Herbs For Healing: Garlic
Allium sativum, or Garlic, has been used for thousands of years as a healing medicine, as well as a food condiment. It has a history as long as your arm, and in the last century much has been recorded about its use. It is listed in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia as an effective treatment for sinusitis, common cold, and upper respiratory tract infections. However, Garlic is also useful for many other infections and conditions.
Garlic is a powerful anti-oxidant which has the ability to neutralize toxins in the body and strengthen the immune system.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Louis Pasteur discovered the antibiotic effect of garlic, or allium sativum. Since then, garlic has been widely used in the treatment of infection: Albert Schweitzer used garlic in Africa to treat amoebic dysentery and cholera. Garlic was reportedly used on wounds during the first and second world wars as a preventative of gangrene.
Garlic has recently been found to be effective in treating ‘untreatable’ illnesses such as AIDS, which is a viral infection resulting from a suppressed immune system. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS, is another difficult illness which is helped by garlic. There are many viruses and conditions which do not respond to prescription antibiotics and other allopathic medicines, but which will often respond to Garlic, allium sativum.
The active ingredients of Garlic are its sulphur-containing compounds. The most important of these is thought to be Allicin. It also contains diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide, which are also sulphur-containing anti-viral substances. Allicin causes the strong odour in Garlic: Since this is the most potent anti-viral ingredient in Garlic, it is thought that using Garlic fresh is better than using deodorized capsules.
Garlic is capable of helping difficult viral conditions such as herpes simplex, coxsackie viruses, rhinovirus, influenza B, and Candida albicans. The healing compounds in garlic inhibit the growth of staphylococcus, streptocuccus, bacillus, Brucella and Vibrio, which covers all these illnesses. It is also useful for treating childhood illnesses such as chicken pox, mumps and measles.
In herbal medicine Garlic is made more effective for the treatment of some conditions when it is used in combination with other herbs, and other modalities. One of the herbs it is often used in conjunction with is Echinacea. Echinacea and Garlic together make a powerful anti-viral and immune-enhancing medicine.