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The healing effect of garlic

  1. There are about 600 different varieties of garlic around the world. It is delicious as a seasoning in countless dishes and indispensable in both European and Asian cuisine. But did you know it is also a natural antibiotic? In the past, the ancient Romans, Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese used garlic as a medicine. But even today it can be used against various ailments such as infections, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.

What ailments

  1. Due to its antibacterial effect, garlic can be used for infections. It can destroy harmful bacteria in the gut and is therefore effective against food poisoning from Escherichia Coli and Salmonella, among others. Its blood-thinning properties can help against high blood pressure, blood clots, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Various forms of cancer could also be prevented, such as colon, stomach, breast, prostate and lung cancer. Garlic also contains antioxidants that help protect the immune system against colds and acne, among other things. It is also a good source of selenium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and vitamin B6.

How it works

  1. Garlic contains thiosulphate compounds, the most important of which is allicin. Allicin gives garlic its typical taste and smell, it is released when the cloves of garlic are cut or crushed. Allicin has an antibacterial effect, is antiviral and can kill fungi. According to a 2012 Washington State University study, it is said to be 100 times more effective than conventional antibiotics used for inflammatory bowel disease.

Garlic as an antibiotic

  1. Allicin is used by the garlic plant as a natural protection against insects and microorganisms, it is said to suppress the synthesis of RNA. RNA is the genetic material of the microorganisms and without the synthesis of RNA no multiplication of bacteria, viruses or fungi is possible. In humans, allicin is effective against bacteria of the Clostridium, Escherichia, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Shigella and Staphylococci families. Garlic as an antibiotic has the advantage that no resistance develops among the micro-organisms.

Garlic is good for the heart

  1. Garlic is said to lower LDL cholesterol, have a blood thinning effect and prevent platelets from clumping together. Allicin is also said to dilate the blood vessels. In this way, blood clots are prevented and the risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced. A fairly large amount of garlic would have to be eaten to obtain a positive effect, namely about ten to fifteen grams per day.

Garlic as a prevention against cancer

  1. Garlic is said to stimulate enzymes in the liver that break down carcinogenic substances. The thiosulfate compounds in garlic inhibit the conversion of nitrates into carcinogenic nitrosamines. The protection against stomach cancer is due to its antibacterial action against Helicobacter Pylori, a bacteria associated with stomach cancer. To prevent cancer, an amount of two to five grams of fresh garlic per day would be sufficient, this is about one clove.

Side Effects

  1. Garlic is safe for daily consumption, but ingestion of extreme amounts can have some unpleasant effects. For example, strong smelling breath and body odor will occur and in some cases allergies can occur. Eating garlic on an empty stomach can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Skin irritation may occur when applying garlic or garlic oil to the skin.

How to use

  1. The healing effect is greatest in raw garlic because heating destroys many of the beneficial substances. You can eat garlic raw in, for example, a tasty pesto sauce with pasta or in fresh garlic mayonnaise. But raw garlic has a strong flavor and most people prefer to eat it cooked. Allicin cannot withstand heating, do not add the garlic to a dish until the last to keep cooking time to a minimum. Another tip is to cut the garlic and wait ten minutes for it to cook. Allicin will be released when cutting or crushing the garlic, during the waiting time the allicin will stabilize and be more resistant to heating.

  2. The healing effect is greatest in raw garlic because heating destroys many of the beneficial substances. You can eat garlic raw in, for example, a tasty pesto sauce with pasta or in fresh garlic mayonnaise

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