Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food. ~ Hippocrates
Food is our first and foremost form of nutrition, hence, should be considered our primary medicine. However, in our modern world, particularly in highly developed countries, from the moment of our birth, we are encouraged to live with the conviction, that the immune system is incapable of functioning on its own, without the use of medicines and drugs, for the treatment of common ailments. However most medications used are in the form of antibiotics, offering a whole lot of side effects. Although such drugs may be necessary, at times, nevertheless, all too often, they could be substituted by a safer and more natural approach. Ayurveda has much to offer by way of mild and valuable health care and disease prevention through diet and lifestyle, as well as the use of medicinal herbs and spices.
Garlic Properties and Benefits
From time immemorial, Garlic has been used in various cuisines, due to their unique aroma and flavour. Besides culinary uses, Garlic, the Wonder Drug, possessing various medicinal and therapeutic properties, have been widely used in countries like India, for their curative benefits.
A member of the lily family, garlic is a rich source of flavonoids, enzymes, antioxidants, mineral and vitamins such as Vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 and C, potassium, protein, copper, manganese, phosphorus, Zinc, selenium and Calcium. Abundant in various substances garlic contains two vital healthy components containing sulphur such as allicin and diallyl sulphide.
|Effect||Preventive role in diseases|
|Anti-atherosclerotic||Restoration of endothelial function and suppression of LDL oxidation|
|Anti-oxidative||Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and aging|
|“||Reducing the risk of dementia, decreasing homocysteine, blood pressure, and increasing microcirculation, which are important in diabetes|
|“||Treatment of viral hepatitis and acute liver injury|
|Anti-bacterial||Effective anti-bacterial agent for pneumonia-causing bacteria, oral bacteria and on bacterial isolates from infected wounds|
|Anti-hypertensive||Lowers blood pressure|
|Anti-fungal||Treatment of human systemic fungal infections and cryptococcal meningitis|
- Helps atherosclerosis
- lowers cholesterol
- lowers blood pressure
- Helps treat gout
- preventing upper respiratory tract infections
- Prevents the growth and spread of bacteria
- Helps Tuberculosis
- Treating wounds
- Helps treat Trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted infection.)
- Boosts metabolism
- aids digestion
- Treats yeast infection
- Dissolves blood clots
- Increases appetite
- Kills intestinal worms and parasites
- Helps treat cataracts
- Helps treat arthritis
- Helps treat diabetes
- Help treat staph infection
- Relieves tooth ache
- Treats acne
- Kills warts
- Helps treatment of boils on the skin
- Has a soothing effect on the intestines
- treats asthma
- chronic bronchitis
- whooping cough
- Helps cure insomnia
- Slows the aging process
- Inhibits the growth of Candida albicans
- Boosts body’s immune system
Properties and Benefits of Milk
The nutritious white beverage is full of a unique balance of nutrients.
A rich source of calcium milk builds healthy bones and teeth maintaining bone mass.
- Protein content in milk serves as a source of energy, builds/repairs muscle tissue.
- Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure
- Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
- Vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin
- Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids
Garlic Milk in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda many common fruits, vegetables, and culinary spices are used to help with a variety of health complaints without the need for any other treatment. One such medicated drink, good for overall well-being is the preparation of Garlic Milk, made with the goodness of garlic mixed in warm nourishing milk.
Basic Recipe of Garlic Milk
Peeled and minced Garlic cloves – 10 no’s
Milk –500 ml
Water – 250 ml
Sugar – 2 – 3 tsp
Take milk with water in a saucepan. Add garlic cloves and boil this mixture in an open saucepan in moderate heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture reduces to half its quantity. Strain the milk and add sugar. Serve hot.
Milk being a coolant in nature, reduces the hotness and pungency of garlic. Those who cannot tolerate the hot and pungent nature of raw garlic can best enjoy the benefits of garlic by consuming this exotic drink.
Garlic Milk with Spices
There are many variations for preparing this exotic healthy concoction. A few spices are blended to enhance the taste, flavour and benefits. Follow the same procedure as above (Basic Recipe) but with few added spices.
