Garlic is an age-old food condiment and medicine. It has been used for thousands of years in the Middle East, Egypt, India, and China. Soldiers in the ancient world were given garlic to build strength and courage.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, it is known as ‘the penicillin in the earth’, because of its healing properties. By the time of the second world war, garlic’s popularity as a medicine was recognized even by the British Government, who sent a shipment of garlic to the infantry to help heal the soldiers wounds.
The health benefits of garlic work best when the garlic is used raw, altough garlic used in cooking still has a beneficial effect on the health, starting with improving the digestion.
Some of the Health Benefits of Garlic are that:
- Garlic has a warming effect on the constitution.
- It encourages the production of digestive juices, thus it aids digestion.
- It is used as a medicine to avert colds, flu, and other viruses.
- It improves the immune system.
- It has been used in the past to treat whooping cough, and other chest and lung afflictions. In these cases, garlic would be taken internally, and also, warm-to-hot poultices of linen soaked in a strong infusion of garlic would have been applied to the chest, covered with warm blankets, and replaced every half an hour or so.
- It helps to combat diarrhea
- It contains protein, fats, and carbohydrate.
- It helps the blood sugar metabolism to function normally:
- This is partly due to the fact that garlic is high in Zinc, which helps to regulate sugar levels.
- Zinc and other minerals in Garlic help encourage hair growth.
- It helps to lower cholesterol and the blood pressure, which means:
- It is useful in helping to prevent heart disease
- Garlic is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic.
- It helps to eradicate intestinal worms and other parasites.
- When given to dogs, along with Vitamin B, it is supposed to be helpful in deterring fleas.
- Garlic has been used to treat insect stings and bites. It has even been used to treat snake bite in some parts of the world. I have read of a remedy which involved adding one’s own saliva to crushed garlic, and applying this to snake bite – though I would dare to try it on my snake bite only if there was no hospital nearby.