garlic

Uses

Antibacterial and Antiviral

Garlic is most well-known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.

To treat skin infections

The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.

Blood thinning

The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. Hence, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.

Reduce blood pressure

Angiotensin II is a protein that helps our blood vessels contract thereby increasing the blood pressure. Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II and helps in reducing blood pressure. The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by the red blood cells. Hydrogen sulphide dilates our blood vessels and helps control blood pressure.

Protect heart

Garlic protects our heart against cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This cardio-protective property can be attributed to various factors. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch. Garlic may help reduce this and may also protect the heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. The sulphur-containing compounds of garlic also prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The anti-clotting properties of ajoene help prevent clots from forming inside the blood vessels.

Reduce cholesterol

Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol and reduce arterial plaque formation.

Combat allergies

Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory property. It can help the body fight against allergies. The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone.  Garlic has been show to improve allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis). Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop the itching due to rashes and bug bites.

Remedy for respiratory problems

Daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency and number of colds. Its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations. Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Its benefits in disorders of the lungs like asthma, difficulty of breathing, etc. make it a priceless medicine.  Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.

Diabetes

Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Effective against warts and corns

Applying fat dissolving garlic extracts to corns on the feet and warts on the hands is thought to improve these conditions.

Cancer prevention

Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of most types of cancer. This anti-cancer property is due to allyl sulphides found in garlic. PhIP, a type of heterocyclic amine (HCA), has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer among women. According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP into carcinogens.

Improve iron metabolism

Ferroportin is a protein which helps in iron absorption and release. Diallyl sulphides in garlic increase production of ferroportin and help improve iron metabolism.

Stir up passions

Garlic’s aphrodisiac property is due to its ability to increase the circulation.

Toothaches

Simply put some crushed garlic clove directly on the affected tooth can help relieve toothaches due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But be aware that it can be irritating to the gum.

Reduce weight

Many researchers believe that obesity is a state of long-term low-grade inflammation. According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body. Pre-adipocytes are converted into fat cells (adipocytes) through inflammatory system activity. The anti-inflammatory property of 1, 2-DT (1, 2-vinyldithiin) found in garlic may help inhibit this conversion. This may help prevent weight gain.

Precautions

Garlic is safe, but it makes the breath and sweat smell rather unpleasant. If it doesn’t make you odiferous, then it wasn’t very useful, since the smell indicates the presence of the healing properties.

To help reduce the odor, take a source of chlorophyll, such as a fresh leafy green vegetable or parsley, with garlic. Or take most of your garlic at night, then shower in the morning.

A more serious but rare side effect is spontaneous bleeding, either from taking too much garlic or taking it with blood thinner medications. Do not exceed the dose indicated above and do not take it with these drugs without consulting a natural health care professional. Garlic is safe for short-term use in pregnancy.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

Human studies report the use of 4-12.3 milligrams of garlic oil by mouth daily. Some sources report that steam-distilled oils, oil from crushed garlic, and aged-garlic in alcohol may be less effective for some uses, particularly as a blood thinner.

600 to 900 milligrams daily of non-coated, dehydrated garlic powder in three divided doses, standardized to 1.3% allicin content, has been used in human studies. The European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) recommends 3 to 5 milligrams allicin daily (1 clove or 0.5 to 1.0 gram dried powder) for the prevention of atherosclerosis. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 2 to 5 grams fresh garlic, 0.4 to 1.2 grams of dried powder, 2 to 5 milligrams oil, 300 to 1,000 milligrams of extract, or other formulations that are equal to 2 to 5 milligrams of allicin daily.

The European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) recommends 2 to 4 grams of dried bulb or 2 to 4 milliliters of tincture (1:5 dilution in 45% ethanol), by mouth three times a day for upper respiratory tract infections.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Safety or effectiveness of garlic supplements has not been proven in children. Garlic in amounts found in food is likely safe in most children.