Garlic: It Does More Than Ward Off Evil

Garlic, a member of the lily family, is a dried root native to central Asia. Despite its origins, garlic cloves have been used in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, India, Russia and Europe going back for thousands of years. In the United States, garlic was first cultivated in New Orleans by French settlers and then brought to California where it’s still grown today.

There’s a good reason that garlic has travelled the world: it has numerous health benefits. Garlic, sometimes called Russian penicillin, can be used to treat ear infections, cholera and typhus. Garlic was used during both world wars as a disinfectant because it’s a natural antibiotic.

Now that you know the history let’s discover garlic’s health benefits and talk about the many home remedies and herbal treatments that include garlic as a main ingredient.

What are the Health Benefits of Garlic?

Not only does garlic strengthen the immune system, it helps prevent heart disease, alleviates digestive problems and is an anti-inflammatory herb as well. Here is a list of a few of the health problems that garlic can help treat:

  1. Studies have shown garlic can suppress the growth of tumors, and is a potent antioxidant.
  2. Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, with properties that help to fight infections.
  3. It helps reduce high blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol and fat in the bloodstream.
  4. Garlic is also generally regarded as a preventive measure for colds, flu and other infectious diseases.
  5. Its anticoagulant properties help contribute to good cardiovascular health.
  6. Garlic also works as a digestive aid and relieves gas.

At least nine studies show that garlic decreases the incidence of cancer, especially cancers of the gastrointestinal tract among those who consume it regularly. Garlic has also been used to treat for intestinal worms and other intestinal parasites.

Today, garlic cloves are being used for infections, specifically chest infections, digestive disorders, and thrush.

Allicin in Garlic May Help Lower Blood Sugar

The allicin in fresh garlic is said to aid in lowering blood sugar levels. Allicin is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more Allicin is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect.

Use Fresh Garlic for Health

While there is a myth that one can ward off evil spirits by wearing garlic around one’s neck or hanging it in windows, you can be assured that it is more useful when consumed. Next time you visit your local supermarket, pick up two or three cloves and keep them on hand. While fresh garlic may have a pungent odor, roasting a garlic bulb will afford a sweet and savory taste.

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