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The Amazing Healing Powers of Garlic

For thousands of years, garlic has been looked upon as a natural cure for everything from the common cold to lowering high levels of unhealthy cholesterol, and for good reason. Although some find the smell of garlic somewhat offensive, the health benefits seem endless.

In 1858 Louis Pasture discovered that when bacterial cells were saturated with garlic oil, the cells died. Since then scientific testing has shown that not only is it a powerful anti-bacterial agent but that daily consumption of garlic can help the body in the prevention of minor infections and cancer. Garlic also reduces the risk of blood clots forming and causing stroke or heart attack.

The ingredient that makes garlic such a medical powerhouse is called Allicin, a strong smelling sulphur compound. The Allicin however, is not released until garlic is cut or chopped and loses most of its nutritional value when it is cooked. To get the most out of eating garlic it is best eaten raw or added to recipes at the end of the cooking process.

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Here are just a few ways that Garlic can keep us healthy.

  • Garlic helps to improve the immune system, allowing the body to conserve the antioxidants it needs to ward off germs and infection. This gives the body a better defense against the common cold
  • Garlic acts much like Asprin in its ability to thin the blood. Thinning the blood helps to prevent clotting, thus reducing the risk of heart disease, hypertension and stroke. .
  • Because of its ability to increase blood circulation, Garlic is helpful in many cases of impotence
  • Garlic lowers the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in our bodies.

Buying Garlic

Italian and Spanish garlic are the two most common types available in grocery stores. Italian Garlic has large white heads. Each head contains about 15 cloves and has a very mild taste. Spanish Garlic is a little smaller, contains more cloves and has a slightly purple tinge to it. Tahitian (Elephant Garlic) is also available but the looks are more impressive than the taste. Although the cloves are very large, the taste can be bland and the texture spongy. Look for heads that are firm and have a dry papery skin. Avoid buying garlic that has any green sprouts.

Storing Garlic

Garlic keeps longer when kept in a cool dry spot, but not in the refrigerator. Under good conditions, fresh Garlic can keep for months.

Growing Garlic

In order to get maximum results, Garlic must be planted before frost in the fall. It sets roots and then rests over the winter. The plants begin growing again in the spring and are usually ready for harvesting in late summer.

Interesting Garlic Facts

  • In the middle ages, garlic was worn around the neck to protect against werewolves and hung above doorways to guard against evil spirits. .
  • The Vikings ate large amounts of garlic before going out on expeditions, to boost their spirits and energy. .
  • Garlic was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen
  • European soldiers prevented infection by putting garlic directly on their wounds during World War I.
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  1. Wonderful and comprehensive article, Lane..

  2. Great info. Now I’ll add the garlic at the end of the preparation, rather than cooking it in.

  3. I love garlic, and it’s good to know that it’s so beneficial, as well as keeping vampires and werewolves at bay! :)

  4. Thanks everyone. I myself do not eat very many foods that I don`t add garlic to. I love it in any form and its an added bonus that it is so healthy.

  5. I love garlic but I usualy brown it in olive oil at the beginning. I will have to change that.

  6. Wow,I had no idea how wonderful garlic could be. It is very interesting that soldiers used to put in on their wounds. I had never heard that before. Great article!

  7. Good information. We have also worked out between us that we would be safe in the same room as we all like garlic.

  8. Lanne, I had a pastor who took his family camping each year, and prior to going they upped their garlic consumption because the garlic in your system helps keep mosquitoes away.
    You are quite right, garlic is fantastic, but mostly when eaten raw. Wonderful job. Thank you.

  9. Good article! They are now trying to say that garlic isn’t as good as we once though for antibiotic properties. I think they are wrong. We have used it for too many years with too many great results to say it is all in out head. I will continue to use garlic for it’s medicinal value and because my food wouldn’t taste the same cause I use it in nearly everything I cook.

  10. I use garlic nearly everyday. Very good and informative article! Darlene is right, my food just wouldn’t taste the same without garlic.

  11. We use plenty of garlic in our day to day cooking, but I am the
    only person in the family who eats it raw. It used to be very sickening and irritating in the begining, but now after 12 years,it has become part of the diet. 2 to 3 cloves alongwith the food or as a part of raw salad are sufficient for me. you can have a raw orange or fresh lemon with little water sometime after your food to counter the smell in your breath.

  12. I didn’t realize all of the health benefits of garlic. Thanks for the insight. It’s a good thing I’ve been eating a lot of it lately! LOL

  13. This article has been copied and paste from ehow.com. How poor this is ?

  14. Here is my latest article about the health benefits of garlic..

    Have a nice read, I hope you enjoy it.

    http://gomestic.com/cooking/health-benefits-of-garlic/

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