The incredible journey of garlic through our history touched every major civilization of the ancient world, but its true origins lie in West and Central Asia. This plant was identified by the ancient Indians who managed to domesticate it around 6 thousand years ago, based on their belief in its aphrodisiac powers.
Around 4500 BC, trading parties from India reached Middle East, where they introduced garlic to the ancient Babylon and Assyria, who embraced this plant and spread it across neighboring civilizations. There is evidence that suggests garlic was cultivated in China 4000 years ago.
The most notable records from those ancient times come from Egypt, where garlic was used regularly by both nobles, common people and slaves as food seasoning, medicinal ingredient, and offerings to their Gods.
Prized for its fortifying and disease-fighting effects, garlic was eaten by slaves, laborers, and soldiers in Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome.
In ancient India garlic was used to treat ailments such as arthritis, parasites, leprosy, and heart disease.
Even before the development of germ theory, garlic was used to ward of germs. In Europe in the Middle Ages, French priests would wear masks of garlic to protect against the black death.
Louis Pasteur, the French chemist whose discoveries paved the way for modern sanitation, recorded garlic’s antibacterial properties in 1858. Soldiers fighting on the Western Front in World War I and in the European theatre of World War II would use garlic to fight infection by bandaging garlic cloves on – or sometimes in – their wounds.
Garlic is known to have the ability to fight a wide range of bacteria such as E.Coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus Mirabilis, Bacillus, Clostridium, Neisseria, Pseudomonas, Shigella, Mycobacterium and Helicobacter Pylori — all potential poster bacteria for life threatening diseases.
The antimicrobial substance in garlic is called allicin, which is produced by garlic to defend against pests and predators.
Garlic – Antifungal, Antiprotozoa, Antiviral properties :
> It has a very effective antifungal properties against Candida albicans.
> It also has antiprotozoal against Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
> It also has antiviral properties. It kills viruses upon direct contact, including those responsible for viral meningitis, viral pneumonia, as well as herpes infections.
The Health Benefits of Eating Garlic are:
Wards Off Cough and Cold
Raw garlic has the potential to ward off a cough and cold infections. Eating two crushed garlic cloves on an empty stomach has the maximum benefit. For kids and babies, hanging garlic cloves in a thread around their necks is supposed to relieve congestion symptoms.
Good for Cardiac Health
Allicin, a compound found in garlic stops the oxidizing of LDL (bad cholesterol). This reduces cholesterol levels and improves heart health. Regular consumption of garlic reduces the incidence of blood clots and thus helps prevent thromboembolism. Garlic also lowers the blood pressure so is good for patients with hypertension. Read more on how to control high blood pressure
It is a blood thinner, which lower LDL, VLDL & total cholesterol levels.
> Its polysulfides promote the widening of the blood vessels & lower the blood pressure.
> It prevents & improves cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, thrombosis & atherosclerosis.
Also Read: 2o Essential tips for a Healthy Heart
Improves Brain Functioning
Garlic promotes brain health because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Also, read more on best brain foods to include in your diet.
Digestive problems improve with the inclusion of raw garlic in the diet. It benefits the intestines and reduces inflammation. Eating raw garlic helps to clear out intestinal worms. The good thing is that it destroys the bad bacteria and protects the good bacteria in the gut.
Balances Blood Sugar
Those who suffer from diabetes observe their blood sugar levels regulating on the consumption of raw garlic. Also, read 10 harmful effects of sugar
Garlic protects against free radicals and prevents damage to the DNA. Zinc in garlic promotes immunity. Vitamin C helps to fight off infections. It is very beneficial against eye and ear infections as it has antimicrobial properties.
Improves Skin Health
Garlic helps prevent acne and lightens acne scars. Cold sores, psoriasis, rashes, and blisters can all benefit from the application of garlic juice. It also protects against UV rays and therefore prevents ageing.
Read More: 7 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin
Prevents Cancer and Peptic Ulcer
After being digested, it produces hydrogen sulfide, which prevents a wide variety of cancer including, prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
One research from the Republic of Korea cites that diallyl disulfide (DADS) is the most prevalent oil-soluble sulfur compound in garlic, inhibiting cell proliferation in many cell lines. This proves that Garlic Oil Capsule helps prevent certain types of cancer.
Because of a high amount of antioxidants, garlic protects the body against lung, prostate, bladder, stomach, liver and colon cancer. The antibacterial action of garlic prevents peptic ulcers as it eliminates the contagion from the gut.
Good for Weight Loss
Garlic reduces the expression of genes responsible for the formation of adipose cells which store fat. It also increases thermogenesis in the body and leads to burning of more fat and lowering of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Fights UTI and Improves Renal Health
Fresh garlic juice has the potential to reduce the growth of E. Coli bacteria that cause urinary tract infection (UTI). It also helps prevent kidney infections.
Garlic reduces infections on wounds, promotes hair growth, bone health and liver health. Most of the home remedies are effective only if garlic is consumed raw.
Suitable for :
> People with high blood lipid & high blood pressure
> People with chronic infections caused by bacteria, virus or fungi
> People with cardiovascular diseases
> For cancer prevention.