If there was only one plant available to me for health and healing, this would be my pick! Why would that be? Well it is a plant with such a broad spectrum of options for both maintaining and building health as well as offering benefits during illness and disease.
It’s known for it’s constituents of: Organosulfur compounds which include; alliin (which is what is converted to allicin upon slicing/setting of whole cloves). Minerals (esp. Selenium, Chromium, Phosphorus) Vitamins (esp. B vit.) flavonoids and other enzymes. Upon a closer look at Garlic’s nutritional offerings you will immediately recognize why it is helpful for infections, parasites, cancer and many others. The component of Garlic that gives it the strong odor is the sulfer containing compound known as alliin.
Many people know about the use of Garlic as a substitute for antibiotics, made famous by its use during WWI. But did you know that the reason it was so common on the war field is because they had already discovered long ago, that it increases stamina.
Science has confirmed time and time again Garlic’s ability as an antimicrobial, antifungal, paraciticidal, antithrombotic, vasodilator, expectorant, digestive aid, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, hypolipidemic, immune stimulant, antitumor and circulatory stimulant. What do all those actions listed above mean? Well Garlic has proven effective in both gram positive as well gram negative microbes. It can take on virus’, bacteria and fungus as well as many parasites especially in the alimentary tract. While many drugs will kill off the beneficial bacteria of the gut leaving it vulnerable to imbalance and a host of issues as a result, Garlic is known to support the beneficial bacteria while dealing with any pathogenic bacteria present in the digestive system. Because the volatile oil of garlic is excreted via the lungs, it is the most outstanding remedy for respiratory issues of all kinds, to include influenza, bronchitis, colds, whooping cough. Because it eases bronchial secretions, many have found it of good use with asthma as well. The benefits to the cardiovascular system are vast and effective. It reduces serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels while at the same time raising levels of high-density lipoproteins. This means it reduces the bad stuff while at the same time increasing the good stuff! This is a huge benefit to those who would rather not take cholesterol controlling drugs. It is also good news to those with Diabetes because too much bad cholesterol and triglycerides is a common risk factor to the heart disease seen so commonly with Diabetics. Other benefits to the cardiovascular system are present because of the inhibitory ability of platelet activating factor (PAF). Atherosclerosis, thrombosis, hypertension, heart attack and stroke have all been attributed, in part, to the peroxidation of fats. Garlic is an extremely potent antioxidant. As well all know, antioxidants are the guys we need to deal with the oxidative issues in our bodies.
The broad benefits of Garlic are really more than can be covered in this brief report. It deserves a good looking at for sure. But let’s not overlook it’s safety issues in our excitement Garlic in high doses has a reputation of causing irritation to the digestive system including the mouth. A trial was conducted over a three month period in which participants were given a dose of the essential oil of Garlic equal to 60 grams of fresh garlic per day and no adverse effects were reported. Due to the possibility of this, Garlic should be administered at a lower dose and building up from there. A more likely issue with Garlic is that of its ability to potentiate the activity of anti-coagulant drugs such as Steroids and NSAID drugs to include Asprin. It should therefore be used only with great care in such people and should be discontinued 2 weeks prior to surgery and not used again until full surgical recovery is complete. While some nursing mothers complain that their babies will not want to accept their milk when Garlic use is high for the mothers, recent research has shown that babies actually nurse longer and are more satisfied by the milk of mothers consuming high amounts of Garlic.