Garlic is the common name of the plant Allium sativa, closely related to onions, shallots, leeks and chives. Modern research confirms Garlics significant immune boosting and cardio-protective effects.
Garlic is the common name of the plant Allium sativa, closely related to onions, shallots, leeks and chives. Originally from central Asia and with a history dating back 6000 years, its culinary and medicinal use spread to the ancient cultures clustered around the Mediterranean, such as Egypt and Greece, centuries ago.
With a distinctive pungent odour due to its many sulphur compounds, garlic has a reputation as ‘nature’s antibiotic’ and is a highly effective broad spectrum anti-microbial against bacteria, viruses, worms and fungi.
Garlic was used by the ancients to treat intestinal, digestive, respiratory and low energy complaints. Modern research confirms its significant immune boosting and cardio-protective effects. With high concentrations of the trace mineral selenium, garlic is also a potent antioxidant.
Specifically, garlic reduces the risk of blood clots by inhibiting platelet aggregation in arteries and thinning the blood, increasing its flow. It helps the body maintain normal cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure.
Garlic’s strong immune protective action helps control most microbial outbreaks including colds, flu, ENT infections, genital herpes, candidiasis and tinia. Studies also indicate an anti-neoplastic effect with garlic intake contributing to decreased risk of some cancers.
Garlic Side Effects and Contraindications
Garlic’s pungent smell can be obvious on the breath, skin and sweat when consumed in large amounts. Parsley is nature’s answer to ‘garlic breath’, neutralising the smell when they are consumed together. Consuming large amounts can cause gastrointestinal upsets. Raw garlic applied topically has caused allergic dermatitis, burning and blisters in some reported cases. Caution is needed if taking anticoagulant medication because of garlic’s anti-clotting action. Culinary quantities are safe to consume and supplements taken as directed are also safe.