cancer and garlic: It’s been years that researches are onto find the effect of garlic on cancer patients. As we know garlic is important to have strong immunity so indirectly it helps cancer patients to fight against the cancerous cells. Studies revealed that garlic has the ability to reduce the formation of cancerous cells. Research has proven that compounds in garlic not only slow the rate of growth in a tumor, but can reduce the tumor size by half. The compounds diallye disulphide and s-allycystein are responsible for that. These compounds form when garlic is crushed. There are some compounds called ajoenes, which are also known for its “antitumor” properties.
Heart and garlic: Garlic has cholesterol lowering effect. It raises our HDL (good) cholesterol levels, prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol from building up on arterial walls. This reduces the chances of plaque forming in our arteries. It is seen that people who consumed 2 cloves of garlic everyday had decreasing trend in cholesterol levels.
The aorta is a major blood vessel which helps in regulating blood pressure and flow while the heart is pumping. Age, poor diet and environmental factors such as smoking can damage the aorta, causing its wall to harden. Studies have also shown that regular consumption of garlic slows the aging of the aorta and helps keep it flexible.
Hypertension and garlic: Another heart benefit of garlic is its ability to help control our blood pressure by thinning our blood. The chemical found in garlic, called ajoene, thins the blood and keeps clots from forming. Since the flow of blood in controlled it controls blood pressure. Garlic supplements are advised to hypertensive patients.
Infection and garlic: Garlic helps in building immunity and hence it has anti-bacterial, anti0fungal and anti-viral properties. Garlic helps by stimulating T-cells that help fight infection.
Impotence and garlic: Garlic has also been found to be helpful to those dealing with impotence. According to researchers, to obtain an erection an enzyme is required called nitric oxide synthase, and compounds in garlic stimulate the production of this enzyme in people who suffer from low levels of it.
Pregnancy and garlic: One can also benefit from garlic during pregnancy. According to a study done by doctors in a London hospital, garlic supplementation may help weight-gain for babies that may be at risk for low birth weight. The study also found that the chance of other at-birth risk factors could be reduced, such as pre-eclampsia, which is associated with hypertension.
Garlic helps us treat many of our problems. It can be also consumed as a food to prevent any health issues. But if you are on any medications for diabetes or hypertension it becomes very essential that you seek advice of your physician before making any changes in your lifestyle. If you are taking medication for high blood pressure or are scheduled for surgery, garlic intake can affect both of these things, due to its blood thinning and anticoagulative properties, so it is a must to consult with your physician before making any changes or additions.
Garlic can be had in raw or cooked form. But cutting or crushing garlic is important to activate its beneficial compounds. But some people cannot tolerate the taste or the garlic breath and therefore prefer to add garlic to their diet via supplements. If you add fresh garlic to your food then start with a very little quantity so that it does not disturb or upset your stomach. Gradually you can increase as per tolerance of individuals.