Currently, garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
Garlic is also used today by some people for the prevention of lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer.
It is important to add that only some of these uses are backed by research.
A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology warned that short-term heating reduces the anti-inflammatory effects of fresh raw garlic extracts. This may be a problem for some people who do not like or cannot tolerate the taste and/or odor of fresh garlic
Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about 5,000 years ago.
Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue.
The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance enhancing” agents used in sports.
From Ancient Egypt, garlic spread to the advanced ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley (Pakistan and western India today). From there, it made its way to China.
According to experts at Kew Gardens, England’s royal botanical center of excellence, the people of ancient India valued the therapeutic properties of garlic and also thought it to be an aphrodisiac. The upper classes avoided garlic because they despised its strong odor, while monks, “…widows, adolescents, and those who had taken up a vow or were fasting, could not eat garlic because of its stimulant quality.”
Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers.
The French, Spanish, and Portuguese introduced garlic to the New World.
The Health Benefits of Eating Garlic are:
Wards Off Cough and Cold
Raw garlic has the potential to ward off a cough and cold infections. Eating two crushed garlic cloves on an empty stomach has the maximum benefit. For kids and babies, hanging garlic cloves in a thread around their necks is supposed to relieve congestion symptoms.
Good for Cardiac Health
Allicin, a compound found in garlic stops the oxidizing of LDL (bad cholesterol). This reduces cholesterol levels and improves heart health. Regular consumption of garlic reduces the incidence of blood clots and thus helps prevent thromboembolism. Garlic also lowers the blood pressure so is good for patients with hypertension. Read more on how to control high blood pressure
Also Read: 2o Essential tips for a Healthy Heart
Improves Brain Functioning
Garlic promotes brain health because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, read more on best brain foods to include in your diet.
Digestive problems improve with the inclusion of raw garlic in the diet. It benefits the intestines and reduces inflammation. Eating raw garlic helps to clear out intestinal worms. The good thing is that it destroys the bad bacteria and protects the good bacteria in the gut.
Balances Blood Sugar
Those who suffer from diabetes observe their blood sugar levels regulating on the consumption of raw garlic. Also, read 10 harmful effects of sugar
Garlic protects against free radicals and prevents damage to the DNA. Zinc in garlic promotes immunity. Vitamin C helps to fight off infections. It is very beneficial against eye and ear infections as it has antimicrobial properties.
Improves Skin Health
Garlic helps prevent acne and lightens acne scars. Cold sores, psoriasis, rashes, and blisters can all benefit from the application of garlic juice. It also protects against UV rays and therefore prevents ageing.
Read More: 7 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin
Prevents Cancer and Peptic Ulcer
Because of a high amount of antioxidants, garlic protects the body against lung, prostate, bladder, stomach, liver and colon cancer. The antibacterial action of garlic prevents peptic ulcers as it eliminates the contagion from the gut.
Good for Weight Loss
Garlic reduces the expression of genes responsible for the formation of adipose cells which store fat. It also increases thermogenesis in the body and leads to burning of more fat and lowering of LDL (bad cholesterol).