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Garlic

Since time immemorial, garlic has been recognized in almost all the cultures for its medicinal properties as well as culinary uses. This wonderful herbal plant, grown for its underground root or bulb, contains health promoting phyto-nutrient substances that have proven benefits against coronary artery diseases, infections and cancers.
This root herb plant belongs within the family of alliaceae, in the genus, allium; and scientifically known as allium sativum. It is believed to be originating in the mountainous central asian region, from where it spread all over the temperate and subtropical regions the world.
Allium sativum is a perennial herb and is grown by methods similar to those used while growing onions.
Fully-grown plant reaches about 50 to 60 cm in height and bears underground bulbous root containing about 8-20 bulblets known as cloves. The whole bulb itself is encased with several layers of white or mauve-tinged, papery-thin coverings.
Several cultivar varieties exist from extra-large elephant garlic to small sized solo garlic. Allium oleraceum or field garlic is a wild, tall variety commonly grown in the united kingdom. Unlike in onion, garlic flowers are sterile and therefore do not produce seeds. New plants generally are grown from implanting the individual sections of the bulb.
Allium sativum.applied externally garlic acts as a stimulant, rubefacient, and blister. Internally, it is often useful in diseases of languid circulation, and interrupted secretion. In cold leuco-phlegmatic habits it is a powerful expectorant, diuretic, and if the patient be kept warm, sudorific.
It is thought to be an emenagogue. But in cases where irritability prevails, large doses may be injurious. As a condiment, taken in moderation, it promotes digestion; taken in excess, it produces headache, flatulence, thirst, etcetera.
In fevers of the typhoid kind its virtues have had a good effect. It has succeeded in curing obstinate quartanagues. In catarrhal disorders of the breast, spasmodic and pituitous asthma, flatulent colics, hysterical and other diseases, proceeding from laxity of the solids, it has good effects. Sydenham says that he has known the dropsy cured by the use of garlic alone.
Cotton saturated with the juice, and put into the ear is good for deafness. Renew it several times a day. Applied as a poultice to the pubis, it has promoted the flow of urine. Sydenham regarded garlic as a powerful means of causing a derivation or revulsion from the head, applied to the soles of the feet. For this he used it in the confluent smallapox, about the seventh or eight day, after the face began to swell. The root cut small, and tied in a linen cloth, was applied to the soles of the feet, and renewed every day till the danger was over.
Garlic, is a low herb, which only grows up to sixty centimeters high. Its leaves are flat and linear, with bulbs that consist of several tubers.
This herb is one of the most widely used herbal medicines in the philippines and can also be found commonly in the kitchen of filipino households as it is used to spice up food preparations.
The philippine garlic or garlic variety is more pungent than the imported ones. Its medicinal properties have been known for a long time and have been especially proven during world war ii when it was used to treat wounds and infections of soldiers. Garlic's antibacterial compound known as allicin, saved many lives of the soldiers as this property prevented the wounds from being infected and developing into gangrene at a later stage by extracting the juice of garlic or garlic and applying to the wounds.
Garlic, sometimes spelled as garlic or in english, garlic is known as nature's antibiotic. Its juices inhibit the growth of fungi and viruses thus, prevent viral, yeast, and infections. The preliminary test conducted on this medicinal herb showed some positive results in the treatment of aids. Several clinical tests that followed and published studies have shown the efficacy of garlic in lowering cholesterol in the blood and is beneficial to the circulatory system of the body. Today, as more research is done on garlic, more medicinal and therapeutic properties become more evident. As of the present time, lowering of the blood pressure, reduction of platelet aggregation, and the boosting of fibrinolytic activities are among the list of herbal functions of garlic, which is supported by medical findings.
Although more clinical studies are needed to support the contention stronger, marked improvements in benign breast diseases have been traced to make progress because of the regular intake of supplements, of which the primary ingredient is garlic.
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Health benefits
Destroys cancer cells and may disrupt the metabolism of tumor cells, says karen collins, rd, nutrition advisor to the american institute for cancer research. "studies suggest that one or two cloves weekly provide cancer-protective benefits."
Strong flavored, garlic cloves contain many noteworthy phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that have proven health benefits. Total measured antioxidant strength (orac value) is 5346 amol te/100 g.
Its bulbs contain organic thio-sulfinite compounds such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide and allyl propyl disulfide. Upon disruption of bulb (while crushing, cutting, etc.), these compounds convert into allicin through enzymatic reaction.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting the hmg-coa reductase enzyme within the liver cells.
Allicinadecreases blood vessel stiffness through facilitation of nitric oxide (no) release. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels and thereby, bring a reduction in the total blood pressure. Further, it blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action inside the blood vessels. This function of allicin helps decrease the overall risk from coronary artery disease (cad), peripheral vascular diseases (pvd), and stroke.
Research studies also suggest that consumption of garlic is associated with a possible decrease in the incidence of stomach cancer.
Allicin and other essential volatile compounds also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities.
Garlic is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. The bulbs are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Selenium is a heart-healthy mineral, and is an important cofactor for antioxidant enzymes within the body. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
It contains many flavonoid anti-oxidants like carotene beta, zea-xanthin, and vitamins like vitamin-c. Vitamin c helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
Garlic cloves have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance)

