Garlic Health Benefits – Medicinal Properties of Garlic

How Does Garlic Cure Disease

garlicSpiritually, garlic is considered as an energy force in certain cultures, for both the good and the evil.  Otherwise, most Indian recipes ask for the use of freshly grated or grounded garlic.  This is one ingredient that cannot be set aside or neglected while cooking Indian cuisines.  Garlic is a bulbous herb that is used mainly to impart its pungent flavor to cooked dishes.  But that is not all; it is also used because of the numerous medicinal qualities that it owns.

Garlic – Allium sativum – belongs to the lily family, with its close cousins being onions, shallots, chives and leeks.  This is a rather easy herb to grow, and cloves of garlic can either be eaten raw or in cooked form.  The individual garlic cloves also functions as seeds, with the bulbs forming underground.

Garlic contains sulfur compounds, with some being released only when cut or crushed; has amino acids, minerals and enzymes.  Of all the allium species, garlic seems to contain the maximum amount of sulfur compounds though.

To enjoy the health benefits got from garlic, this herb should preferably be eaten raw, for when exposed to heat, much of its powerful therapeutic effects are lost.

Antifungal and Antibacterial – Garlic has antifungal and antibacterial properties that inhibits the growth of these microorganisms, and thus used to treat bacterial and fungal infections affecting the body, both internally and externally.  Munching on a couple of garlic pods daily will take care of oral thrush, respiratory tract infections, etc., and when crushed and placed over infected skin areas regularly, will get rid of ringworm infections.  However, even with its antibacterial effect, it does not seem to interfere with the population of the healthy gut flora.

Anti-inflammatory – The sulfur compounds found naturally in garlic suppresses certain substances in our body that are known to induce inflammatory and arthritic responses within.  To be more precise, the sulfur compound named thiacremonone imparts the garlic’s anti-inflammatory effects.

Lowers Cholesterol – A certain sulfur compound found in garlic, called allicin, is the one found to have more powerful medicinal qualities.  It is this substance that is said to help in lowering total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  But when garlic is cooked, this quality is either reduced or completely destroyed.  Hence, consumption of raw garlic is found helpful in reducing cholesterol levels, particularly when taken regularly for a specific length of time (2-3 months).

Anti-Cancerous – The presence of sulfur compounds in garlic improves the function of certain enzymes in our body, which are involved in the metabolism of carcinogens.  This results in anti-cancerous activity, enabling the body to curb cancerous tumor growths.

Digestion – Garlic stimulates the secretion of digestive juices essential for a proper digestive process.  It also helps in forcing out intestinal worms.  With its antiseptic effect, garlic consumption will help in healing any wounds or ulcers that occur in the intestinal walls.

Garlic often is used along with ginger in equal quantities while cooking, not only to add more flavor to cooked dishes, but also to enhance the digestion process.

Garlic found effective in curing the following

Caution – Garlic consumed in large amounts can interfere with the blood clotting process, because of its anticoagulant effects.  This could in turn cause internal bleeding.  Also, when crushed garlic is placed in large quantities over the skin’s surface, it can cause ‘burns’.