The Goodness of Garlic Print
Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Garlic has been used for thousands of years both as food and as medicine. Most people around the world, especially those known for their excellent health and long life, have used garlic extensively in their daily diets.

Today, many countries often rely on garlic in the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchial disorders, lupus, pulmonary gangrene, and inflammation of the trachea. Garlic also has a long history of use as an infection fighter. In fact, Garlic is widely known as "Russian penicillin", to denote its antibacterial properties. Russian physicians have long used it for respiratory disorders, giving children with whooping cough garlic ingredients via inhalation. Russians have also used garlic preparations for flu, sore throats, and mouth sores.


Garlic is probably the most widely recognized medicinal herb. Much has been written on the healing effects of garlic and new studies are continually being published throughout the world. Garlic is one of the most researched plant medicines.


Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have beneficial effects on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. Scientific data reveals that garlic reduces glucose metabolism in diabetics, slows the development of arteriosclerosis and lowers the risk of heart attacks. Without a doubt, garlic provides the body with protection against cardiovascular disease.

The Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association publicly acknowledged garlic's potential in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. Garlic may also help the body to protect itself from heavy-metal accumulation, which can result from eating fish that may be high in mercury, or whenever you are exposed to smog and heavy air pollution.

Health Benefits

It would be impossible to detail all of the wonderful properties of this truly remarkable medicinal plant in this small space. Many of the therapeutic effects of garlic are thought to be due to its volatile factors, which are composed of the sulfur-containing compounds allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and others. Additional constituents of garlic include other sulfur-containing compounds; high concentrations of trace minerals, particularly selenium and germanium; glucosinolates; and enzymes.

Chopping or crushing garlic stimulates the enzymatic process that converts the phytochemical alliin into allicin, a compound to which many of garlic's health benefits are attributed. The compound allicin is also mainly responsible for the pungent odor of garlic.

The antimicrobial activity of garlic is due to allicin. Allicin has been shown to be effective not only against common infections, such as colds, flu, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast, but also against powerful pathogenic microbes, including tuberculosis and botulism.

Garlic Protects the Liver and Can Prevent Cancer

Another priceless benefit of garlic for health and long life is liver protection. Garlic is a powerful detoxifying agent that can protect against various liver toxins. In an experimental study, garlic protected against acetaminophen induced liver toxicity. This means that individuals who are taking Tylenol® may find garlic is beneficial.

Garlic also appears to offer protection against some cancers by mobilizing the effectiveness of the body's immune system. For example, studies have shown that people who eat garlic at least once a week have a significantly lower risk of colon cancer.

Substances found in garlic, such as allicin, have been shown not only to protect colon cells from the toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals but also to stop the growth of cancer cells once they develop. Population studies in China and Italy found that the incidence of stomach cancer is lower in people who eat lots of garlic.

Uses and Storing

It is best to use fresh garlic, but if strapped for time, you can use the minced garlic in the jar. Garlic in flake, powder, or paste form is also convenient, but it is simply not as good as fresh garlic.

Store fresh garlic at room temperature in an uncovered container in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight.

One of the best ways to benefit from garlic is to juice it with other vegetables. When juicing garlic, it is best to remove the clove from the bulb and wrap it in a green vegetable, such as a spinach leaf or some parsley. This accomplishes two things: (1) it prevents the garlic from popping out of the juicer, and (2) the chlorophyll from the green vegetable helps bind some of the odor. It is also a good idea to juice the garlic first, as the other vegetables will remove the odor from the machine.