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Garlic - A Very Healthy and Safe Herb

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:37pm

It seems that not a day passes without some new benefit of garlic being discovered. The ancient Egyptians actually worshipped the herb and fed it to their slaves to keep them fit and well.

Herbalists have long claimed that garlic was a good germ killer. In India, garlic is used to wash wounds and ulcers. The component that gives garlic its strong odor is the one that destroys or inhabits bacteria, fungi and yeast. Called allicin, its antibacterial action is equal to that of 1% penicillin. Allicin forms when garlic cloves are crushed, resulting in the potent smell and potent antibacterial powers.

Eating garlic helps:

*Garlic's volatile oils keep the lungs clear of infection.
*Act as a nasal decongestant
*Keep away colds

*Protects against heart disease….
*Lower blood cholesterol.

When researcher Dr. Arun Bordia was working in Udaipur, India, he noticed the near absence of heart disease despite the population's habit of dousing their vegetables with butter. He also saw that they ate lots of garlic and wondered if there was a connection. Bordia discovered that when research volunteers dined on butter, their cholesterol levels fell, providing they ate garlic along with it. Take away the garlic, and cholesterol levels jumped.

Garlic goes to work on cholesterol right away, but its overall effect increases slowly and takes two to three months to peak.

*Lower blood pressure.
The Chinese have long used garlic to treat high blood pressure and other cardiac circulation problems.

*Protects against blood clots.
The risk of heart disease due to deposits can be reduced by regular doses of garlic. It has been shown that the bad cholesterol is reduced, while the good cholesterol is increased after garlic is eaten. The stickiness of blood platelets (small fragments that cause a clot of form) is reduced.

It also slows hardening of arteries helps maintain their elasticity.

*Garlic helps with poor circulation, fatigue and headaches.

*Cancer Risks Reduced
A survey of 41,000 participants over age 55 by the Iowa Woman's Health Study determined that garlic reduces the risk of colon cancer, as well. Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York found that garlic's sulfur compounds probably slow prostate cancer by breaking down excess testosterone.

*Eating garlic or onion may even reduce the chances of developing cancer, particularly in the digestive tract. People in the Qixia region of China who don't eat garlic have a 1,000-times-higher rate of stomach cancer than those in the neighboring garlic-eating region of Gangshan.

*Improving immune function
Garlic stimulates the immune system by increasing activity of several types of immune cells. It even protects against genetic changes in DNA.

*Act as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent - Antibiotic action
Garlic fights off all sorts of infections, including those of the lung, sinus, bladder, and vagina, as well as colds and flu.

*Garlic improves digestion and reduces intestinal bacterial infection, even dysentery.

Garlic can also help the 500,000 Americans who develop stomach ulcers every year. The bacteria called Helicobacter pylori is responsible for stomach ulcers and inflammation and can lead to stomach cancer. Out of 30 herbs screened by the University of Chicago, garlic was one of the most successful to inhibit 15 different strains of helicobacter. Garlic also helps knock out intestinal worms and other parasites.

*Clear up boils and athletics foot fungi, because of the anti-bacterial properties
Note: When applying topically as a paste, do not tape in place because the oils can cause burns with chronic exposure.

There are many more health benefits from garlic. Medicinally, it has been prescribed since prebiblical times. It is a safe and effective herb, and tastes great!

Whole Food Nation uses garlic, check it out.
Source: Rodale's illustrated encylopedia of herbs., pg 215-217
Source: The herb & spice companion by, Marcus A. Webb – Richard Craze., pg 53 - 54

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