Garlic is part of the onion, chives, and leek family. It’s been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. From the ancient times through WWI, garlic has been used to treat the wounded.
During the 1920s, researchers at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland isolated garlic’s antibiotic compound, alliin, which has no medical value until the herb is chewed, chopped or crushed. Then an enzyme transforms aliin into a powerful antibiotic called allicin.
An another compound, ajoene, appears responsible for reducing blood clots.
Modern antibiotics are more potent and easier to take, but if you’re concerned about ulcers, use more garlic in your diet. Researchers at the University of Washington have shown that garlic kills H.pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers.
Garlic can also reduce LDL cholesterol while boosting the “good” HDL cholesterol. This can take two to four months to show.
It can also lower triglycerides and blood pressure. This can take from one to six months.
Garlic can also help with circulation and by managing cholesterol ensures that arteries stay clean.
It fights infections (external and internal), may help coughs, asthma, fevers, fungal infections, ear and sinus infections, and gastric upsets.
Raw garlic has the most antibiotic potency. Although it still has benefits, when cooked its effectiveness will be reduced by eliminating certain compounds .
Contraindications: patients taking anticoagulants, hypoglycemic drugs, those with allergies and pregnant women. If taken with diuretics it can result in hypertension or diuresis. People with gastrointestinal irritation should use caution.
Side effects: occasional hearthburn and gastrointestinal problems; may cause eruptions of the skin.
Mostly, garlic is very safe.
Eat anywhere from one to five cloves a day, or take about four grams of minced garlic a day. Try enteric-coated pills for best result, as they preserve the active compounds. Pills are also odourless. You need about 4,000 mg a day.