Garlic is an herb widely used as a flavoring in cooking. It has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases. The good news for garlic lovers is that it not only tastes great but it is really good for you too. There is historical evidence that garlic has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Many of the therapeutic benefits of garlic come from a powerful chemical compound known as allicin which is also responsible for garlic’s unique fragrance.
When we eat garlic or garlic extract, allicin enters your body via the digestive system and is then transported throughout the body where it gets to work in numerous beneficial ways.
Researchers now believe it involves the “allicin release,” thus dubbed because allicin is not present in a whole garlic clove. It’s only created when the garlic is crushed.
It’s this decomposition of the garlic that produces the acid that reacts immediately to neutralize free radicals. The reaction is faster than that of any other antioxidant.
Derek Pratt led the study published in 2009 in the international chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie. He explains, “If Allicin was indeed responsible for this [antioxidant] activity in garlic, we wanted to find out how it worked. No one has ever seen compounds, natural or synthetic, react this quickly as antioxidants.”
Garlic has amazing properties:
Treats Hair Loss
A head full of hair that smells like garlic could help in the treatment of hair loss. The herb’s extremely high sulfur content contains keratin; the protein hair is made of. This stimulates fortification and growth. A 2007 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology found the use of a garlic gel added to the therapeutic efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate for alopecia areata treatment can be effective to induce hair re-growth.
Minerals And Vitamins
Garlic is loaded with minerals and vitamins like manganese, selenium, vitamins C and B6 and fibre. Other than these, it also has traces of potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper and vitamin B1.
Boost Immune System
Garlic is surprisingly a good source of vitamins C, B6, selenium minerals and manganese all of which help boost the immune system. It also enhances mineral absorption in the body. However, garlic has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that strengthen the body’s defense mechanism and fights infections.
Several studies have demonstrated that garlic extract can significantly lower blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension.
One study published in 2013 actually showed that that garlic extract taken at doses ranging from 600 to 1500 mg was equally as effective as a commonly prescribed blood pressure medication called Atenolol.
The doses used in these experiments were fairly high and in order to get the equivalent amount of allicin from fresh garlic, you would have to consume at least 4 cloves of garlic each day.
Prevents The Formation Of Blood Clots
Garlic has a compound called ajoene. Ajoene has anti-clotting properties that help in preventing blood clots. Thus, regular consumption of garlic may prevent blood clotting and also keep you safe from risks of clotting post surgeries and cardiovascular diseases.