The Medicinal Properties and Health Benefits of Garlic

Scientifically known as allium sativum, garlic is used mainly as a flavoring agent widely around the world. Garlic also has numerous medicinal properties that help prevent many health related problems.

This pungent herb has been utilized by people for thousands of years for both therapeutic and culinary purposes as well. Garlic plays a vital role in treating cardiovascular problems like increased blood pressure, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

It helps prevent liver problems, flatulence, intestinal worms, rheumatism, controls blood sugar, arthritis and fever and also fights against respiratory problems. It is also used to build immunity and treat bacterial and fungal infections.

Garlic gets its pungent smell due to the presence of a number of sulphur rich compounds. The compound allicin has many anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-fungal properties. Experts believe that is best to eat garlic after chopping or mincing it and letting it rest for a while.

Health Benefits of Garlic

Health Benefits of Garlic:

1. Control Cholesterol:

Consuming garlic regularly for two months helps in reducing LDL by 3-15mg/dl and total cholesterol by 11-23mg/dl in adults with dyslipedemia.

The anti-clotting properties of ajoene, a compound preset in garlic, helps prevent the formation of clots inside the blood vessels.

The sulphur-rich compounds of garlic also prevent the blood vessels from getting blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Garlic also helps protect the heart from the damaging effects of free radicals. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch and garlic can help maintain this elasticity.

2. Anti-Cancer Properties:

Garlic reduces the risk of different types of cancer. Garlic’s anti-cancer properties are due to the presence of allyl sulphides which inhibit the transformation of PhlP (a type of compound that has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer) into carcinogens.

2. Combats Allergies:

Garlic is full of essential compounds that help prevent viral and bacterial infections which causes allergy. Consuming raw garlic is also said to kill bacteria like e-coli and others that cause food poisoning in people.

It is also great in treating skin infections as it contains antiviral and antibacterial properties. Ajoene, the compound present in garlic, is also said to cure numerous skin infections.

3. Maintains Blood Pressure:

The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into hydrogen sulphide by the red blood cells that helps dilate the blood vessels and helps control blood pressure.

IF your blood pressure levels are of concern, there are natural alternatives to control it instead of using blood pressure medication that one can try after a consultation with a doctor.

Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II (a protein that is responsible for an increase in blood pressure) and helps in reducing blood pressure levels.

4. Good for The Respiratory System:

Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.

The daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency of colds. Also, its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations.

5. Controls Blood Sugar Levels: This herb increases the levels of insulin and regulates blood sugar levels in the body, especially in diabetics.

6. Beats Anaemia: Diallyl sulphides present in garlic increase the production of ferroportin (a protein that helps in the absorption and release of iron) and improves iron metabolism that is helpful in preventing iron deficiency and associated diseases like anaemia.

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