In a saucepan, add 250 ml water along with minced fresh garlic, a few corns of crushed fresh pepper, about 1 teaspoon spice powder dry roasted and ground which includes 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds , 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds ¼ teaspoon of ground/ whole cardamom, 1 teaspoon honey, a pinch of turmeric. Stir this up and bring to a boil. Let it cook for about a couple of minutes or more. Almonds, pistachios, dates, fig and saffron strands may be used for a healthy garnish.
Research indicates that black pepper ingested along with cur cumin increases the body’s ability to absorb and utilize turmeric up to 2000 %. Hence, peppercorns and turmeric are included as a variation in the age-old tradition of Indian home remedies.
Health Benefits of Garlic Milk
Three cloves of garlic boiled in milk, can be used every night with excellent results in combating asthma.
Garlic along with turmeric also proves effective for persistent cough. One can have garlic turmeric milk for treating the condition. The antibacterial properties of garlic make it an excellent remedy for cough. A mixture of honey and garlic makes an excellent expectorant to provide relief from cough.
Tuberculosis of Lung
Garlic has proved to be highly effective in certain diseases of the chest. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is receptive to numerous sulphur components present in garlic. In Ayurveda, a decoction of garlic boiled in milk is considered a wonderful drug for tuberculosis. One gram of garlic, 240 ml of milk and 1 litre of water are boiled together until only one fourth of the decoction remains. It should be taken thrice in the day. Garlic should form the staple diet of patients suffering from TB because garlic is rich in sulphuric acid, which has the capacity to destroy the TB causing germs.
Garlic Milk decoction taken thrice a day makes an effective remedy for pneumonia.
Drinking warm Garlic Milk continuously for over a week helps reduce the Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol known as “bad” cholesterols thereby increasing High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) the good cholesterols in the body. Intake of this drink taken continuously for a few days proves beneficial.
Since garlic, an anticoagulant reduces the LDL cholesterols in the body, they prevent formation of clots thus enhancing circulatory health. Therefore, drinking garlic Milk, using skimmed or low fat milk is very effective for relieving cardiac related problems.
Garlic activates the liver enzymes and helps the body get rid of unwanted toxins. The liver needs sulphur to detoxify the body from harsh medications or environmental toxins. Since garlic is a great source of sulphur, it is a healthy food for the liver having miraculous effect on the symptoms of fatty liver. Loaded with allicin and selenium, Garlic enhances bile production reducing fat in the liver. Therefore, drinking Garlic Milk for 4 to 5 days helps curing jaundice.
Due to its ability to enhance circulatory health, Garlic acts as a fantastic cure for impotence. Drinking Garlic Milk and consuming the boiled pieces of garlic helps combat infertility in both women and men.
Garlic has often been referred to as “the poor man’s penicillin” because it serves as an effective antiseptic and immune booster. Garlic is one of the foods beneficial for enhancing digestive health. They also have an important effect on the lymph, facilitating removal of lethal waste matter in the body. They help stimulate secretion of the digestive juices producing marked effects on the intestine providing soothing relief on various forms of diarrhoea. Hence, Garlic Milk is ideal to treat all kinds of digestive disorders. The drink has an antiseptic effect and is an excellent remedy for infectious diseases and inflammations of the stomach and intestine.
Drinking Garlic Milk first thing in the morning and then having breakfast about half an hour later, is one of the most effective home remedies for terminating intestinal parasites. However, this procedure has to be followed continuously for a couple of days.
Consuming Garlic Milk everyday is very effective in reducing symptoms of arthritis such as pain and inflammation.
Having garlic milk is one of the most popular natural remedies for curing Sciatica nerve pain. Drink this milk over a period to reduce the pain effectively.
Consuming Garlic Milk immediately after a venomous bite quickly counteracts the poison.
The healthy Garlic Milk concoction, taken just before bedtime, alleviates insomnia, inducing sound sleep due to the soothing ingredients of garlic.
A Word of Caution
Please do not take more than two or three raw cloves of garlic per day as it might make blood thinner and cause serious ailments.
There is no extremity to the variety and efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs and remedies providing quick and lasting health benefits. Most herbs are safe and effective when used proficiently, and in appropriate doses. Before resorting to stronger medications, it would be advisable to use whole foods simple herbs and spices. Most often, the right medicine in small amounts can work magic.