The Smelly Medicine: Garlic

by Jerem on July 1, 2013

Natural HealthGarlic has been known and used as a medicinal herb for a very long time. Even before the great pyramids of Egypt existed, medical papyrus from 1500 B.C. mentioned garlic as remedy for a variety of illnesses. Garlic is mentioned in 5th Century A.D. Greek writings as an aid to increase stamina and strength. Ancient literature from Greece, Rome, Babylon and Medo-persia all contain references to garlic as a powerful medicinal herb.

Garlic is a member of the lily family of plants and is related to chives, onions, and leeks.   The name garlic is derived from the words Gar, meaning spear, and Lac, which means plant. It is a reference to the shape of the plant’s leaf. When you open up a bulb of garlic you’ll find the fruit is divided into multiple smaller sections called cloves. Each clove is encased in a separate white membrane.

In the U.S. there are three main varieties of garlic. American garlic is a white skinned, strong flavored variety. Mexican and Italian garlic has a mauve-colored skin and a much milder flavor. The third major variety in the U.S. is Paul Buntanesque, another white skinned garlic and the most mild of the three. Other varieties grow around the world and are used both as a spice for food as well as a medicinal herb.

Members of the lily family are very powerful antibiotics and excellent disinfectants. Garlic also contains Vitamins A, B, and C as well as other minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, and especially sulphur. In every 100 grams of garlic there is about 67 mg. of sulphur content .

Garlic is called natural penicillin and was proven to be one of the best cure for the common cold and flu. It is also very powerful against sinus infection and tooth infection. Garlic also lowers blood pressure and aids digestion. It helps regulate liver and gall bladder functions. Garlic has anticancer properties, that helps the body defend against particular types of cancer like breast cancer, skin cancer, colon and stomach cancer. Garlic has also been shown to help developing fetus’ to gain weight.

Some cultures wear bulbs of garlic around their necks to protect themselves from sickness. As you know, garlic has a very strong odor, but that smell is a powerful air deoderizor capable of warding off many types of germs. Many folk remedies have used chopped onion and garlic rolled in a handkerchief and hung around the neck to relieve from colds and flu with great success. Chewing garlic cloves has been shown to lower blood pressure. And for fungal infections, garlic is sliced and applied to the infected skin for quick relief.

Garlic may be smelly, but has been proven to be a very powerful medicinal herb. Today there are many food manufacturers creating variations of garlic products that can be taken easily. However, just using the raw bulbs remains one of the most effective and efficient ways to get your garlic. Another easy method is to simply add it to your foods. Garlic is a favorite seasoning for many recipes and tastes great, so go ahead and add some to your favorite dish to make it tastier and healthier.

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