“Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” – Paracelsus
I felt compelled to write my very 1st food or nutritional blog on the wonderful Mother Nature’s medicine for many ailments – Garlic. I have had a love affair with this earth bulb from the Lily family. In ancient Greece, it was called scorodon, thought to be derived from skaion rodon and said to mean rose puante, or “stinking rose.”
The Latin and botanical name for garlic as most folk know is Allium sativum. Other members of the lily family are:- onions, leeks, chives, scallions, and shallots. Garlic has been grown in every continent and has been grown for thousands of years!
It has even been recorded as far back as the Egyptians using it, in fact, they were crazy about it! Alliumaniacs. And I can completely believe this as it has such powerful medicinal juicy Immortality qualities. Instead of taking a solemn oath on the bible they swore on garlic ! It does n’t get any better than that! It was also found in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs and hieroglyphic records show that it was used to maintain stamina and strength. Even in the Egyptian medical papyrus, there were 22 uses for garlic, including headaches, worms, bites, heart problems, and tumors. And now years later we are coming to the same conclusion.
I think a lot of health advocates nowadays might swear on this bulb too! I certainly do even although I used to be renowned for reeking of it!! But as the Motto of the Washington D.C. annual Garlic Festival stated: “It’s Chic to Reek.”
It even has a Zodiac connection – it’s corresponding planetary ruler is Mars, and its astrological influences are Aries and Scorpio.
I have always had great faith in ancient Chinese Medicine. And they have used it in their medicine for many years too advocating it very good for cold dampness as it is said to have the nature of being pungent and warm. And only has benefit when taken uncooked! They say it has bactericidal actions on typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, diphtheria, and pneumonia pathogens. And it is a great stomachic. And also used for the lung conditions such as bronchitis and asthma clearing the catarrh (dampness) and infections.
However, because of the pungent and stimulating volatile oil, allicin, of this bulb in Ayurvedic medicine, it is referred to as Rajasic. And so are said to irritate or stimulate the body, mainly the mind creating unpleasant emotions such as anger or restlessness. This certainly is a factoid to consider if you are contemplating going on a meditation or some sort of spiritual contemplation type of retreat.
But all plants have their power to heal the body if they are used in the right amounts and for the necessary conditions. One plant can be toxic if used excessively, and a medicine if used in very small amounts. It is all about balance and knowledge of the plant and the individual.
Nature provides us with medicine from the earth so that we can use it wisely.
It is also seen as a safe and natural aphrodisiac, and I think this is what the Yogis may have been referring to when they talked about the stimulating effect on the genito-urinary tract!? And the amount needed for each individual varies from person to person as is the case for most of natures plants when it comes to dosages.
There are many varieties of garlic but they are usually categorized into 2 major groups by cultivators:- Hardnecks and Softnecks or Silverskins, the ones usually found in grocery stores. Then there is wet garlic which is the 1st crop of the season before it gets hung up and dried out. Then we have Wild Garlic is known as Ramsons, Allium ursine. This looks completely different -see photo just below. You can eat all the parts but it is usually the leaves that are used in salads and they make a great pesto sauce!
This is a garlic-some article on how to grow healthy chemical free gorgeous garlic for all you garlic lovers
Garlic is high in:-
Obviously, the quantity of these elements will depend on the quality of the soil the garlic was grown in.
It is also high in vitamin C.
It also contains seven of the essential amino acids but here are a mention of some of them:-
- glutamine – which helps in intestinal healing
- glutamic acid – a precursor to GABA ( reduces anxiety & stress & helps to reduce musculature tension. Glutamic acid also is a component of glucose tolerance factor
- lysine – which helps antibody formation
- valine – needed for the nitrogen balance in the body & helpful in inflammation
- tryptophan – a precursor of serotonin; helps in depression; mood stabilizer. It is also a neurotransmitter!
