Garlic benefits: A powerful herb

Garlic benefits are known all over the world. It has been used, due to culinary and medical purposes, for hundreds of years, ranging from common cold and flu till cancer and heart disease.

It contains enzymes, B vitamins, proteins, minerals, saponins, flavonoids and other compounds which are responsible for benefits of garlic. These compounds include quercetin, allicin, allixin, sulfur-containing compounds alliin, ajoene, diallylsulfide, dithiin and S-allylcysteine.

However, the most well known compund is allicin, which is natural antibiotic with antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antitumor effects.

Allicin by itself, can be very useful. On the other hand, by eating raw garlic you'll get all of its powerful compounds into your system which the body will put to a good use.

Cooking reduces its effects and removes allicin. Allicin is formed by crushing or chewing raw garlic, so if you can, eat it raw.

GARLIC BENEFITS AND USES

  • High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis
  • There are scientific studies which sugest that garlic can lower blood pressure and treat atherosclerosis, by lowering levels of homocysteine in the blood and decreasing cholesterol. Some new studies question its effect on blood pressure and cholesterol. When it comes to garlic and cholesterol, in my own experience, it is one of the best herbs for improving cholesterol values. However, I ate it in greater amounts and combined it with supplements such as fish oil. It also decreased my blood pressure but not as much.

  • The heart protection benefits of garlic may partly come from the production of hydrogen sulfide gas
  • Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas can expand blood vessels and keep our blood pressure in check. Our body is able to do this because our red blood cells can take sulfur-containing molecules in garlic and use them to make hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Only raw garlic is able to provide this kind of garlic benefits.

  • Prevents forming of blood clots and decreases platelet aggregation
  • Coagulation is normal process which protects us from bleeding, in case of injury. Vitamin K is vital factor, when it comes to coagulation and blood platelets since it affects proces called platelet aggregation.

    This processes can become impared which can lead to abnormal formation of blood clots and eventually, heart attack. Garlic is natural blood thiner which reduces platelet stickiness and arterial plaque thereby decreasing the risk of blood clots and abnormal platelet aggregation.

  • Garlic stimulates production of nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels lowers blood pressure
  • Nitric oxide is primarily produced in the blood vessels, where it prevents fatty deposits from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. It also relaxes and prevents arteries from narrowing thereby increasing blood flow.

  • Besides heart benefits, garlic is also famous for its immune system and general health benefits
  • Garlic, besides allicin, contains more than 30 anti-cancer compounds and antioxidants which can decrease the risk of cancer, especially stomach, colon, lung and liver cancer.

    When it comes to other garlic benefits, it can be used for treating cold and flu. I mean, it can fight cancer, let alone cold and flu. It helps expel toxins from the body, while at the same time, boosts certan parts of the immune system which includes T-lymphocytes, macrophages and good bacterias in the digestive system.

    It can also stabilize blood sugar leves, by increasing the release of insulin in diabetics.

    GARLIC SIDE EFFECTS

    In most people garlic doesn't cause any serious side effects. However, some people can be allergic to garlic. Symptoms of allergic reaction are skin rash, temperature and headaches.

    The herbs is natural blood thinner, meaning, it can interfere with anti-coagulants such as warfarin or aspirin and cause bleeding. Eating garlic can be especially dangerous before a surgery and to pregnant mothers in late pregnancy.

    Besides bad breath, eating too much raw garlic can cause irritation or even damage of the digestive tract thereby nullifying all the benefits of garlic.

    CONCLUSION

    As you see, there are many garlic benefits which can be very helpful. Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular system, decrease the risk of cancer, improve blood sugar levels and treat cold or flu, garlic is a way to go.

    It is best when eaten raw. However, if you can't tolerate its bitter taste, supplements offer convenient way around the problem.

    Normal dose would be 2-3 cloves, per day. To avoid garlic side effects associated with bad breath, choose supplements or sip milk to significantly neutralize bad breath.

    Consult with your doctor before using or combining garlic with any medications, especially if you are diabetic, have heart disease, HIV/AIDS or you are taking some anticoagulant medications.





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