What’s Not to Like about Garlic?

Author: Meera, January 10, 2014


Garlic, a member of the onion family, has been used for centuries as a medicine and food flavoring

Garlic cloves form a bulb inside a papery husk





The use of garlic (Allium sativum, an herb) was well known in the ancient world as a flavoring agent for food as well as a powerful medicinal aid. In fact, the ancients believed garlic was especially beneficial in the treatment of such maladies as indigestion, respiratory ailments, parasitic infections, and fatigue.



Modern scientific studies have shown garlic to be an effective agent in reducing blood pressure and high cholesterol. People have also used it in the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchitis, dysentery, liver ailments, diabetes, and rheumatism. Some believe garlic slows the progression of artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Garlic can work like a blood thinner, and thus,  it might be a valuable agent in preventing strokes and heart attacks.



Emory University School of Medicine researchers discovered that Diallyl trisulfide found in garlic oil helps to protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack. The compound also seems to have cancer fighting properties.



Garlic kills cancer cells in test tubes. It may also lower the risk of developing colon cancer. See, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/garlic



A research study in China used anecdotal evidence to support the belief that eating raw garlic more than twice a week can lower the risk of getting lung cancer by 44 percent. The research was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.



Garlic is rich in antioxidants. Garlic oil, according to research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, potentially could be used to prevent diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy, although the researchers say further study is needed. Diabetics are at higher risk for developing cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the myocardium that makes the heart become enlarged over time and less effective as a pump.



Long valued as an anti-inflammatory agent, garlic also strengthens the immune system. When taken as a prophylactic, garlic is believed to reduce the number of colds people get during the cold and flu season.



I am not a medical doctor but I believe eating a wide variety of herbs, vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts for their nutritional value. Of course, the closer the food is to being organic and fresh, the better it will be for the body.



Garlic is easy to grow. It needs full sun, good drainage, and rich, loamy soil. In the fall, plant the cloves two inches under the soil and six inches apart clove pointed upward. Water  weekly.



The cloves will grow in the spring and are ready to harvest around mid June to July, when roughly 3/4 of the top growth has turned yellow. Hang four to six weeks to cure. Keep a braid of garlic in kitchen for use in your culinary creations.


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