The Healing Properties of Garlic – Part 2

The Healing Properties of Garlic – Part 2

The Healing Properties of Garlic – Part 2

Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants. It is assumed that garlic originated from the desert regions of Kyrgyzstan, formerly known as Kirghizia. It is a landlocked and mountainous country in Central Asia. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the south west and China to the east. Healing Properties of Garlic

From there garlic goes to China, India and the Orient. The Orient means the East. Finally, it is spread in Europe. Today garlic is grown in many European countries, mainly the Mediterranean countries. Its Latin name is Allium sativum. “Аllium” means “garlic”, and “sativum” means “cultivated”. The plant grows from 30 to 60 cm in height but sometimes it can reach one metre. A greenish shoot grows from the white or violet bulb. When the garlic is young, you can eat the leaves, too but the most important part of the plant is the bulb under the ground.  It has from four to twenty oblong little bulbs which are a little bended and are called cloves. They contain the active components which make garlic a miraculous remedy.

Over 200 different substances can be found in garlic. There are vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, minerals and residual elements. They have been discovered by modern science. Garlic is one of the best researched plants and nevertheless, not all its secrets have been disclosed yet. As plants are natural blends of a lot of components, those components are extremely difficult to isolate.

In the 1930s researchers were firmly convinced that the medicinal effect of garlic is due mainly to its high content of vitamins and minerals. However, in more recent times more interesting and even sensational discoveries have been made. Scientists thought it was undeniable that the basic active component of garlic is allicin, a substance containing sulphur. In its pure form allicin is a greasy colourless liquid with the typical smell of fresh garlic. In metabolism allicin is transformed into many other products. Recently scientists discovered other components of garlic, too. Researchers did not suppose that these components could be contained in bulbous plants. The odourless and sulphur-free substances called allium-saponins affect not only the cholesterol level and blood pressure but also render some kinds of fungus harmless. Physicians have different opinions on active components of garlic. A considerable number of pharmacological and clinical tests have been carried out but the results are contradictory. There is agreement only about the hypothesis that the medical effectiveness of garlic is due to many other components unknown so far. It is quite possible that garlic has some more surprises for us to offer.

A cocktail of active substances

Apart from allicin, which has a proven medical effect, and allium-saponins, garlic contains vital substances such as:

  • Vitamin А (retinol), В1 (thiamine), В2 (riboflavin), niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins В 6 (pyridoxine), С (ascorbic acid), Д (calciferol), Е (tocopherol) and К (phylloquinone);
  • enzymes, among which allinase and coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), which is an element of the respiratory chain;
  • mineral substances and residual elements such as aluminium, barium, boron, chromium, iron, germanium, iodine, silicic acid, cobalt, copper, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc;
  • many substances which have a decisive effect on the processes of metabolism;
  • hormonal substances which are similar to male and female hormones.

 

How to “outsmart” the smell

If you have a severe cold, you should rub your soles with crushed garlic. If you have toothache, put one clove of garlic into your ear. If you travel, you can protect yourself from Montezuma’s revenge if you drink a juice made from fresh garlic. Montezuma’s revenge is the colloquial term for any cases of traveler’s diarrhoea contracted by tourists visiting Mexico. The name humorously refers to Moctezuma II, the ruler of the Aztec civilization who was defeated and slaughtered by the white Spanish conquistadors. It is said that whenever a white person has diarrhoea while visiting Mexico, he is suffering the wrath of Montezuma’s revenge.

If you have dark thoughts, they will disappear after you drink a cup of hot garlic tea. Inhale the steaming tea and you will cleanse your blood from poisons. Baked garlic stops gases. If you have haemorrhoids, you can put a clove in your rectum instead of a suppository.

Traditional medicine recognises a lot of possibilities to use garlic. The simplest way is to eat raw garlic. Then fresh garlic releases active substances at the most. If you want to be healthy, you should eat garlic every day. However, if people eat garlic every day, the other people begin to mock them that garlic will make them lonely because of the smell. Some people hate the smell of garlic and cannot eat it even if they know that it will help them as a remedy.

If you do not want people to understand that you have eaten garlic, here are some little tricks. Chew pieces of cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) or cinnamon, crushed cumin, or baked coffee beans. You can eat an apple, drink a glass of milk, and have some coffee or red wine. You can also take a tea spoonful of honey. Some people wash their teeth with salt or chew a piece of lemon to clean their mouth. They say that if you mix garlic with tomato or orange juice, the smell of garlic is much weaker. All these tricks have some effect but the smell is still there.

Why does garlic smell?

If you cut, crush or do something with the garlic cloves, the enzyme allinase contained in garlic turns the allin, which does not smell, into allicin which has a strong smell. This process of disintegration releases the strong smell and hotness of garlic. It is probably a kind of defensive reaction against pests created by nature. Allicin (thiosulphate) and its newly formed components, which participate in metabolism, create a very strong smell. To a great degree it depends on the way garlic is eaten, whether it is fresh, old, raw, or boiled; if it is taken as a pill or powder, a capsule or juice. Probably the best you can do is to try to get accustomed to the smell of garlic as it cannot be fully removed. You can also try to persuade your friends that garlic is very good for their health and the regular consumption of garlic can help them feel healthier and more vital.

The Healing Properties of Garlic – Part 1

More about the properties of garlic

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