Garlic, or Allium Sativum, a native of Central Asia dating back to over 5000 years is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The ancient Egyptians believed that Garlic endowed with consecrated virtues were most worthy to be reverently placed in the tombs of Pharaohs. To boost the strength and vitality garlic was bestowed to the slaves who built the pyramids. Besides this, during ancient times, the Greek, Roman soldiers and athletes, consumed garlic before leaving for the battlefield and sporting event to enhance their strength and stamina.
The Healthy Components of Garlic
For ages, in various cuisines of the world, Garlic has been used as a key ingredient, for its unique aroma and flavour. Nevertheless, besides culinary uses, Garlic, the “Wonder Drug”, possesses various medicinal and healing properties; hence, are widely used for their therapeutic benefits, especially in countries like India.
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, C, potassium, protein, copper, manganese, phosphorus, Zinc, selenium and Calcium. Abundant in various potent substances, garlic contains two vital healthy components containing sulphur such as allicin and diallyl sulphide.
The popularity of garlic over the centuries has been incomparable. Various scientists across the globe have authenticated its medicinal and healing properties by unlocking the secrets of garlic fondly known as the Stinking Rose.
40 Awesome Uses and Benefits of Garlic
Health Benefits of Garlic
1) Garlic is an anti cancer food
Garlic contains innumerable anti carcinogenic properties and antioxidants that prevent formation of cancerous substances, inhibiting the growth of tumours. These include potent substances such as quercetin, diallyl sulphide, allin and ajoene. Ajoene and allicin work as natural chemotherapy due to their ability to restrict and bind the cancer cells. According to scientists at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, a diet rich in Garlic prevents various cancers such as the colon, breast and prostate as Garlic has the power to enhance production of Hydrogen Sulphide.
Recent Research suggests that meat cooked at very high temperatures touching 400F/204C, produce cancer (carcinogenic) related properties. This is one of the leading causes for the incidence of breast cancer among meat eating women as these properties have a tendency to change into DNA damaging substances. However one of the compounds in garlic containing sulphur, Diallyl sulfide (DAS), inhibits the transformation of these chemicals to cancer causing agents `
2) Garlic for Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Garlic offers incredible cardiovascular benefits. The antioxidant properties of Garlic lower triglyceride levels and total cholesterol from 5 to 15%. They also prevent oxidization of LDL (Low Density Lip Protein) thereby protecting against plaque build-up, which tends to clog the arteries.
3) Prevents Atherosclerosis
Besides the ability to protect the arteries from clogging, Garlic prevents formation of clots within the blood vessels. A substance known as Ajoene present in garlic contains anti-clotting properties that prevent the platelets from becoming too sticky and clumping together to form a clot.
4) Garlic for Blood Pressure
Another impressive benefit of garlic is the ability to stabilize blood pressure levels. Allicin, a substance in garlic impedes the movement of angiotensin II , a peptide (a tiny piece of protein) that is responsible for the contraction of the blood vessels. This contraction causes the blood flow forcefully through a constricted space, resulting in increased pressure.
5) Relieves Oxidative stress
Several studies have proved that Garlic helps reduce oxidative stress (free radicals) in the blood.
6) Promotes Circulatory health
Garlic acts as a blood thinner as they contain salicylate content, which has the ability to make blood thinner. This enables proper blood flow and enhances circulatory health.
7) Garlic for Impotence
Due to its ability to enhance circulatory health, Garlic acts as a fantastic cure for impotence.
8) Benefits of Garlic in Stabilizing Blood sugar
Allicin, a substance present in garlic increases insulin secretion and slows down the glycation process, which occurs when blood sugar increase. Besides this, garlic prevents diabetic complications of the eye, kidneys, skin, heart and the blood vessels.
9) Garlic Promotes Immunity
Rich in antioxidants garlic has a very healthy effect on the immune system. Therefore, they act as a protective shield against all kinds of bacteria and viruses attacking the body.
10) Prevents Yeast Candida infections
Apart from protecting the body from invasion of bacteria and other viruses, garlic also safeguards the body from other microbes like worms, parasites fungi and yeast. This is chiefly due to the presence of ajoene, that prevent yeast candid albicans.
11) Garlic Protects infection from Burns
Garlic also prevents infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that attacks patients suffering from burns.
12) Helps Absorption of Minerals
According to a study conducted by Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, garlic taken in conjunction with whole grains appear to increase the body’s absorption of iron and zinc.
