All Posts tagged garlic

Garlic, an Important Part of Your Healthcare

Garlic is thought to work because of its antibiotic and blood cleansing properties.  As you can see from my previous post, it can help everything from cardiovascular health to cold and flu prevention.  In this post we’re going to go over some pointers on how to take garlic and some of its possible side effects.

Garlic is most potent, in terms of health benefits, when it is in its raw form.  Crushing or chopping it up helps to release its active compounds.  I have a colleague who will chew a raw clove whenever she feels like she is coming down with a sore throat.  Although this works well, not everyone may be able to tolerate chewing a raw clove.  If you are cooking with it, in order to preserve its health benefits, wait until the last 10 minutes of cooking to add it.  Make sure you don’t microwave garlic as this kills the active ingredients.  One good tip is to place a few cloves in a bottle of olive oil and then drizzle it over a salad.

For most individuals, garlic does not cause any serious side effects.  However people who consume it in large quantities may suffer from stomach irritation, heartburn, or flatulence.  One clove a day is sufficient to improve your health, and 2-3 cloves will help prevent a cold.  Garlic also appears to be safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In fact, two studies have shown that babies prefer breast milk better from mothers who eat it regularly.   Warning, due to garlic’s anti-clotting and blood thinning properties, people taking anti-coagulant drugs or who are scheduled for surgery should check with their doctor before taking supplements.

If you are taking garlic in supplement form instead of consuming the cloves directly, 600-900 mg/day is a good dosage.  Supplements can also help if you are concerned about “garlic breath” because you can purchase “odorless” supplements from most health food stores.  However, there is some question out there whether the odorless garlic supplements work as well.  When looking for a good garlic supplement at your local health food store or online, don’t go for the cheapest brand as it will have a lot of fillers.  Paying a little more is always a good idea. The best type of supplements is a gelatin capsules filled with garlic liquid.  They tend to be more potent, which means it delivers more pure garlic to your system.

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Garlic, From Heart Disease to the Common Cold

Garlic is good for more than just repelling people with your breath.  It’s actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat.  Its key medicinal ingredient is allicin, which is known to have wonderful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties.  So here are just a few of the health benefits of garlic:

Acne – Garlic can be used in conjunction with other treatments for acne.  Because acne can be caused by numerous things including hormones, diet, and stress, garlic alone may not be as effective.  However, it has been known to help kill the bacteria that that causes acne so it is a good addition to any acne treatment protocol.

High Cholesterol – Studies have shown that taking 600-900 mg of garlic per day lowers cholesterol levels and reduces arterial plaque formation by 5-18%

Antioxidant – Allicin naturally increases antioxidant enzymes in your blood.  It can also help against the damaging effects of nicotine and slows the aging process of your liver.

Anti-Bacterial – Garlic has 1% of the potency of penicillin and can ward off a number of bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, Candida albican, and Staphylococcus.  In addition, bacteria don’t develop resistance to it like they do antibiotics.  This benefit was first realized back in the early 19th century when English priests caught infectious fevers, and the French priests who ate garlic didn’t.

High Blood Pressure – Clinical trials showed that blood pressure can be reduced by 1-5% after taking garlic supplements.  This may not sound a lot but this small reduction can reduce the chance of a stroke by 30-40% and heart disease by 20-25%.  Another clinical study showed that people with high blood pressure who took garlic capsules daily for up to two months lowered their blood pressure levels as effectively as patients taking prescription blood pressure drugs. A suggested dosage is 600-900mg capsules once daily.

Sore Throat/Cough – Garlic’s antibacterial properties make it a wonderful treatment for coughs and other throat irritations. It may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections.

Diabetes – Garlic is considered to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the release of insulin in diabetics.  Therefore an effective remedy is to take one clove or one supplement every day.

Toothaches – Garlic’s antibacterial, analgesic, and anesthetizing properties can help cure toothaches. Simply put some garlic oil or a piece of crushed garlic clove directly onto the affected tooth and the gum for instant relief.

Warts – Garlic’s ability to fight infections and bacteria makes it an effective cure for warts and other skin problems.  Take a fresh clove and cut its tip off.  Rub the cut area of the clove directly onto the wart for a few seconds.  Repeat this each night before going to bed until the wart disappears.  If you feel any kind of irritation or strong burning sensation, simply rinse the area with water.

Make sure you join us back tomorrow for how to use garlic as part of your health care regime.

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