Garlic may give you bad breath, but when you consider its amazing health benefits, it may be worth the risk!
Garlic is one of the most widely prized and versatile herbs for use in both food and medicine.
People across many cultures have relied on garlic’s health benefits for thousands of years. Below are just four great reasons to eat garlic.
Garlic contains a variety of unique, sulfur-rich compounds that provide its broad health benefits (and its odor).
1. Garlic is an anti-viral. Eating garlic can help prevent and shorten colds, flus, bronchitis, and other viral infections. One study conducted during the cold and flu season demonstrated that those who took garlic supplements had 63% fewer colds with shorter duration.
2. Garlic is an anti-bacterial. During WWI and II, before the introduction of antibiotics, the armed forces used garlic to effectively prevent infections in wounds.
There is even evidence to suggest that fresh garlic can kill food-borne bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. And unlike manufactured antibiotics, bacteria don’t seem to be able to mutate to become resistant to garlic.
3. Garlic is an anti-fungal. You can use garlic to treat ringworm, athlete’s foot, and other fungal infections. Garlic is also effective against yeast infections and parasites.
In the case of fungal infections on the skin, one can simply apply the juice of fresh, crushed garlic or olive oil infused with garlic to the infected area once or twice a day.
4. Garlic is an anti-oxidant. A compound in garlic called allicin lowers blood pressure and cholesterol naturally. Ajoene, another of garlic’s powerful components, helps prevent the formation of clots in the blood vessels.
These factors make garlic good for the heart and help keep oxygen free radicals from damaging it. Also, the allyl sulphides found in garlic inhibit the formation of cancer cells in the body.
People take garlic to help prevent breast, colon, rectal, stomach, prostate, and lung cancer and to treat bladder and prostate cancer.
Take advantage of garlic’s healthful properties
To obtain these health benefits of garlic, you can:
- take garlic as a supplement
- eat a fresh garlic clove with meals two to three times per day, or
- add it to your favorite foods.
For applications that require allicin, fresh crushed garlic is best because this action releases and offers the most allicin. Many of the garlic supplements designed to eliminate the garlic taste and odor have processed most or all of the allicin out of them.
Fresh garlic offers a wonderful addition to salads, soups, vegetables, dishes and meats. One great way to introduce garlic into your diet is to create a salad dressing. Using a garlic press, crush a few garlic cloves and mix with extra virgin olive oil; add salt and other favorite spices.
Garlic is considered a safe herb, but it is strong, and if you eat too much it can cause intestinal distress. One clove of garlic equals approximately 1 gram. For medicinal purposes, a person may wish to take 1 to 4 grams of garlic per day.
And if you’re still concerned about garlic causing bad breath, let me leave you with this medieval poem:
Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, bear with it though it makes unsavory breath. – Salerno Regimen of Health
Yours in Health,