It’s the time of the year when viruses are extremely active, nearly half of my relatives and friends get sick. So it is important to have strong immune system and the best and easiest way to support our immune system naturally is by eating more antioxidant foods. Find out which are the top 10 best antioxidant foods here
In this article I will focus your attention to garlic, which is not included in the above mentioned article. Everybody knows what garlic is and how it is used, but if you think it is used only in culinary then you will be surprised to find out that it is also used in medicine. Medical and health benefits of garlic are surprisingly too many, but I will try to describe them in short, as well as will emphasize on how it can help you stay healthy during this year’s flu pandemic.
Benefits of garlic
+ Antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobical, antiseptic and antifungal properties
+ Prevents heart disease (atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure) and even cancer.
+ Early human studies suggest possible cardiovascular benefits
+ Another beneficial property of garlic is preventing and fighting the common cold.
Cold and coughs are in fact the main reasons why I chose to write about garlic during this flu pandemic. This is not a joke, garlic has solid backing during the long years of usage in herbal medicine. It’s the herbal medicine that proves garlic is great for hoarseness and coughs (The Cherokee also used it for coughs).
+ Garlic could regulate blood sugar levels after regular prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of garlic extract, but that doesn’t mean that people on insulin should start taking it right away (even in small amounts) without consulting their physician first.
+ High protein diet combined with garlic could boost testosterone.
To gain any of those benefits you need to actually consume the garlic (except probably for a few cases where you need to crush and rub with garlic – for example for fungal infection (such as thrush) you need to rub the infected area with the garlic clove).
In cases like cold or coughs you can consume the garlic while you eat your regular meals, or you can prepare garlic tea. I myself prefer to eat it with other food. Despite the unpleasant taste and bad breath if leaves, I am sure garlic works to protect me and my family from colds and flu, because we’ve been eating it since the beginning of the flu season this year and we are healthy like never before.
However most of those benefits are not proven scientifically on humans. Most trials are done with animals and do not have the credibility to be recommended for humans. For example the test for testosterone boost is done with rats; the test for lowering cholesterol is done with rabbits and so on…
Possible Side Effects of garlic
– Halitosis is one of the bad side effects of garlic and probably this is one of the most common reasons why people avoid eating it.
You should know that raw garlic is much more potent compared to the cooked one, so if you really want to experience any benefit of eating garlic – eat it raw.
Even if it is rear there are people allergic to plants from the same family where garlic belongs to. It is possible even the tiniest amount of garlic to cause allergic reaction such as diarrhea, nausea, breathing difficulty, irritable bowel.
Raw Garlic is rich in vitamins — Vit B1, Vit B2, Vit B3, Vit B6, Vit C; calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium.
All garlic properties are due to its potent compounds:
– Allicin is a strong antibiotic compound in garlic that is released when you crush a clove. It is perfect for strep throat recovery at home.
– Garlic also contains sulfur containing compounds, as well as non-sulfur compounds (such as allixin, which has antioxidant, anti microbial and anti tumor promoting effect).