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5 Health Benefits of Garlic

Updated on February 18, 2013

"The Stinky Rose" or Wonder Cure?

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To get the most from your garlic....

FOR WHOLE GARLIC AND HONEY SYRUP-

  • Fill a jar halfway with honey.
  • Take 1 cup of raw peeled garlic and soak it in the honey.
  • Allow this to set in the fridge for several days before using.
  • Upon the onset of a cold, eat one clove every few hours- up to 6 a day.


FOR A GREAT COUGH SYRUP OR TEA..

Toss these ingredients into a blender!

  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of garlic cloves
  • tablespoon of ground Ginger
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Allow this to sit in the fridge for a few days to develop the potency then take a teaspoon as needed or add to boiling water for a quick tea!

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Press your garlic in a garlic press! It will be 10 times as powerful as garlic chopped with a knife!
  • Cut your garlic and allow it to sit in the air for 10 minutes. The oxidation will allow the garlic to develop a stronger flavor and aroma.

This is just the short list!!!

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that if it's good for me, it probably doesn't taste good. This is probably why I have had issues with vegetables for the majority of my life...but that's another blog all together!

Much to my parent's dismay, I have learned that they were not always right. There are many things that taste good, nay GREAT and are healthy for you too. The top of this list for me is GARLIC. Garlic fries, garlic bread, garlic sauce, garlic mushrooms, the list becomes kind of like Captain Dan's shrimp list from Forrest Gump....that is how much I love it. I recently began a journey to live a more "green" lifestyle and to try all-natural remedies and herbal cures instead of reaching for over-the-counter medicines. You do not know how happy I was to find out that my favorite seasoning also served a medicinal purpose. It is just ONE of the many reasons why I LOVE GARLIC.

What is Garlic?

Garlic is a part of the onion family. It has been used throughout recorded history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. The garlic bulb is divided into sections called cloves.

Garlic in History

I am not the only one who loves garlic. There is even folklore surrounding garlic and its many uses. While the stories of garlic's ceremonial, medicinal, and even monetary uses are too many to number, here are just a few....

  • Ancient Koreans ate pickled garlic before traveling through mountains as they felt that Tigers didn't like it.
  • Greek athletes and even soldiers ate garlic before competition and battle.
  • Greek midwives would hang garlic at homes to ward off evil spirits.
  • Garlic appears in biblical times too. It is written that when Moses led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt (around 1,200BC), they complained of missing the finer things in life - including garlic.
  • Roman soldiers ate garlic to inspire courage
  • In King Tut's times, garlic was used to purchase slaves and was found throughout his tomb.
  • Egyptians ate garlic during the taking of oaths and when the slaves threatened to abandon their work on the pyramids, they were given garlic.
  • In Palestinian tradition, if a groom wears garlic at his wedding, he is assured a great wedding night!

Why is it so Good For You?

1. Immunity Booster - Garlic has long been used to boost immune systems and beat out colds and flu's. This is because garlic has antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties as well as contains a lot of vitamin C. Start chomping on garlic during the onset of illness and it is said to reduce our symptoms and duration of the time you would have been ill.

2. Antibiotic - Scientists are now saying that GARLIC can in fact be used as an antibiotic. In some tests, it was even shown to be more powerful than prescription antibiotics without the addition of crushing your healthy bacteria as it works. Unlike chemical antibiotics, it is also anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It's like a natural "one-stop shop"!

3. Heart Health -

  • It is noted that the allicin in garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure and it has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol between 5 -15% and raise HDL cholesterol.
  • Garlic has a set of sulfur-containing compounds that help protect from oxidative stress and inflammation of the blood vessel linings which can both cause strokes and heart attacks.
  • Garlic may also prevent dangerous blood clots!

4. CANCER FIGHTER - That's right! The tasty garlic has even been proven to have cancer fighting powers!

  • It may help prevent colon cancer by protecting colon cells from toxins and preventing the growth of cancer cells. Garlic also contains selenium and vitamin C which are also known to protect against colon cancer.
  • Studies show that garlic may decrease the ability of H. pylori to cause ulcers and stomach cancer.
  • Garlic may also help reduce your risk of breast cancer. By cooking meats with garlic you to reduce the carcinogenic chemicals in cooked meat which are said to be linked with breast cancer.
  • Garlic has even been shown to stop the growth of skin cancer by rubbing raw garlic on the skin. This is due to the Ageone in garlic which has been shown in tests to stop the spreading of skin cancer cells.

5. WEIGHT LOSS/DIABETES-

  • Garlic is also known to be an appetite suppressant. The pungent odor of garlic stimulates the satiety center in the brain and reduces hunger sensations.
  • Garlic stimulates the nervous system causing a boost in your metabolism!
  • Garlic is known as a natural cure for diabetes as well! It is shown that garlic can prevent damage to your kidneys, blood vessels, skin and eyes. This is because garlic slows down the glycation process that happens when blood sugars are high.
  • The cardiovascular benefits are also great for individuals with diabetes.

How do you get the benefits of Garlic?

When using garlic for its medicinal purposes, you will find that FRESH is best! Ground garlic goes through food processes that causes it to loose many of its healing properties. It is said that black garlic may unlock even more power! The ways to get your fix of garlic are very simple! Fresh garlic is available at almost every supermarket and can also be purchased in a pill, juice, and even dropper form. Even cooking fresh garlic in your favorite foods still provides some of its healing properties!

  • For Warts, rashes, bug bites or irritations- simply rub raw garlic on the area.
  • For toothaches - rub garlic on the edge of the tooth and gums
  • For a sore throat - suck on raw garlic or make garlic& honey syrup!
  • Bloating, cramps, and constipation - swallow small pieces of chopped garlic
  • For Heart Benefits - add to your favorite foods or try taking a supplement.
  • For Weightloss - add fresh garlic to everything or suck on a raw clove when you are getting hungry!

Side Effects

As with any medicine, there are side effects and the same is true with garlic.

Your breath may be offensive and some individuals claim that the smell of garlic seeps from their skin! So my best advice is to buy mints and only hang out with people who also LOVE garlic! I mean c'mon...did you read the benefits?!?!?

So there you have it. The herb known as "the stinky rose" can help almost any ailment you may suffer from. It has been used throughout history for its healing properties and is still used today and prescribed by doctors, weight loss experts, and scientists. As far as my parents go....they also love garlic so this was one thing that I expect they don't mind being wrong about...

Whether you take it in raw form, in soups, syrups, teas, or pills-GARLIC IS GOOD FOR YOU AND TASTES GOOD TOO!

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    • profile image

      Dani 2 years ago

      Next time you wash your hair, Shampoo everything above your aipmrts.That includes your whole Head, Face Neck, Shoulders and as much of your back as possible..Buy some Selsun Shampoo' for Dandruff. . This is EXCELLENT for all types of skin ailments.and will clear your Acne in about a week. Many of the other treatments are rather mild for serious Acne, so keep them for future use after your face is better. Selsun shampoo, cleans DEEP into the skin pores and is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal cleanser. Take care to rinse your face thoroughly after shampooing to remove all traces of Selsun'(Take a long shower ) because It has a slight drying effect, so alternate with a good quality Lanolin based soap to restore the natural body oils removed by the shampoo

    • profile image

      Skip 2 years ago

      Normally I'm against killing but this article sletrhuegad my ignorance.

    • My Bell profile image

      Marcelle Bell 3 years ago

      Garlic is also a great substitute in recipes for added salt. I just up the garlic cloves and leave out all salt and honestly, it tastes much better that way.

    • Mommymay profile image
      Author

      Heather May 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you for reading! I think I love the aroma so much that I could burn a garlic scented candle! I am glad that I am not the only one!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Garlic is indeed very beneficial for health. And you have summed up its qualities quite effectively. I love the aroma and it's a must in our daily diet.

      Thanks for sharing this useful hub.