Garlic is a plant that belongs to the lily family. A total of 3500 species belong to this plant family. Among other things, pure ornamental plants such as lilies, tulips, lilies of the valley belong, but also important foods and spice plants such as asparagus, chives, and onions.
Garlic originally comes from Central Asia, but it spread rapidly throughout the world. Workers in the pyramids and other historical buildings are known to have consumed large amounts in ancient Egypt.
It protected them against contagious diseases, epidemics, and diarrhea. Garlic was used at the Olympics in ancient Greece as a doping agent and in the Roman Empire, it was used to improve the strength of the military. It is also mentioned in ancient writings in India.
Garlic is also mentioned by the medieval abbess, natural scientist, and Dr. Hildegard von Bingen, who used it against indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and chronic constipation, as well as for general strengthening and vitalization in old age.
Due to its proven healing powers, it has been used very often as a home remedy and later in medicine. Fairly obvious evidence of these healing powers was provided in London in the early 1800s when a dangerous fever epidemic was unfolding.
At that time the sick were cared for by English and French clergy. Although the death rate among the English clergy was as high as that of secular victims, the French clergy were not infected. The only difference in lifestyle was that the French consumed garlic.
But even after the start of industrialization, the triumphant march of garlic continued unabated. He followed man everywhere, even to the new world.
The garlic plant itself consists of the head, which in turn is divided into different cloves. An entirely new garlic bulb can be grown from a single clove of garlic. In addition, dark greenish-blue garlic leaves are formed, which, like garlic cloves and the skins that surround them, are very healthy and edible.
From the center of a garlic bulb, a round and green stem emerges, at the end of which, depending on the subspecies, white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers are formed, the seeds of which can guarantee the continued existence of garlic.
In addition to the fact that garlic is healthy, it thrives in many places and can therefore also be grown in the garden and on the balcony. It is enough to bury a single clove of garlic in well-fertilized soil and then wait for the new garlic plant to grow.
What nutrients are in garlic?
Among other nutrients are adenosine, ajoene, allicin, antioxidants, diallyl disulfide, iron, protein, flavonoids, fructans, Garlicin, germanium, iodine, potassium, calcium, Methylallyltrisulfid, nicotinamide, phenol acid, phosphorus, quercetin, saponins, compounds of sulfur, scordinin, selenium, zinc, molybdenum saponins, steroids, triterpenes, and terpenes. Additionally, vitamins A, B1-5, B7, C, and E . Still additionally, various proteins, enzymes, and fats.
But don’t be afraid of this list, because you don’t have to memorize it. The fact that garlic is healthy will be particularly noticeable when consumed. Especially because it is also very popular as a spice in addition to being consumed directly since it can be used to improve the flavor of dishes.
Health promoting properties
It is not just that it is generally healthy. It can also do much more than other remedies. Garlic also has an effect on improving the blood flow properties and strengthening the immune system.
In addition to the medically proven fact that garlic is healthy and helps against many things, it is also used in the field of body and beauty care.
With the right instructions, you can even make your own creams and makeup without the annoying odor. It is almost superfluous to mention that such personal care and beauty products also have health benefits in many other respects.
How garlic can help against cancer
The cancer-inhibiting properties of garlic are no longer only discussed but have now been demonstrated by a number of studies.
Sulfur compounds are said to be primarily responsible for garlic’s anti-cancer effects. The allicin conversion creates two fat-soluble substances: diallyl sulfide (DAS) and diallyl disulfide (DADS).
According to the knowledge we have today, these garlic sulfur compounds are supposed to intervene mainly in two of the processes involved in tumor formation:
On the one hand, it reduces the reactivity of carcinogenic substances and accelerates their elimination, so that DNA (genetic material) is less damaged. On the other hand, they can interrupt the growth of cancer cells and thus initiate their cell death through apoptosis. It counteracts the spread of tumors too.
The inhibitory effects for colon cancer, gastric and esophageal cancer, lung, and breast cancer have been demonstrated in a very concrete way.
Both garlic and green tea could serve as protective factors in this type of cancer. The scientists announced that they seemed to somehow offset the negative effects of typical lung cancer risk factors (smoking, eating fried foods, etc.).
Garlic preparations have also been used for a long time in the treatment of prostate cancer and benign enlargement of the prostate. The positive effects of prostate cancer are also justified by its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and general cancer inhibitor effects.
Garlic protects the liver
Garlic also counteracts the wear and tear of the liver by strengthening its cell walls and supporting the organ in its detoxification function, by poisoning due to heavy metals (mercury, cadmium) or mitigating the negative effects of alcohol consumption.
Already in the Talmud, it is written about it: “It makes the face shine, increases sperm, and kills small creatures in the intestines.”
No wonder garlic is traditionally used for intestinal problems (flatulence, fermentation processes, and cramp-like pain), as well as for colds and flu.
Allicin and the sulfur compounds resulting from it have germicidal properties by being able to act against all possible types of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites (bacteria, for example, borrelia, virus, fungi, amoebae, worms), without, on the other hand, beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Therefore, garlic can be called a natural antibiotic, which, unlike chemical antibiotics, promotes the maintenance of healthy intestinal flora. Since the intestinal flora makes up the majority of the human immune system, it also contributes to strengthening the immune system.
An intact intestinal environment also allows better absorption and usability of nutrients, which means that more “useful” material reaches the cells, which in turn benefits the entire organism.
Garlic against urinary tract infections
Research showed that aqueous garlic extracts could kill bacteria that had already developed resistance to antibiotics. However, since these bacteria can cause urinary tract infections, which affect millions of people each year, it is extremely important to find alternatives.
