Let Garlic Be Your Medicine!
Garlic is a plant in the allium or onion family. It is known worldwide for it’s ability to transform food into a delicious meal. I love to cook stir fry with it or chop it up fresh in a salad or main dish. Raw or sautéed garlic can add an amazing taste to your food.
In ancient history, however, it is most known for its medicinal uses. Garlic contains many nutrients that benefit the body and aid in supporting it through healing and prevention. I love teaching my clients how food can truly be your medicine! Garlic is a key food med to consume daily.
Garlic contains manganese, vitamin b6, Vitamin C, selenium, zinc and small amounts of other nutrients we need on a daily basis. It is truly a daily food to feed your body. Garlic is considered an antioxidant, antiviral, anti fungal, antibacterial, cancer-fighting and immune boosting food. Wow! That is a lot for a little bulb.
When garlic is chopped, chewed or crushed it releases a phytochemical sulphur compound called allicin. Allicin travels throughout the body once consumed and is responsible for the medicinal properties of garlic.
I have found that cooking with garlic is a game changer. Many people will use garlic powder, but I want to challenge you to use fresh bulbs of garlic to cook with or eat raw on a salad. The raw form of garlic will give you the most medicinal use.
Garlic supplementation may be necessary when fighting health problems. Below are a few places garlic are most effective medicinally. (Note: If you take anticoagulant medications such as Warfarin or Heparin, talk with your doctor before taking garlic, as it can increase the effect of some anticoagulants.)
1. Colds and Infections
In this study, aged garlic reduced colds and flu by 61%. High doses of 2-4 g daily can be taken to reduce severe cold symptoms. Since Garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties, you can eat 4-6 cloves of fresh garlic or supplement at high doses to help fight infections. Raw garlic chopped and left for 5-10 mins shows the most benefits of the allicin compound for usage in the body.
2. Heart disease, Blood Pressure and cholesterol
High blood pressure is a key driver of heart disease. Garlic has been shown to reduce blood pressure significantly. Aged garlic (600-1500mg/4 cloves) has been proven as strong as Atenolol. Garlic has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (not as much HDL) which has served in supporting those at risk of heart disease.
Garlic works to lower blood sugar. It also has other compounds with allicin that work to increase the amount of insulin in the blood making more insulin available to the body. This is especially helpful for those who are insulin resistant as discussed in this study. Diabetics often face other complications that garlic can serve. Check with your doctor but often fresh garlic or supplementation of garlic can be used along with medications to reduce complications.
Garlic is also responsible for detoxing the body. It is especially helpful with detoxing heavy metals like lead from the body. Garlic removes carcinogens and works to induce apoptosis. Apoptosis is the body’s way of getting rid of abnormal cells or unneeded cells. This has shown particularly helpful in cancer prevention. Cancer cells work to stop apoptosis and those abnormal cells essentially grow and thrive invading healthy cells. When the body can not eliminate the “rogue” cells of the body, you are at greater risk of cancer. Garlic has been specifically helpful with stomach and colorectal cancers.
Consuming garlic on a daily basis or even considering supplementing is an incredible way to get what your body needs to thrive. To learn more about the medicinal uses of garlic, see here.