And because of these garlic ingredients, it has many fantastic medicinal healing qualities and is useful for many ailments or imbalances such as:-
- promotes circulation due to the vasodilation action of garlic and by helping to prevent the Rouleaux formation of the red blood cells which can help to reduce high blood pressure & increase uptake of oxygen and therefore increase energy levels. The health of the blood is the very core to our healthy being & longevity
- it detoxifies the blood and if the blood is too dirty then the person may find that they will suffer from uncomfortable body symptoms. Sometimes the blood has to be cleaner for the use of raw organic garlic and onions. For example, if there is too much sugar in a person’s diet & there may be dysbiosis then this is when the person may suffer from symptoms such as heartburn, nausea etc so preparation is all important
- In some case studies, it has been proven to reduce calcification of the arteries
- help with impotence –as it is an aphrodisiac and as already mentioned it can improve blood circulation significantly. Studies have recently shown that garlic in certain forms can stimulate the production of nitric oxide synthase (NOS )particularly in individuals who have low levels of this enzyme – which is primarily responsible for the mechanism of erection
- promotes sweating by increasing the heat in the body and circulation
- removes abdominal obstructions and stagnant food
- it helps to stimulate liver energy pathways by reducing dampness & creating a lesser of a favorable environment and therefore helping to stimulate the breakdown of unhealthy cholesterol – but cleansing the liver & changing the diet here is paramount to long-term of a healthy liver
- and therefore helps to regulate blood sugar levels too
- removes abdominal obstructions and stagnant food
- inhibits the common cold virus as well as viruses, amoebae, & other microorganisms associated with degenerative diseases such as cancer & AIDS
- eliminates worms, unfavorable bacteria ( Mother nature‘s natural antibiotic- see http://preventdisease.com/news/12/050212_Garlic-Proven-100-Time-More-Effective-Than-Antibiotics.shtml and yeasts including Candida Albans
- it has been proven to help heal stomach ulcers that have been caused by Helicobacter pylori infection
- promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora
- used for dysentery, pneumonia, tuberculosis, snake bite, Lymes disease, anthrax infection, abscesses & hepatitis. In some chronic conditions, garlic must be taken regularly for several weeks to initiate substantial improvement.
- It also eliminates toxins including poisonous metals such as cadmium and lead
- Garlic also contains methyl donor nutrients (methylation process in the body) which is beneficial to hormonal balance especially in women helping to get rid of the bad/toxic estrogen mimickers due to our polluted environment from things such as plastic bottled water, GMO soy products and so on. It is used for many conditions even ear infections with using a drop of garlic oil once a day.
- It is used for many conditions even ear infections with using a drop of garlic oil once a day
Garlic is used with caution in heat type conditions e.g. people with red face and eyes, the sensation of feeling too hot aversion to heat and a desire for large amounts of cold drinks and so on. Also if there are is any bleeding or severe inflammatory in the intestines. The Chinese say a large amount can damage the stomach and liver if used over a long period of time.
The flower of life…
The repellant of vampires…
The clove of health…
The bulb of bad breath..
The drug of choice…
There are many ways to prepare garlic as medicine from poultices to oils to juices, syrups, teas and so on. And dosage is all important too. different for each individual and disease or imbalance.If you are suffering from a chronic condition it might be wise to get professional help.
There is also Black garlic which is simply regular garlic that has been fermented for a month more for culinary purposes. The process that turns garlic cloves dark, changes their consistency into that of jelly and gives them a sweet taste. http://blackgarlic.com/
And if you are worried about garlic breath then take the natural Mother Nature’s breath freshener parsley afterward.
Garlic may be contra-indicated when taking certain medications such as the blood thinner warfarin and so on. So check this out. Remember garlic thins the blood and is fairly high in vitamin C.
Thank you to my kind friend Bindi Belle for lending me her bunched garlic photos from her allotment album on Facebook.
I had to share this recent link to how to peel a head of garlic in less than 10 seconds!
by Susan Laing
Love Your Liver Feel Alive on Amazon