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Garlic is a medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times for the purpose of healing as well as for its taste in all world cuisines. Belonging to Alliaceae plant family (onion family), it contains many vitamins and minerals. As an annual plant, it includes 33 kinds of sulfur compounds, 17 kinds of amino acids, minerals such as manganese and zinc as well as vitamin A, vitamin B vitamin E and plenty of vitamin C.
This medicinal plant with its antibiotic properties has antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic effects. Therefore, it has been proven to be beneficial for flu, cold, asthma, cough, bronchitis, tonsil, rheumatism and joints.
It contains high amounts of manganese and B6, sufficient amount of vitamin C, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and calcium. It has flavonoid compounds and amino acids known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Many benefits of garlic are due to a sulfur compound, Allicin (which gives smell and flavor to it).
Most of the researches investigating the effects of it on health are made with garlic supplements (such as garlic oil, powder extracts and capsules). According to the scientific studies, the main benefits are:
It has antimicrobial properties due to its sulfur compounds. Diallyl sulfide is effective in the treatment of intestinal infections caused by Campylobacter bacteria. Garlic extract inhibits the development of 7 pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. The allicin compound is also effective against malaria carrying parasites.
It has been proposed for the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and giardiasis, and in the prevention of drug-resistant microbial diseases. Garlic essential oil can be effective in eliminating microbes by disinfecting the lungs and bronchi. In the case of a splinter in finger, place a piece of cut garlic on the damaged area and cover it with a plaster. In the case of bites and bee stings, it is therapeutic to apply it to area. Garlic oil can also be used for ear infections.
It prevents the multiplication of fungal lesions and relieves itching. It is one of the most effective methods for the fungi nested especially under the nails.
Although it is recommended to use garlic in the treatment of vaginal fungi, the research does not support it. It may also be dangerous to put it in such a sensitive area.
Compounds such as allicin in it are very effective against cold and flu infections. In a study conducted on humans, one group received garlic supplementation, other group received placebo, and fewer cases of cold and flu were observed in people who received garlic supplement. Having a garlic drink which you boil a few cloves in water is very effective in the treatment of influenza. Its effect of perspiration is beneficial against fever and cough.
According to scientific studies,it helps reduce blood pressure in more than 80% of patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also proven to be as effective as Atenolol as a hypertension drug. The active sulfur compound DADS in it has the ability to reduce blood pressure. Therefore people with low blood pressure should not consume garlic! Also consuming it regularly increases the elasticity of blood vessels and reduces blood vessel damage caused by inflammation.
In a 12-month study conducted with high cholesterol patients who regularly use garlic, it was found that there was a significant decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It is also safer than cholesterol drugs.
It helps protecting osteoblast cells from any damage (bone cells that help produce new bone matrix). It lowers osteoarthritis levels, especially in women. The consumption of 2 grams of raw garlic per day significantly reduces the symptoms of estrogen deficiency in women during menopause.
Researchers have concluded that the enzyme called SAC in the aged garlic extract can be used in drug development to treat Alzheimer and dementia.
Garlic gel has been tested on people who use corticosteroids (a hormone secreted from the adrenal glands) in the treatment of alopecia areata disease, known as ringworm, and it could be beneficial to use it together with coconut oil. In addition, massaging the scalp with garlic oil can prevent hair loss.
It protects the skin from the effects of free radicals, and gives the skin elasticity by slowing down the collagen loss. When applied topically, it provides protection against skin diseases such as acne and eczema.
Many scientific studies have shown that it affects our genes and delays aging by preventing cell destruction in DNA sequencing. While stress, grief, inactivity can increase cell destruction, this herbal medicine reduces destruction.
Research shows that it has anti-cancer properties. According to different studies done:
Consuming one clove of garlic a day helps to lose weight. It helps to accelerate metabolism and remove toxins in a short time. For slimming down, you can make a tea with garlic, ginger and lemon.
Preparation: Boil water. Crush ginger and throw it in. Add peeled garlic after water boils and continue boiling it. After cooling it down a bit, filter it and add lemon juice for the bad odor. Do not have it for more than 15 days as a cure. If you have a chronic condition, do not use it without consulting your doctor.
Swallowing raw garlic facilitates digestion, increases the body’s resistance, gives energy and provides protection against cold. But swallowing on an empty stomach is not recommended. Gastrointestinal and digestive system patients should not consume it.
Most of the health benefits of garlic stem from the sulfur compounds that are released when garlic cloves are chopped, crushed or chewed. It is recommended to wait 2-3 minutes after crushing or cutting to take advantage of the enzymes in it. The use of raw garlic in meals is the most nutritious consumption method. Cooking leads to a decrease in the anti-cancer and antimicrobial potential of it.
It can be used to marinate red and white meats together with thyme and olive oil. It can be added to meals as a spice. Dry garlic can be grilled. It can be added to soups for flavor and healing. It can be chopped into tomato and yogurt sauces. It can be added to salad dressings with oil and vinegar.
Chewing cloves, chewing some parsley, drinking lemon juice and chewing a peppermint gum will get the garlic smell away from your mouth. You can rub your hands with raw potatoes to remove the smell from your hands or you can soak your hands in a bowl of lemon juice for 2-3 minutes.
To make black garlic, white garlic heads are fermented by heat treatment for 2 weeks. This process gives the garlic black color, and the familiar garlic smell disappears. It has a plenty of antioxidant properties. It is a source of energy, vitamins, proteins and minerals. Comparing to white garlic, it is more effective against bacteria, virus and fungus originated diseases. Black garlic can help regulate the stomach acid balance, has antiallergic properties, and is a natural protector of the stomach.
Preparation: Put 20 unpeeled cloves of garlic on a tray, add salt, black pepper and olive oil, then cover them with an aluminum foil. Bake them in the oven at 170 degrees celcius until they get brown. Heat the butter in a pot with olive oil. Add the chopped onion and flour, and stir them. Mix it by adding water. Take the garlic from the oven and peel the shells and add to the pot. Mix it with a blender, and boil it for another 5 minutes. Add the cream, salt and pepper and mix it again. After a few more minutes on the fire, remove it from the stove. Serve it with a sauce of red flake peppers fried in the oil.
Asthma patients, people who are undergoing surgery, and people who are taking the following drugs: