What is Garlic
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a strong-smelling, pungent-tasting herb. It is a close relative of onionand is native to Central Asia. It has been used as a food-flavoring agent and as traditional medicine. Mankind recognized the curative qualities of this magic herb over 3,000 years ago. Sir Louis Pasteur, the scientist who discovered pasteurization, effectively utilized the anti-bacterial qualities of this herb all the way back in 1858. A report in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Research suggested that while one clove per day may bring a vast improvement in your overall health, 2 to 3 cloves could prevent an attack of the common cold. World War I medical surgeons also used the garlic juice as an antiseptic for treating war wounds.
Garlic contains useful minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron, as well as trace minerals like iodine, sulfur, and chlorine. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, it is a rich source of vitamins like folate, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C, A, K, and B6. In terms of organic compounds, it is one of the rare sources of allicin, allisatin 1, and allisatin 2. The herb is very low in calories, saturated fats, and sodium
Benefits of Raw Garlic
The health benefits of eating raw garlic cloves are explained in greater detail below.
Treats Cold and Cough
A 2014 paper published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews cited a study that assessed 146 participants over a three‐month period to ascertain the impact that garlic had on patients suffering from cold and cough. As part of the study, the total number of participants were divided into two equal groups. While one group took a placebo tablet, the other group took a garlic tablet at the same time. At the end of the study, it was noted that people who took garlic every day for three months instead of a placebo had fewer bouts of cold.
Garlic is an herbal ingredient for lowering high blood pressure. When exposed to high levels of pressure, the allicin present in it relaxes the blood vessels. It also fights against thrombosis by reducing platelet aggregation.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Raw garlic, rich in the allicin compound, effectively prevents LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidizing. All those who have high cholesterol levels should include this herb in their daily diet.
Boosts Heart Health
Regularly eating raw garlic cloves help prevent thromboembolism. This means they reduce blood clots and promote better blood flow. They also have significant cardioprotective properties which help prevent diseases like atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, thrombosis, hypertension, and more. Dr. Sanjay K Banerjee, Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences published a report in the Nutrition Journal that supports the proposal that garlic consumption has a significant cardioprotective effect, which includes both animal and human studies. However, one should keep a close tab on the proper use of garlic i.e. use of different preparations available, dose, duration and its interaction with generic drugs.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of raw garlic help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
Prevents Heavy Metal Poisoning
High doses of garlic can prevent organ damage caused by heavy metals. The sulfur compounds in this herb drastically reduce lead levels in the blood. Additionally, it also prevents the signs of toxicity such as headaches and blood pressure. Sulfur also aids in better absorption of iron and zinc in the blood. On the other hand, a 2012 report published in the Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology reveals that garlic is effective in reducing blood and tissue lead concentrations among human beings and animals alike.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Eating raw garlic cloves significantly reduces blood sugar levels. Thus, it is a boon to those suffering from diabetes or at a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Boosts Immune System
Garlic has phytonutrients that help reduce oxidative stress, and prevent DNA damage, thereby, strengthening your immunity. Furthermore, the herb reduces fatigue, as well as increases energy and longevity. A 2012 report published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines revealed a study that was conducted on rats to ascertain if garlic plays a contributory role in enhancing immune function.
It is rich in nutrients like selenium, quercetin, and vitamin C, all of which help treat eye infections and inflammation.
Relieves Ear Aches
This herb due to its antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties is commonly used for giving relief from earaches and ear infections .
Boiled garlic cloves are effective in treating asthma. Each night before going to sleep, drinking a glass of milk with 3 boiled cloves of this herb can bring subsequent relief for patients with asthma. The asthma attacks may be brought under control by having crushed cloves with malt vinegar as well. Additionally, they can also be used to treat lung infections like cystic fibrosis.
The herb has certain aphrodisiac properties, so it can be utilized as an effective rejuvenator for sex. The health benefits of this herb are further known to enhance the libido of both men and women. People who tend to overindulge in sexual activities should consume garlic to protect themselves from nervous fatigue.
Prevents Peptic Ulcer
The antibacterial compounds present in garlic can eliminate stomach parasites that cause peptic ulcers.
Garlic aids in weight loss and reducing obesity. It reduces the expression of genes that are involved in adipogenesis, which leads to the formation of fat cells. The herb increases thermogenesis, which helps burn fat and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Prevents Hair Loss
The herb helps in preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth. Regular application of garlic gel or garlic-infused coconut oil can also aid in treating alopecia.
Antibacterial and Antiparasitic Effects
Garlic extracts help treat Heliobacter pylori infection, tick bites, jock itch, and athlete’s foot. It also helps to eliminate tapeworm and ringworm.