Foods that Heal: Garlic

Garlic.  This is one herb that you should absolutely have in your daily diet. It dates back 6000 years and has been used throughout history for both its culinary and medicinal purposes. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with an amazing array of healing properties. It has been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties that protect you against a wide variety of harmful, disease-causing microbes and organisms.

Garlic, known botanically as Allium sativum, is a species of the onion family called. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, and chive.

Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with an amazing list of healing properties: it destroys bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. The allicin in raw garlic has been shown to kill 23 types of bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus. Garlic also destroys viral infections such as chicken pox, measles, mumps, scarlet fever and others.

Garlic has been a popular remedy for the common cold, sore throats and coughs. It can rightfully be called one of nature’s wonders.  It can inhibit and kill bacteria, fungi, parasites, lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar.

The most potent form of garlic is fresh, raw.  Much of garlic’s medicinal value is related to its odor.  When the compound allinin is converted to allicin (when bulb is crushed), garlic gives off hydrogren sulfide, its gassy smell. This is why odorless supplements are not as effective, since the release of hydrogen sulfide is not present.

Here are a few of the many health benefits of garlic:

• balances blood sugar
• prevents the oxidation of cholesterol
• prevents the growth and spread of bacteria
• lowers blood cholesterol levels
• assists in fat metabolism
• reduces high blood pressure
• useful in treating digestive conditions
• exhibits powerful anti-cancer properties
• dramatically reduces yeast infections

Additionally, garlic is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, protein and thiamin, as well as minerals: selenium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper.

Garlic is very strong and eating too much of it can produce problems, for example, irritation or or even damage to digestive system. Also, some are allergic to it. It is not to be used in excess.

Alot of people ask if they will get bad breath from consuming raw garlic….

Here is how I take raw garlic:  chop it up (below) place spoonful on back of my tongue, swallow and chase it down w/ swig of lemon water.  I don’t chew the garlic, so there is no “bad breath” so to speak.

This is one herb to incorporate as part of a healthy lifestyle – not as an alternative to it. xo

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