What Makes Garlic Great
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — These are famous words by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates who is often called the father of western medicine. He actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions.
Garlic is one of the most common ingredients used in the Indian kitchen but apart from imparting flavours to food, this small, white pod also has immense medicinal properties. Used since time immemorial to treat various ailments, garlic is one ingredient in your kitchen that has a number of uses.
Garlic is also one of the food ingredients that unite world cuisine. It is also widely used in Indian dishes as a flavouring agent in various cuisines and this adds to its importance. In India, garlic has been an integral part of most home remedies and has been successful in treating various ailments.
Since garlic is easily accessible and available, its regular consumption in daily life is a blessing. Ills used in recipes like rasam, pickle, chutney, pulao, sauces, many non-vegetarian dishes, soups etc.
Garlic is low in calories but a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B 6 and also contains selenium and copper in sufficient amounts.
The Many Benefits Of Garlic
- Garlic contains a variety of potent sulphur containing compounds which gives it a characteristic pungent odour.
- It has medicinal properties because of the presence of a substance called aiIm’ which is an antibiotic.
- This vegetable (though it is seldom eaten by itself) is also used to treat digestive disorders of all kinds.
- The extracts from garlic can lower serum cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
- Garlic contains a substance called Ajoene which has hypotensive properties, making it useful in decreasing hypertension and also potent in killing tumour producing lyniphoid cells.
- Garlic has hypoglycemic properties too.
- This vegetable also boosts the immunity and stimulates the natural killer activity of the body.
- It even helps treat skin infections, so all you need to do is, apply some freshly extracted garlic juice from crushed garlic on the infected area, twice daily. Then wash oft the juice with water,
- Ajoene which is found in garlic, adds to its anti-clotting properties and helps prevent formation of clots in the body thereby preventing artherosclerosis.
- Being rich in antioxidants, garlic protects the heart from damage of free radicals.
- Consuming garlic on a regular basis can also help in preventing the chances of cold and flu.
- Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections.
- Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.
- Garlic also has anti-cancer properties due to the allyl sulphides it contains.
- Diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP (a type of compound that has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer) into carcinogens.
- Garlic’s antioxidant property helps to improve brain function by reducing the oxidative damage thereby preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- It is a good detoxifier as it protects the organs from damage by metal toxicity, especially lead toxicity.
- Garlic consumption by menopausal women signiticantly decreases oestrogen deficiency markers thereby helping in reducing osteoarthritis.
- The high sulfur content of garlic contains keratin which stimulates hair growth and fortification, Therefore, it is also useful in treating alopecia.