Garlic is known to mankind since ancient times. The name garlic comes from garleac, an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "spear leek." It is native to central Asia, and has been used as a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. For over 5,000 years garlic has been used as food, medicine and an aphrodisiac. This pungent herb is one of the oldest cultivated plants. Garlic was known to Ancient Egyptians and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Builders of the ancient pyramids in Egypt were said to eat garlic daily for enhanced endurance and strength. Further, Chinese doctors used to prescribe garlic for men with intimacy problems. Garlic has been used as a medical treatment for various ailments from ancient civilization to date.
What is Garlic?
Garlic, also known as Allium sativum, belongs to the Allium family, including onion, shallots, and leek. It is considered as a "wonder drug" due to its ability of curing numerous human ailments. Garlic is one of the most valuable and versatile foods on the planet. The garlic bulb is divided into sections called cloves. Each bulb contains vitamins C, B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidants that make it highly beneficial for your health. Additionally, there is a compound, Allicin, found in garlic, which is a pungent oily liquid that gives crushed garlic cloves their characteristic smell. Allicin works as a powerful antibiotic and a potent agent that helps the body to restrain the ability of germs to grow and reproduce.
Garlic is one of the most common ingredients found in Indian dishes. Apart from imparting flavour to the food, this tiny, white bulb, 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. Today garlic is widely recognised as a health enhancing supplement. Consuming garlic promotes overall well-being of heart and immune system. One of the major health benefits of garlic includes its ability to enhance the body's immune cell activity. Garlic supplements are available in the form of powder, tablets and capsules to provide you the benefits of garlic herb without offering its pungent smell.
Numerous health benefits of Garlic:
Garlic for heart: As we age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch. Garlic helps in maintaining the elasticity of your arteries and also keeps your heart protected from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. The sulphur compound of garlic prevents the blockage of blood vessels and slows the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). The anti-clotting properties of ajoene, a compound found in garlic, helps prevent the formation of clots inside your blood vessels.
Reduces bad cholesterol level: Garlic, being an antioxidant prevents the LDL (bad cholesterol) from getting oxidized. This reduces the cholesterol build-up that can clog the arteries. Intake of garlic lowers our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol level.
For weight loss: Allicin compound present in garlic not only lowers triglyceride level in your body, but also helps in controlling weight gain. Researches have suggested various benefits of garlic for weight loss. Garlic detoxifies your body, boosts your metabolism and eliminates fat cells, thus helping you lose weight.
Maintains healthy blood sugar and blood pressure level : Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar level of your body. It also blocks the activity of angiotensin II, a protein that is responsible for increasing blood pressure, thus helping reduce blood pressure level of the body.
Combat allergies and reduces the risk of allergies and infections: Possessing antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, garlic keeps both bacterial and viral infections at bay. It helps control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections. Additionally, garlic helps in improving allergic arthritis as well.
Treats skin diseases: Garlic helps in relieving skin infections and provides a natural glow to your skin. It reduces acne, blemishes and blackheads thus keeping your skin clean.
Promotes healthy immune system: Having antioxidant properties, garlic keeps the immune system healthy by protecting it from the harmful free radicals. Garlic being rich source of vitamin B6 helps boost the immunity and the growth of new cells.
Garlic for hair growth : Allicin, an sulphur compound in garlic helps in treating hair loss. Addition of garlic extract in shampoo helps to keep your hair strong, prevents breakage and hair loss, while adding significant shine to your hair.
Garlic is a plant necessary in everyday life from past till the recent times. Containing effective components garlic ensures to maintain your overall health. After learning all the benefits of garlic, it can be definitely concluded that it should not be avoided as this wonder herb underlies the human health.