For more than 5000 years, garlic has been valued for its healing properties and its ability to increase the body's strength and energy. The builders of the three great pyramids at giza in Egypt are said to have eaten garlic to rejuvenate their bodies after their back breaking work. Today garlic is though to help prevent heart disease, stroke and hypertension. In addition, its essential oils and other components have strong, antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral properties. Getting the medicinal benefits of garlic is easy, because it makes a delicious seasoning for so many foods. Add chopped raw garlic to cooked meats, poultry and vegetables or use it in salads. Immerse crushed garlic in oil for a dressing or pickle whole garlic cloves for a tasty condiment. Garlic can also be made into a salve to help ease neuralgia, joint pain, sprains, corns and other skin afflictions.
Help for colds
Fresh garlic mixed with honey is an effective home remedy for colds, hoarseness and inflammation of the throat. Use a garlic press or a mini food processor to crush 1 oz. of fresh garlic cloves. Mix the crushed garlic with 1 cup of honey. Let the mixture sit for 1 hr to infuse the honey with the garlic's essential oils. Store in a cool place. At the first sign of cold, take 1-2 tsp. of the mixture and then repeat every hour thereafter. Also, should the cold get worse, this remedy can be effective for relieving severe chest congestion and painful coughing.
The sulphur found in garlic's essential oil makes it patent disinfectant and a good defense for killing germs in the body. After garlic is ingested, it is absorbed into the blood stream and then diffused through various organs. In this way, the skin, intestines, lungs and urinary system all profit from the highly effective healing properties of the garlic.
Garlic is rich in essential oilsd, whose principal active agent is allicin. This compound is responsible for the characteristic odor of garlic, as well as for many of its healing properties. In addition, garlic contains calcium, selenium, potassium and zinc.
Fighting heart disease and stroke
Garlic lowers LDL("bad") cholesterol levels and raises HDL ("good") cholesterols, thus helping to prevent the buildup of plaque within the coronary arteries. It also helps keep blood clots from forming in the blood vessels. Both actions protect against heart attack and stroke.
Extra Tip :Eating a lot of garlic can give you bad breath and body odor because the essential oils are excreted through the respiratory system and skin. To lessen this effect, chew parsley, thyme or peppermint immediately after eating garlic.
- 5 or 6 bulbs of garlic
- 1 small gingerroot
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 peppercorns
- 3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- Peel the garlic. Peel and slice the ginger
- Place 1 qt. of water in a saucepan. Add the salt and bring to a boil. Add the garlic and simmer for 3-5 min; drain well.
- Place the garlic, bay leaf and peppercons in a small jar with a screw on cap
- In the same saucepan, combine ½ cup of water with the ginger, sugar and vinegar. Boil the mixture, and then immediately pour it over the garlic. Store the closed jar at room temperature for 1 week.
For intestinal Upset
Garlic's antibiotic qualities have been used to help treat ulcers. For best results, eat 7-9 cloves of garlic throughout the day, either with milk or spread on bread. This large amount of garlic is not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers.
For athlete's foot, warts, skin infections and acne, place a freshly mashed garlic clove in a piece of gauze. Rub it over the affected area.
- When buying garlic, choose solid, firm bulbs. The outer skin should be taut, unbroken and white or violet in color. Avoid bulbs with soft or damp spots.
- Store garlic in a cool, dry place, it will keep for several weeks. A ceramic garlic keeper is best for storage because it lets air circulate.
- Braided strands of garlic may look attractive but unfortunately most of the bulbs are likely to spoil before you get around to using them.
- Garlic loses its antibacterial effect when it is cooked or aged for more than 24 hrs hrs. Therefore some of the garlic you eat should be raw. Finely chop raw garlic to make it more palatable and eat it with other foods, such as salads.
- Garlic in oil preparations can cause botulism if not prepared properly. When you make homemade garlic oils, refrigerate them and keep them no longer than 10-14 days. Commercial products are safe when they contain an acidifying agent, such as citric or phosphoric acid.