Garlic is a herb that is grown around the world. It is related to onion, leeks, and chives. One of the most important ingredients in all of the culinary arts, garlic nevertheless seems to defy or transcend, attempts to define it in any but the most literal of terms.
Garlic is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
A common ingredient for sautéing, garlic is an amazingly healthful and popular spice relative of onion, leek, chive and shallots. While a cooking favorite thanks to great taste, thehealth benefits of garlic have also been recognized and taken advantage of since the ancient times, showing countless individuals the compelling reasons to increase garlic consumption.
Garlic has been tried for treating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH), cystic fibrosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis, hayfever (allergic rhinitis), traveler’s diarrhea, high blood pressure late in pregnancy (pre-eclampsia), yeast infection, flu, and swine flu. It is also used to prevent tick bites, as a mosquito repellant, and for preventing the common cold, and treating and preventing bacterial and fungal infections.
Garlic has been studied not only for it’s ability to fight bacterial and viral infections, but also infection from other microbes including yeasts/fungi and worms. One particular substance found in garlic called ajoene has been used to help prevent infections with the yeast Candida albicans.
Other research has shown that crushed garlic can help prevent infection by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with burns.
And of course, garlic is great for boosting the immune system, containing high levels of vitamin C and being identified as a serious anti-cancer food. Because of its high potassium content, it can aid in absorption of essential nutrients, and help avoid digestive problems and fatigue as well. Garlic can also help in lung and throat problems due to its pungent smell. Since consuming garlic can irritate the digestive tract because of its pungent smell, a signal travels to the brain to release watery fluid in the lungs to counter the pungent property, thereby helping clear the lungs out of cough and colds.
Garlic is also used for earaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, menstrual disorders, abnormal cholesterol levels caused by HIV drugs, hepatitis, shortness of breath related to liver disease, stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori infection, exercise performance, exercise-induced muscle soreness, a condition that causes lumps in the breast tissue called fibrocystic breast disease, a skin condition called scleroderma, and lead toxicity.
Other uses include treatment of fever, coughs, headache, stomach ache, sinus congestion, gout, joint pain, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, low blood sugar, snakebites, diarrhea and bloody diarrhea, tuberculosis, bloody urine, a serious nose and throat infection called diphtheria, whooping cough, tooth sensitivity, stomach inflammation (gastritis), scalp ringworm, and a sexually transmitted disease called vaginal trichomoniasis. It is also used for fighting stress and fatigue.
Some people apply garlic oil to their skin or nails to treat fungal infections, warts, and corns. It is also applied to the skin for hair loss and thrush. Garlic is used in the vagina for yeast infections. Garlic is injected into the body for chest pain. In foods and beverages, fresh garlic, garlic powder, and garlic oil are used to add flavor.
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