Garlic, nature’s medicine (allium sativum, a member of the lily family) is fairly easy to grow and offers satisfaction when one small clove will grow a bulb of garlic.
Check out my previous blog on how to roast garlic.
Following are the historical and traditional medicinal uses of garlic. Not meant to prescribe or treat any diseases.
Every heard of an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well the same thing can be said for garlic. “ A garlic a day helps keep the doctor at bay”
Few facts about the health benefits of garlic:
- Fresh garlic can prevent arteriosclerotic changes and blood thickening.
- Helps to normalized blood pressure
- Good for cardiovascular diseases, to help prevent strokes, and shortness of breath
- Garlic has been used for yeast, bacterial and viral infections, colds and reduces allergic reactions
- For a cough, grate garlic and mix with honey
- Helps with heart and circulation problems, 1-3 cloves of fresh garlic a day for about 3 months
- Garlic may help to reduce cholesterol levels and other fatty sediments in the arteries
- Use for sinus congestion, headaches, stomachaches, dysentery, gout and rheumatism
- Research shows eating garlic on a regular basis may prevent heart attacks. It renders the blood platelets less sticky, making it harder for blood to form clots, a principal trigger of heart attacks
- Garlic may lower blood sugar levels
- Treat toothache and earache
- Folk lore suggest using it to treat cancer
- Some of the cancers include, stomach, skin, breast, oral and colon cancer
- Garlic contains a mineral call gernanium, which helps prevent cancer cells from reproducing and the body to produce cancer fighting interferon
- In the past they used garlic to ward off the plague
- Garlic regulates the action of the liver and gallbladder
- It is helpful for all intestinal infections such as cholera, typhoid and intestinal bacterial
Now all this garlic does have a side effect, it can produce bad breath which can be helped with chewing parsley or fresh tarragon.
Following is a list of vitamins found in garlic:
- Vitamin c
- Vitamin b
- Vitamin b1
- About 17% protein
In both World Wars it was applied to the soldier’s wounds to prevent septic poisoning and gangrene. Garlic can cause some irritation to the skin when applied directly.
It was used for ringworm, acne, skin parasites, tumors and warts. The cloves are cut and the juice is applied directly to the skin. Oil of garlic can be used to lessen the irritation on the skin.
There has been some talk about garlic in oil and the fact it could mold. Keep all infused oils in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.
To make oil of garlic, peel fresh garlic (4 or 5 cloves), mash it and put it into a small jar. Cover with cold-pressed olive oil until all the garlic is covered. Close tightly and allow to set for 3 to 7 days. Shake daily. Stain, label, date, and store in the frig.
Some herbs are water soluble and some herbs are better in oil or alcohol. Garlic is one of those herbs that releases it essence in oil.
One of the benefits of garlic, it’s quite tasty and is great in almost any savory dish. Sauté garlic in oil and add herbs such as rosemary, parsley, oregano or your favorite savory herb. I even tasted a cake made with garlic at an herb festival. It was surprising good.
Almost any dish that includes onions can properly benefit from garlic. Just don’t let it burn, or you will have to start over. Burnt garlic is indescribable and you won’t forget the smell or the taste.
Depending on what part of the county you are from, some say add the garlic first, other say add the onions and then the garlic.
Check out my next blog on how to grow garlic with a few recipes included. Here’s to your good health.