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Garlic (Allium Sativum)

Introductiongarlic1 150x150 Garlic (Allium Sativum)

Whole books have been written about garlic due to its numerous therapeutic benefits. It has 100s of nutrient compounds that help all 10 of the body’s healing zones. In some of the first ancient writings, garlic is mentioned for its medicinal benefits.

A member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes onions, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds including thiosulfinates (of which the best known compound is allicin), sulfoxides (among which the best known compound is alliin), and dithiins (in which the most researched compound is ajoene). They are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects. In addition, garlic is an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C and a good source of selenium.

Originally from central Asia, more than 1000 studies confirm garlic’s medicinal and nutritional value. It is perhaps the most widely recognized therapeutically important plant. Its protective strength against infection and disease relates to folklore of it protecting against the devil and vampires. Key Actions: Antibiotic, antifungal, blood thinner, immune booster, blood pressure regulator, aids intestinal flora, improves cholesterol levels. Garlic helps the body fight infection and speeds recovery.

According to leading herbalist Andrew Chevallier, an effective simple kitchen remedy for colds, sore throats and cough is one clove of crushed garlic, fresh lemon juice, 1 to 2 teaspoons of local honey, and a pinch of dried ginger of frsh chopped ginger root in hot water stirred and drank three times daily.

Garlic’s ability to help protect and stimulate intestinal flora indicates it should be taken regularly if on any type of medical antibiotic which kills good as well as bad bacteria.

Garlic also helps skin infections when applied topically.

Taken regularly and long-term, garlic is shown to help assure proper blood circulation, help prevent atherosclerosis and support healthy cholesterol levels. Clearly regular garlic intake should help prevent heart problems including heart attacks, the #1 killer in the USA.

Increasing evidence supports the belief that regular garlic usage reduces the risk of cancer as well.

It has 100s of nutrient compounds that help all 10 of the body’s healing zones. In some of the first ancient writings, garlic is mentioned for its medicinal benefits. Garlic has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer and other benefits.

As Dr. Schrauzer of UC San Diego’s chemistry department points out, garlic is “a simple, nonprescription drug that helps detoxify the body and prevent disease.” One naturopathic doctor author, Dr. Jackson, has been quoted as saying garlic can cleanse the entire circulatory system in an hour

Heart Health

Numerous studies have demonstrated potential benefits of regular garlic consumption on blood pressure, platelet aggregation, serum triglyceride level, and cholesterol levels. Routine eating of garlic may also help stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the lining of blood vessel walls, which may help to relax them. As a result of these beneficial actions, garlic can be described as a food that may help prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Laboratory research by US and Swedish scientists published in the August 2005 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals the mechanism behind garlic’s cardiovascular benefits.

The compounds in garlic responsible for its pungency also excite a neuron pathway providing cardiovascular benefits of  lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow throughout the body. Garlic’s numerous beneficial cardiovascular effects are due to not only its sulfur compounds, but also to its vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium and manganese.

Anti-viral, Anti-bacterial and Anti-Inflammtory

Garlic, like onions, contains compounds that inhibit lipoxygenaseand cyclooxygenase, (the enzymes that generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes), thus markedly reducing inflammation. These anti-inflammatory compounds along with the vitamin C in garlic, especially fresh garlic, make it useful for helping to protect against severe attacks in some cases of asthma and may also help reduce the pain and inflammation ofosteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition, allicin, one of the sulfur-compounds responsible for garlic’s characteristic odor, is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent that joins forces with vitamin C to help kill harmful microbes. In research studies, allicin has been shown to be effective not only against common infections like colds, flu, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast, but also against powerful pathogenic microbes including tuberculosis and botulism.

Anti-Cancer

Making garlic and onions a staple in your healthy way of eating may greatly lower your risk of several common cancers, suggests a large data set of case-control studies from Southern European populations (Galeone C, Pelucchi C et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

Study participants consuming the most garlic had a 39% reduced risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 57% reduced risk for esophageal cancer, 26% reduced risk for colorectal cancer, 44% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer, 10% reduced risk for breast cancer, 22% reduced risk for ovarian cancer, 19% reduced risk for prostate cancer, and 31% reduced risk for renal cell cancer, compared to those eating the least garlic. Similarly, those eating the most onions showed an 84% reduced risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 88% reduced risk for esophageal cancer, 56% reduced risk for colorectal cancer, 83% reduced risk for laryngeal cancer, 25% reduced risk for breast cancer, 73% reduced risk for ovarian cancer, 71% reduced risk for prostate cancer, and 38% reduced risk for renal cell cancer, compared to those eating the least onions.

Recipe: Garlic, Ginseng Korean Chicken Soup (substitute mineral rich sea salt and use sparingly, also boost it up with kale, spinach, onions, carrots and other nutrient rich plants): 0 Garlic (Allium Sativum)

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