Garlic contains several vitamins and minerals that our body needs for god health. It has vitamin B-1, B-6, and vitamin-C. It also contains copper, tryptophan, potassium, and selenium. Garlic belongs to the Allium family, just like the onion.
Eating raw garlic gives greater health benefits than when cooking or frying garlic, as excess heat destroys the enzymes which provide its antibiotic properties.
Garlic is considered one of nature’s little miracles in a bulb. The medicinal advantages of garlic cannot be denied. The positive benefits outweigh all the negatives! Let's examine what those positive benefits are.
Garlic Lowers Cholesterol
One of the key components of raw garlic is allicin, a sulfur compound formed after a clove is cut or crushed. Allicin is the major source of the bioactive compounds that provide garlic’s strong taste and smell.
The Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture published the results of researchers who analyzed data from 26 well-designed clinical trials to evaluate the effects of garlic on cholesterol levels.
They found that garlic was more effective than a placebo in reducing cholesterol.
It was noted that when compared to control groups, garlic significantly reduced both total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The benefits of garlic were more pronounced when used as a long-term treatment, and in individuals who started treatment with higher total cholesterol levels.
Garlic did not appear to have any significant effects on other lipid levels, including HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).
Since 1993, 44% of clinical trials have reported a reduction in total cholesterol. The most profound effect has been observed in garlic's ability to reduce platelet aggregation (blood thickening).
The Journal of Nutrition writes that fibrinolysis is enhanced in the body by garlic, resulting in dissolution of clots and thrombi. In vitro studies have demonstrated that aged garlic extract improves circulation and blood properties by preventing lipid peroxidation and hemolysis in oxidized erythrocytes.
Raw garlic also has a compound called organosulfur which has been found to inhibit mediators of the inflammatory response, including cytokines, chemokines, adhesion molecules, and enzymes like cyclooxygenase (COX), lipoxygenase (LOX), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS).
On going chronic inflammation is linked to heart disease, as well as other chronic diseases.
Hypertension or high blood pressure can effect heart health. Garlic though has shown to reduce blood pressure and decrease oxidative stress.
Raw garlic can be used on any area of the body affected by fungus, such as in the nail bed of fingers and toes.
An overgrowth of candida can cause unwanted yeast or fungal infections. Such as cutaneous candidiasis (fungal infection of the skin), oral thrush, and vaginal yeast infection among others.
Dr. James Duke, author of, The Green Pharmacy, writes that mixtures of antifungal plant oils often work much better together than single oils alone.
For vaginal fungal infection, using essential oils is not recommended. But rather, inserting a peeled raw garlic clove into the vagina and leaving it over night, each night until the infection has been cured.
Men can get a yeast infections as well, by having unprotected sex with a woman who has a vaginal fungal infection. In this case, the essential oils can be used topically.
Studies have shown that garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system by stimulating certain cell types, such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils, by mechanisms including modulation of cytokine secretion, immunoglobulin production, phagocytosis, and macrophage activation.
Detoxes The Body
The liver is the second largest organ of the body (skin being the first). And one of its major roles is to detoxify the entire body.
Although garlic does not directly flush toxins from the body, it contributes to the detoxification process. It helps increase the production of glutathione, a compound that filters toxins that are coming from the digestive system. It also helps in the detoxification and purification of the liver.
Important To Remember
It is important to keep in mind when eating garlic as part of a already healthy diet and lifestyle, that using garlic in the form of garlic powder or salt does not provide the health benefits mentioned above.
To obtain the many health benefits of garlic is best to eat it fresh and in the raw.
You first need to cut the garlic clove to expose the inner flesh to the air (about 10 minutes). Doing so activates the enzyme allicin. Also cooking garlic will destroy the health effects of of allicin.
Other studies have suggested that garlic can keep blood platelets from sticking together, reducing the risk of blood clots. Studies have also reported a variety of anti-cancer as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Eating garlic daily (10 g or more) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of prostate, colon, and stomach cancer.