GARLIC: Uses and Benefits
I call garlic the ‘healing herb’ and would describe it as a member of the onion family, its siblings being shallots, spring onions, chives and leek. Its scientific name is Allium Sativum. It is very low in fat and calories and is referred to as a herb that boosts all aspects of the human health. Garlic has a lot of nutritional, beauty and health benefits. Three cloves of garlic is said to be the equivalent of a dose of penicillin. Although garlic is mostly used in seasoning food it also has some domestic and medical uses.
What is the nutrition in garlic?
Garlic is the perfect source of almost all the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the body’s excellent health. It is low in calories and in fat. Garlic contains Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Calcium and Magnesium. Selenium in garlic – is an autoxidizing agent for the body. It is also a mineral for healthy heart.
A sulphur compound called Allicin is formed when garlic is chewed, and also when crushed or chopped in a garlic crusher. This produces the unique garlic smell that has a lot of health benefits. For this garlic press click here.
Raw Garlic Health benefits
- Heals colds – by adding ½ to 1 clove to your daily diet
- Boosts immunity – when chewed, chopped or crushed, garlic produces a compound called Allicin. This compound boosts the fighting ability of the white blood cells
- Detoxifies the body – 3 cloves a day
- Cleans heart blockages – A mixture of honey with garlic is really powerful in cleaning heart blockages
- Prevents gum disease – garlic inhibits the bacteria causing gum disease in the mouth.
- Prevents illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and dementia – a high dose of garlic such as 4 a day is required.
- Regulates blood sugar
- Regulates blood pressure – take 4 cloves of garlic a day.
- Boosts sexuality – Garlic works like a gentle and natural Viagra. It improves blood flow all over the body.
The Uses of Garlic
Garlic is packed in a number of ways such as powder, puree, capsules and is bottled for ease of use in various ways such as cooking, drinking, as supplements, as medication, in beauty treatment, as an insecticide and other domestic uses.
Eat and drink to be healthy
- Cooking – In cooking, garlic is best crushed using a crusher or chopped. Garlic is a great spice to use in cooking soups and stews. It brings out an excellent flavour when used in cooking meat, poultry and fish. Garlic is used in making dips, garlic bread, cooking pasta,
- Drinks – (a) A perfect garlic drink would be a mixture of Lemon, garlic, honey and Apple cider vinegar in water. (b) Garlic tea is available in tea bags or loose tea. (c) A slice of garlic can be added to any smoothie or juice drink.
Medical benefits of Garlic
- Supplements – Garlic supplements is a way to increase garlic intake they come in different forms such as powdered, oil or extract . The Allicin contents in supplements may vary. Powdered garlic supplements are not advised as they might not contain Allicin. Extract seems to be the best type of garlic supplement. Doses to be taken are from 600 – 1200mg per day.
- Antiseptics – mix 1/3 cup of water with one crushed garlic, use it to clean wounds to prevent infection. (Used the mixture within 3 hours). Garlic solution used on the feet 3 times a day improves athlete foot. Garlic oil extract dissolves corns.
- Antioxidant – Garlic contains properties that protect the body against free radicals that cause damage to body cells. Garlic has the ability to fight the bacteria of food poisoning.
For hair and body
- Hair treatment- Garlic is used to treat hair loss and hair growth. (1) Add garlic to your hair shampoos and hair creams transforms them into hair treatment herbs. (2) Crush about 8 cloves of garlic, extract the juice (1 teaspoon). Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with it, apply this mixture to your hair and scalp, and leave it in for 20 minutes and rinse. Do this 2 to 3 times a week. (3) Garlic shampoo, hair oil and hair mask are available to buy.
- Skin treatment – Garlic is used to treat skin ailments and prevent wrinkles. (1) For Acne and spots: Crush 4 cloves of garlic, mix it with ½ teaspoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of yoghurt. Apply as a mask on your face and wash it away after 20 minutes. Instead of raw garlic it could be 2-3 drops of garlic oil or ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. (2) For anti-ageing: Eat 1 or 2 cloves of garlic daily OR make a paste of ½ a tomato with 3-4 cloves of garlic, apply this on your face and leave for 20 minutes wash it off with warm water and then a splash of cold water.
What is Garlic good for?
- As an insecticide that Keeps mosquitoes and other insects away
Bad side effects of Garlic
Garlic is very strong and powerful. It should be used and consumed in small quantities. It can have some negative effects such as:
- Eating garlic especially eating it raw can cause bad breath smell and body odour.
- Heartburn, mouth burn and throat burn.
- Heavy consumption of garlic might cause Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, Gas or diarrhea
- Putting raw garlic on the skin could cause skin burn
- If you have a bleeding disorder, garlic could make it worse
- 60 seconds in the microwave will deactivate the Allicin in garlic.
- 45 minutes in the oven will deactivate the Allicin in garlic.
- Add chopped garlic to food towards the end of cooking to retain maximum nutrition and flavour
- Let your copped or crushed garlic stand for 10 minutes before cooking it
- Mix some milk with garlic in your mouth before swallowing, it helps control the bad breath.
- Chew some parsley or any green vegetable once raw garlic has been consumed to avoid the after bad breath of eating raw garlic
- Take ½ to 1 garlic a day.
- Always use fresh garlic and make sure it is not soft when buying it.
- One garlic clove is equivalent to 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- When kept dry, garlic can last for up to two months
To use garlic supplements click here