Garlic could provide the basis for such an alternative. And, of course, it can also be taken by anyone (other than D-mannose) who has urinary tract infections and wants to speed healing.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Traditional Chinese medicine, like many other naturopathic healing methods, confirms the aforementioned effects of garlic.
In general terms, the TCM classifies the different foods according to their flavor and their temperature behavior.
Garlic is classified as “spicy”. The spicy taste relieves stagnation of blood and qi (energy), expels external pathogenic factors (causing disease), opens pores, and induces sweating.
The behavior of the temperature of the garlic is warm to hot, that is, it is capable of expelling the cold that has penetrated and heating “the medium”. At the same time, foods with warm or hot temperature behavior allow blood and qi (energy) to circulate better.
This makes it even more understandable why garlic with its “warm and hot” combination is particularly suitable for treating colds and improving the vascular situation.
It is also understandable that it is not necessarily suitable for everyone and in all situations because of this combination of “warm and hot.”
The use of garlic is only indicated for those colds, flu infections, etc. that are not associated with fever.
Garlic prevents thrombosis and stabilizes blood pressure
The aging processes of the vascular system (arteriosclerosis) can also be slowed down with garlic. In addition, it improves the flow properties of blood, expands and relaxes blood vessels, and therefore contributes to the normalization of excessive blood pressure.
It also helps with a better supply of the brain and eye cells, which can help with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Ajoene is also a sulfur compound in garlic. It naturally dilutes the blood by breaking down the coagulating fibrin.
With the help of all these different substances, garlic can counteract blood clots and prevent thrombosis and strokes, in contrast to blood-thinning medications naturally and without side effects.
Allicin protects against free radicals
While its positive health effects can be traced back to the general compound of all ingredients, the sulfur compound allicin, in particular, is considered the substance to which garlic owes not only its odor but also its main effect.
Allicin is initially present in garlic in its preliminary “Alliin” stage. Only when the garlic cells are damaged by peeling, cutting, or chopping an enzyme called alliinase is released, which under the influence of air immediately reacts with the alliin present in the garlic clove. This reaction creates allicin.
Allicin increases the level of the two antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase in the blood. In this way, more free radicals can be trapped and damage to cell membranes can be avoided. This slows down the aging process.
As a home remedy for minor aches and pains
In addition to body care and beauty, you can also make garlic porridge by pressing it through a garlic press. Applied to the appropriate areas, this garlic porridge helps with headache and earache, athlete’s foot, insect bites, and warts.
If the minced garlic pulp is placed in vegetable oil and you leave it in a sealable bottle in the dark for two weeks, all you have to do is remove the residues out of the oil and then you will have good oil. This also helps against athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
A few grated teeth and combined with milk or lemons can also produce milk or tincture of garlic and lemon, which are used mainly for musculoskeletal pain (garlic milk) or for problems with the digestive tract (both variants).
According to the medicine of the medieval monastery, it is also said to incite love, which at that time gave it an extremely immoral image.
Garlic in the medicine cabinet
Of course, the use of garlic with all its healing effects is particularly useful in the medicine cabinet:
For cough, runny nose and hoarseness
At the first sign of a cold, keep a peeled garlic clove in your mouth until it is tasteless. Then spit it out and repeat the procedure two more times. Antibacterial agents enter the saliva and can be reabsorbed there.
Other remedies for colds and flu infections are as follows:
Alternative juice 1
Mix a crushed tooth with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey and drink this juice up to five times a day.
Alternative juice 2
Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic and boil with 4 tablespoons of honey in 250 ml of water. The juice should be chilled for 3 hours. Take 3 teaspoons daily.
Peel 3 garlic cloves, press and mix with 15 ml of rice vinegar. Take it at once. Then you must go to bed to sweat.
For bacterial diarrhea
Peel 1 bulb of garlic and cut it, boil along with 3 slices of fresh ginger in ½ l of water. Strain the broth and drink hot in small sips.
The garlic and lemon cure for arteriosclerosis
30 peeled garlic cloves and 5 organic unpeeled lemons, hot washed and cut, cut well in a blender, adding a little water if necessary.
Carefully heat this porridge with water (total, no more than 1 liter of water should be used) at 60-70 ° C. After cooling, pour lukewarm into a screw-top container and store in the refrigerator.
You drink a drink of this every day. The first cure for two to three weeks, then pause for eight days and then continue with a two to three-week phase. This execution can be repeated once or twice a year.
For sciatica and lumbago
Externally, garlic not only has healing effects on corns and warts but also on other problems. Possible application areas include ear infections, rheumatism, sciatica, and low back pain, headaches, lichen skin, and insect bites.
To do this, prepare a clove of pressed garlic and olive oil porridge and rub the painful areas with it before bed. Then, wrap a cloth over it and let it take effect overnight.
However, when used externally, you should be aware that it can cause skin reactions such as redness, burning, and even blisters with prolonged contact. Therefore, does it sparingly and carefully, just like for internal use.
Side effects and overdose
However, the fact that garlic is healthy does not rule out side effects. One of these side effects is the rather strong odor.
You can partially reduce this smell with milk or parsley, which, however, does not always have the desired effect when consumed in large quantities and especially when consumed raw.
Meanwhile, there are odorless preparations, but they also lack the ingredients that are often associated with this odor and often promote health.
Otherwise, there is basically no fear of the side effects of normal consumption. If very large amounts are consumed, sensitive people may experience stomach and intestinal discomfort.
As with everything in this life, everything in excess is bad.