13) Garlic benefits to Reduce Fatty liver
Garlic has a miraculous effect on the symptoms of fatty liver. Loaded with allicin and selenium, Garlic enhances bile production that reduces the fatty liver condition.
14) Liver Cleanse
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
15) Garlic is a Natural antibiotic
Raw garlic acts as a natural antibiotic, destroying bacteria that become immune to antibiotics.
16) Protects from Osteoarthritis
Garlic contains anti-inflammatory properties that protect against osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that result in the loss of cartilage between joints.
17) Improves Iron metabolism
Garlic helps increase the production of Ferro protein thus enabling better absorption of iron in the body.
18) Improves Babies weight
Expectant mothers consuming Garlic may improve weight of the baby in the womb, thus preventing low weight babies.
19) Removes poison from Insect Bites
Garlic juice applied with salt to the affected area of insect bites like centipede and scorpions help remove poison from the blood and reduce pain.
20) Protect against Metal poisoning
Aged garlic protects the body from heavy metal poisoning.
21) Relief for Herpes
Crushed garlic applied to the affected area provides relief from herpes
22) Garlic Helps Combat Allergies
The antiviral properties in garlic help combat allergies
23) Relieves Sinusitis
According to ancient folklore, inhaling the fumes of chopped garlic in a streamer proves effective. Another method is to place a couple of garlic cloves between the gum and teeth, biting occasionally to release their potent substances. However, these ought to be replaced frequently and kept for a few days, (not while sleeping though) to achieve better results.
24) Reduces Snoring
Sinus blockage results in heavy snoring. Garlic inhalation, providing immense relief from sinusitis, ultimately reduces snoring.
25) Toothache Remedy
A wonderful remedy for toothache is applying a clove of garlic to the affected area.
26) Resolves Gingivitis
Chewing three to five cloves of garlic post meal help resolve gingivitis, a condition caused due to the inflammation, bleeding and swelling of the gums.
27) Prevents Cataracts
Consuming a couple of garlic cloves everyday prevents cataract and improves vision. (Also read How to take care of your eyes)
28) Remedy for Sty
A chopped piece of garlic applied directly on the sty works wonders. Apart from this applying mashed garlic with a q tip on to the sty gets rid of it rapidly.
29) Backache Relief
Consuming garlic regularly gives relief and prevents backache.
30) Garlic Prevents Tuberculosis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is receptive to numerous sulphur components present in garlic.
31) Cough Remedy
The antibacterial properties of garlic make it an excellent remedy for cough. A mixture of honey and garlic makes an excellent expectorant providing relief from cough. Also read about benefits of garlic milk
32) Effective for Food poisoning
A natural antibiotic, Garlic with antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, is several times more effective than antibiotics, erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, medications generally prescribed for treatment of food poisoning.
33) Asthma Remedy
34) Prevents Bladder infections
Consuming a teaspoon of garlic juice effectively kills the bacteria that are the major cause of bladder infections.
35) Great Mosquito repellent
Garlic makes a great mosquito repellent. Hence, many of the commercially available mosquito repellents include garlic as one of the main ingredients.
Beauty Benefits of Garlic
36) Aids Weight loss
Garlic benefits to boost metabolism. Therefore, juice of half a lemon mixed in lukewarm water taken with two cloves of garlic twice a day for three months provides positive results.
37) Prevents Hair Loss
Garlic strengthens the hair roots thus preventing breakage. They facilitate proper blood supply to the scalp thereby removing harmful toxins and infections from the scalp. (Also read how to prevent hair loss and grow hair faster)
38) Acne Treatment
Garlic works as a blood cleanser, cleansing the system from within. Taking two cloves of garlic every morning with warm water makes the skin glow and gets rid of blemishes and blackheads. (Read How to get rid of pimples)
39) Anti Wrinkle Food
Garlic, a potent antioxidant, helps in improving the skin elasticity of the face. Garlic contains sulfur, which helps the body produce collagen. They also contain a wealth of skin-protective polyphenols. Therefore a garlic clove, chopped into several pill-size pieces, taken everyday, works beautifully well to protect the skin from damages that results in wrinkles. Read home remedies for wrinkles
40) Anti ageing Solution
Garlic has proven powerful antioxidant properties protecting the skin against damage caused by free radicals, oxidation, and environmental stressors. This prevents signs of aging caused because of skin damage.
The benefits and uses of garlic have been indisputable over the centuries. Hence, they have remained synonymous with eternal youth, health, vigour and vitality.