The Best Natural Medicine: Garlic and Its Amazing Healing Properties
Garlic (scientifically known as Allium sativum) can be classified as a herb mostly used in the United States for a flavor in cooking. Since the ancient times, garlic has been also applied for the numerous medicinal purposes.
Garlic: vitamins and nutrients
The majority of garlic health benefits can be explained by the rich nutritional profile of this herb. One clove of raw garlic contains the following vitamins and nutrients:
- Calories – 4;
- Carbohydrates – 1 gram;
- Protein – 0.2 gram;
- Fiber – 0.1 gram;
- Calcium – 5.4 milligrams;
- Manganese – 0.1 milligram;
- Vitamin C – 0.9 milligrams;
- Selenium – 0.4 micrograms;
- Small amounts of phosphorus, copper, potassium, vitamin B1, and iron.
The bottom line is that garlic has very few calories and is very rich in Vitamin C, manganese, and Vitamin B6.
10 garlic benefits for daily wellbeing
According to doctor Josh Axe, you may expect the benefits of garlic if you consume this herb daily. Garlic can be helpful in treating the following health problems:
Because of the high levels of allicin, garlic may effectively treat hair loss in men and women. You can try rubbing sliced cloves of garlic cloves on your scalp daily.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, garlic may successfully cleanse the skin from blemishes. For a topical acne treatment, you can rub a clove of garlic on the pimple.
Prevention of colds
Taking garlic capsules or 2-3 cloves of raw garlic a day may become your natural way of boosting the immune system and preventing colds. If you already have symptoms of a common cold, you can prepare a garlic tea with minced cloves steeped in hot water. After letting it steep for 5 minutes, strain the water and drink. For taste, you may add some honey or ginger.
For psoriasis relief, you may try rubbing a bit of fresh garlic oil to the affected area.
Some nutritionists, like Cynthia Sass, believe that eating a garlic-rich diet may help reduce weight and fat stores.
An old folk cure says that garlic can be good for removing splinters. Try placing a garlic slice over the affected area and cover it with duct tape to get rid of a painful splinter.
Treating athlete’s foot
Some recent research claims that there is a strong anti-fungal effect among the medicinal benefits of garlic. Thanks to this effect, you may try treating itchy athlete’s foot by soaking it in a bath with crushed garlic and warm water.
Because of antiviral properties, raw garlic can be applied to fight different types of allergens and allergies. For rapid relief from itching and rashes, try eating minced garlic daily.
Purifying your blood
For reducing acne outbursts and making your blood cleaner, consider eating 2 cloves of raw garlic every morning with some warm water. The consumed garlic extract in your blood can help cleanse the system and remove toxins.
Prevention of heart disease
The anti-oxidant properties of allicin in garlic cloves may be also helpful for people who need to lower “bad” cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of a heart attack. You may consume raw or cooked garlic for this purpose.
How can you eat and prepare garlic?
The first thing you may want to try is using garlic in cooking. For this, you can separate the herb into individual cloves. Garlic cloves can be peeled with a knife, a green sprout in the clove’s center is better to be removed because you may find it difficult to digest.
If you want to experience raw garlic benefits, consider chewing a clove right after peeling. Such way of eating can be beneficial if you need to consume allicin from garlic – this component may deliver multiple benefits to your health, including the protection from colds and boosting the immune system.
If you want to cook garlic, you may try chopping the cloves after peeling, then use a special press for making crushed or minced garlic. Roasted or baked garlic still preserves its flavor but its health benefits may reduce. That is why you may want to add the raw herb to your meals.
Also, you can try taking garlic pills which are sold in some drugstores and online. But, keep in mind that the benefits of garlic tablets and garlic supplements have not yet been proven by scientists.
A few serving ideas:
- Consider making a simple hummus dip with fresh garlic, tahini, canned garbanzo beans, lemon juice, and olive oil to snack on throughout the day;
- You may add raw garlic to sauces, soups, marinades, and salads;
- Consider making an herbal garlic tea for everyday use. You can mix the garlic water with 1/3 jalapeno pepper, 1 ginger piece, 1 medium-sized beet, 1 garlic clove, 2 carrots, 1 cucumber, and 1 lemon mixed in a vegetable juicer. Drink this juice daily to get all necessary garlic vitamins and nutrients.
Possible garlic side effects and risks
- When taken orally, raw garlic may cause a burning sensation in a stomach. Fresh garlic may also trigger bad breath, heartburn, bloating, gas, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and body odor.
- When taken in any form, garlic may work as a natural blood thinner.
- Garlic is believed to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, but only if a woman eats less than 2-3 cloves a day.
- When taken by mouth and in small amounts for a short period of time, garlic can be also safe for infants and children.
- Raw garlic may irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
- Fresh garlic may trigger a burn-like irritation in your mouth.
- If you have ulcers and low blood pressure, consider taking raw garlic very carefully.
- Consider using garlic with caution if you take these medications – blood-thinning drugs, birth control medications, cyclosporine, pills for HIV/AIDS, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Asthma patients may consider taking garlic with caution.
- Health care specialists recommend eating raw garlic daily, but no more than 2-3 cloves.
Most of the mentioned garlic benefits have been proven by numerous scientific research studies. These include the healing properties of this herb in preventing and fighting heart diseases in early stages, different forms of cancer, diabetics, and various cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s. However, in order to ensure your health, consider consulting a doctor before including raw garlic into your daily diet.