Although controlled trials in terms of anti-cancer activities of garlic have been performed in medical research, it has been proven through population-based studies that substances contain in garlic help in reducing the risk of some types of cancer. These would include colorectal malignancies, and gastric cancer. Regular consumption of raw garlic has been proven to aid in many bleeding cases, especially those cases that are associated with procedures in surgeries and dental activities.
All these considered, it appears that garlic have no concrete scientific basis to claim a significant effect in the level of glucose in our blood. It is remarkable to note though that the philippine department of health has endorsed garlic as one of the top ten philippine herbs with therapeutic value and the department recommends its use as an alternative herbal medicine in view of the positive results of thorough research and testing, which had been conducted on this herbal plant.
Juice extracted from garlic bulbs can be used as tick and mosquito repellant when applied to skin.
Bad breath, due to the strong odor of garlic, is the most common side effect of taking this herb.
Fresh garlic applications to the skin have been reported to cause skin burns and rashes.
This goes true both for those who are in the initial stages of their garlic therapies, and those who consume it as an ingredient in food preparations.
Most households have garlic around in some form or another. Fresh cloves are always best, but powdered, minced and granulated forms provide excellent flavor. This is another one that goes into everything from eggs, to tuna salad, to baked fish for dinner. Studies show that just 2 fresh cloves a week provide anti-cancer benefits.

Medicinal uses
Good for the heart.
Helps lower bad cholesterol levels (ldl).
Aids in lowering blood pressure.
Remedy for arteriosclerosis.
May help prevent certain types of cancer.
Boosts immune system to fight infection.
With antioxidant properties.
Cough and cold remedy.
Relives sore throat, toothache.
Aids in the treatment of tuberculosis.
Helps relieve rheumatism pain.
With anticoagulant properties.
For disinfecting wound, crush and juice the garlic bulb and apply. You may cover the afflicted area with a gauze and bandage.
For sore throat and toothache, peal the skin and chew. Swallow the juice.
Cloves of garlic may be crushed and applied to affected areas to reduce the pain caused by arthritis, toothache, headache, and rheumatism.
Decoction of the garlic bulbs and leaves are used as treatment for fever.

For nasal congestion, steam and inhale: vinegar, chopped garlic, and water.
A dose or two of the juice of garlic may be taken in the morning for worms. An infusion of garlic, made of half a pound of the bruised roots to a pint of boiling water, two spoonfuls before and after every meal, for epilepsy.
Of the syrup of garlic, made of one ounce of the expressed juice, to 12 ounce of lump sugar, a tea-spoonful taken occasionly by children, for coughs, without inflammation. Of the milk of garlic, 2 drachms , of the bruised bulbs boiled in 6 or 8 ounces of milk, useful as a clyster for thread-worms in children.
Wine of garlic, three or four bulbs bruised and macerated in a quart of proof spirits, is a good stimulant lotion for baldness of the head.
If you are troubled with asthma, take a number of bulbs, and boil till they are soft; then dry them well. Put an equal quantity of good vinegar to the water in which the bulbs of garlic have been boiled, add sugar, and boil into a syrup. Pour the syrup over the dried bulbs, and secure in a jar for use. Take a bulb or two in a morning fasting, with a little of the syrup, and you will find relief. We are informed that dr. Bowles secured a large fortune by this remedy.

Culinary uses
"let garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes after chopping and before cooking so the active form of the protective phytochemicals develops," says collins. Saute fresh garlic over low heat and mix with pasta, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.


Notice
The information and reference guides on this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications