Garlic a potent medicinal herb
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is believed to have originated in Central Asia around Siberia. The earliest records of garlic stretch back over 10,000 years to cave dwellings.
Garlic contains many different sulphur compounds which are widely recognised as the main contributing factor to its medicinal properties. They are also the cause of garlic's distinctive odour.
The key compounds within garlic are Alliin and the enzyme Alliinase. These compounds are present in the garlic clove and when they are crushed or digested they react to create garlic's wonder ingredient Allicin.
Allicin is a powerful antibiotic and anti-fungal compound obtained from garlic. Allicin is not a very stable compound. It is rapidly destroyed by cooking. Allicin-rich supplements can be used for some medicinal purposes - they help fighting arteriosclerosis and have the ability to delay the build-up fats in the blood vessels. Allicin also has antioxidant properties.
Other medicinal ingredients
Garlic contains high levels of vitamins A, C, E and B and is also a rich source of minerals; especially selenium, zinc and phosphorus. Garlic also contains germanium, which helps stimulate the production of interferon (a powerful immune-enhancing chemical).
Other therapeutic uses of garlic
Another key medicinal reason to take garlic is as an immunity booster. Allicin is the reason that garlic can be considered a potent anti-viral as it has been proven that once allicin is removed the remaining ingredients have no antibacterial or anti-viral effects.
- Garlic for colds - In a recent study of 146 people, half were given a garlic supplement and half were given placebo. Over a 90 day period in winter, when most colds occur the placebo group experienced 65 colds but the garlic group only experience 24 colds (Josling, 2001).
Garlic is proven to help improve blood circulation significantly and recent in-vitro studies suggest that Garlic helps stimulate the production of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) which is primarily responsible for the mechanism of erection.
Garlic contains many different sources of antioxidants. Allicin has antioxidant properties and garlic is also high in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.