Garlic, a herb related to onions, is a good ingredient used in flavouring our dishes. But apart from this, this tiny, white pod also has immense medicinal properties and numerous health benefits.
Garlic has been used from centuries to cure different health conditions such as cold, cough, earache, joint pain, hemorrhoid, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and so on.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates who is often referred to ‘the father of Western medicine’ actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions. He said it all when he said: “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
Garlic is the oldest known medicinal plant spice in existence – for over 3,000 years ago. And modern science has done well by recognising this magic herb and confirmed many of these beneficial health effects.
In this yet another powerful health article exclusively from Flawless Solution, I will be sharing with you good 17 proven health benefits of garlic and how to consume it without the drawback of its pungent smell and taste.
#1: Common Cold
Raw garlic has been proven effective against colds and coughs. Its antibacterial properties also help in treating throat irritations.
In a 12-week study, it was found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to placebo.
So if you often get colds, then eating at least two crushed cloves of garlic could be incredibly helpful.
Garlic has both antibacterial and antiviral properties and can be used to fight against skin infections.
Mix few crushed cloves with few drops of water and placed on infected wounds or skin as a herbal treatment.
Apart from it anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, it also helps control fungal, yeast and worm infections.
NOTE: Using raw, undiluted juice of garlic can cause skin irritation. So always mix it with 3 to 5 drops of water before applying to the skin.
Diabetes mellitus (DM), commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period.
Diabetes can harm the kidneys, inhibit nervous system functions, cause heart disorders, and even lead to poor eyesight. The oil extracted from garlic may protect diabetic patients from these side effects.
Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar levels in your body, especially if you are a diabetic.
#4: Eye Problems
Garlic is rich in nutrients like selenium, quercetin and vitamin C, all of which help treat eye infections and swelling.
#5: High Blood Pressure
Garlic, when crushed, produces a compound called allicin. Allicin helps block the activity of angiotensin II (a protein that is responsible for increase in blood pressure) and helps in reducing blood pressure.
The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by red blood cells that help dilate your blood vessels and helps control blood pressure. If your blood pressure levels are of concern, there are natural alternatives to blood pressure medication that you could try after speaking to your doctor about the change.
Some research shows that garlic can reduce blood pressure by as much as 7% or 8% in people with high blood pressure.
In another study, aged garlic extract at doses of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period.
TIP: To help control your blood pressure you could add garlic to your daily meals. Apart from that, you could also eat one pod of raw garlic on an empty stomach to keep your blood pressure under control. Or you could get yourself a garlic supplement like the one found here to help you cure hypertension naturally.
#6: Sexual Problems
Garlic can do wonders for your libido. Its aphrodisiac properties have the ability to increase the circulation of blood and intensifying an orgasm.
It is packed with allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow and dilates blood vessels.
The health benefits of garlic are further known to enhance the libido of both men and women. People who overindulge in sexual activities should consume garlic in their diet or in supplemental form to protect themselves from nervous fatigue. Drinking garlic tea daily also help treat premature ejaculation naturally.
#7: Ear Aches
Garlic is commonly used for curing earaches, as it has several antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic properties. Its oil can be made at home by squeezing the juice of its cloves and adding it to olive oil. The mixture should be kept at room temperature for a few days, but shouldn’t be saved indefinitely, if made at home.
#8: LDL Cholesterol
High-density lipoproteins are good cholesterols and are needed by the body. However, high amount of LDL (low-density lipoproteins or bad) cholesterol is dangerous to our health and should be expelled from our system.
The allicin present in garlic helps moderately to lower this bad cholesterol. Garlic is said to lower triglycerides (another known risk factor for heart disease) but this claim hasn’t been confirmed and proven.
Daily inclusion of garlic in your diet aids in eliminating any digestive problems. The herb assists in the normal functioning of the intestines for good digestion. Even swelling or irritation of the gastric canal may be rectified with garlic as a treatment.
Boiled garlic cloves are wonderful as an alternative asthma treatment. Each night before going to sleep, a glass of milk with 3 boiled cloves of garlic can bring subsequent relief for patients with asthma.
Garlic’s anti-cancer properties are due to the allyl sulphides it contains.
The regular intake of garlic reduces the risk of colon, stomach and esophageal cancer. It aids in reducing the production of carcinogenic compounds, and also reduces the occurrence of tumors associated with breast cancer.
#12: Intestinal Problems
Garlic clears up most intestinal problems like dysentery, diarrhea and colitis. Its role in dispelling worms is phenomenal. It does not affect the functioning of useful organisms in the intestine, which aid in digestion, but it does destroy the harmful bacteria present in the intestines.
Iron deficiency anaemia is when there is lack of iron in the body which lead to a reduction in the number of red blood cells.
Garlic contains diallyl sulphides which help to increase the production of ferroportin (a protein that helps in the absorption and release of iron) and improves iron metabolism – all of which helps prevent iron deficiency and associated diseases like anaemia.
#14: Overweight or Obesity
According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body by converting pre-adipocytes to fat cells (adipocytes) by preventing the conversion, thereby leading to weight loss.
In another research, it was found that taking garlic root extract twice daily for 8 weeks reduces body weight, fat mass, and waist and hip circumference when used together with proper diet and exercise.
#15: Organ Damage
The sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity. It also prevents our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
With age, your arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch and garlic can help maintain their elasticity.
Also, Ajoene, the anti-clotting compound in garlic, helps prevent the formation of clots inside blood vessels.
The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone. It has also been shown to improve allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis).
Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop itching due to rashes and bug bites.
Due to its anti-bacterial and analgesic properties, garlic can help relieve toothaches.
Simply put some crushed garlic cloves directly on the affected tooth and experience quick relief.
NOTE: It should be noted that garlic can be irritating to the gum.
So you have it all – 17 awesome health benefits of garlic (the magic herb). Garlic is more effective when it is chopped, crushed or minced as that is when it releases allicin and other compounds in it. When using garlic in your cooking, it should be added last for more of a healthy impact.
It is however not advisable to consume too much of garlic as it may causes irritation in the digestive system and that might not be pleasant. Garlic is not suitable for those with ulcer. If you have ulcer, take garlic with milk or talk to your doctor first.
The only drawback is its strong, pungent smell and taste, but other than that, garlic is a medicinal boon for mankind.
What’s your favorite healthy way to enjoy garlic? Share your tips here in the comment box below.
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