- other infections
- yeast infections
- high blood pressure
Garlic reduces cholesterol levels, has a blood-thinning effect, and is said to lower blood pressure. Known as a medicinal “food,” this intensely studied herb has impressive test results. Garlic is an antimicrobial, and according to the Herb Research Foundation, it was used by priests in the Middle Ages to protect themselves against bubonic plague (the powerful bacterial infection that was taking over the European countryside).
Heat (cooking) destroys the allicin in garlic. Allicin, sometimes called nature’s penicillin, is the antibiotic component that kills bacteria and many viruses. So to receive the medicinal properties of garlic, it must be eaten raw (one or two cloves equal one dose), or in liquid or pill form. Eating raw garlic is a great way to infuse your system with garlic’s healing properties. I love garlic, but eating it raw as a medicine isn’t my cup of tea.
There are several brands of garlic pills out on the market that are coated in a way so the allicin (the odor-producing component) digests in the small intestines. Broken down there, you get none (or hardly any) of the bad breath side effects, and your immune system gets all the medicinal benefits. So never fear, science has come up with a solution to the problem of garlic breath. If you choose to eat garlic raw, eat a few stems of parsley (a natural breath freshener), or put a drop of essential oil of peppermint on your tongue to help alleviate garlic breath.
I’ve included the following information from The How To Herb Book—my favorite herb book of all time. It is reprinted with permission.
Garlic is called nature’s antibiotic. It contains allicin, a natural antibiotic. One milligram of allicin has a potency of 15 standard units of penicillin. It is effective against toxic bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Garlic contains more germanium, an anticancer agent, than any other herb. In tests with mice and rats, garlic-fed groups developed no cancer—where nongarlic-fed groups developed some cancers. In Russia, garlic was found to retard tumor growth in humans.
- is active against staphylococcus and E. coli bacteria.
- is good to take for all diseases (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer) including contagious diseases.
- protects against infection.
- has detoxifying effects on all the body systems.
- improves, tones, and strengthens the entire physical condition. Has a rejuvenating effects on all cells.
- builds endurance and energy.
- strengthens body defenses against allergens.
- has soft oils that help to emulsify plaque and loosen it from arterial walls.
- contains selenium, which helps arteriosclerosis.
- strengthens blood vessels.
- equalizes blood vessels.
- equalizes blood pressure, high or low.
- has a sugar-regulating factor.
- taken internally is one of the most effective herbs for killing and expelling parasites.
- is used in enemas. Besides being used as straight garlic enema, it is excellent to combine with catnip for a catnip/garlic enema. The catnip pulls mucus and soothes the cramping of the colon, etc. The garlic kills the germs and parasites, improves peristaltic action, and also pulls mucus.
- contains protein, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, B, B2, and C, calcium, sulfur, selenium, germanium, allicin, allicetoin I and II, aluminum, chlorine, manganese, zinc, copper, and iron.
As you can see, garlic is loaded with health benefits, especially if you are trying to fight something off. I don’t take garlic every day, but I do always have it on hand if I’ve been around someone who is sick or if I feel I’m coming down with something. Taken early, I find it keeps me healthy and well with my immune system strengthened.
For more information, see:
- Emergen-C—a little effervescence for your health
- Echinacea to keep (or get) you well
- Help for a winter (or any time) cold