Garlic: The Stinkiest Medicine?

June 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm 1 comment

Versatile and delicious, garlic makes most entrees taste better: soups, salads, breads, crackers, sauces, spreads, wraps, etc.  One thing, however, is important to remember when eating garlic: make sure whoever you are sleeping with eats as much of it as you do.

In 1609, Sir John Harrington wrote in The Englishman’s Doctor:

Garlic then have power to save from death

Bear with it though it maketh unsavory breath,

And scorn not garlic like some that think

It only maketh men wink and drink and stink.

We all know the havoc garlic wreaks upon one’s breath and body odor.  This unfortunate aroma cannot be cured by a breath mint or deodorant – it literally oozes out of your pores until the culprit leaves your system.  I am here to implore you not to let this annoyance keep you from embracing garlic in your diet.  There have been more scientific studies on garlic than almost any other food you can eat (over 200 human studies and at least 800 animal studies) and the results are astounding, strong and consistent: garlic has magnificent healing powers.

Heart Troubles? Try Garlic.

  • Studies show that garlic lowers total serum cholesterol levels and increases serum HDL cholesterol levels (which protects against heart disease).
  • Garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure – specifically lowering systolic pressure by 8 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by 5 mm Hg in patients with high blood pressure.
  • Garlic helps to inhibit harmful blood clotting (aggregation) as it prevents the clumping of platelets and lowers fibrinogen – a protein involved in blood clotting and linked with heart disease.
  • Garlic promotes healthy blood circulation, specifically increasing circulation to capillaries.
  • In a 1997 study, garlic has been shown to help protect the elasticity of the aorta – which an extremely important thing to protect!  This can help prevent an aortic aneurysm.

Cancer Troubles? Try Garlic.

  • Garlic has been shown to lower the risk of cancers of the colon, stomach and esophagus.  The theory is that garlic’s sulfur compounds help to control carcinogens.  One study of 41,000 women showed that one or more servings of garlic a week was linked with a 35% decrease in risk of colon cancer.
  • Allicin and other substances in garlic have been shown to protect colon cells from succumbing to the deleterious and toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals as well as to actually stop the growth of already existing cancer cells.

Infection Troubles? Try Garlic.

  • Garlic has been called the “Russian penicillin” due to its antibacterial qualities.  Allicin is responsible for garlic’s antimicrobial activity, and has been demonstrated to be effective against common colds, flu, stomach viruses, Candida yeast, and also powerful pathogenic microbes such as tuberculosis and botulism.

Odor Troubles? Well…

  • Taking a long and hot bath may speed up the process of excreting the odor of garlic from the body.  Chewing on parsley, mint, basil and/or thyme may also help.

Many of the benefits of garlic are lost when it is heated – the raw form is the most medicinal.  Unfortunately the same substances in garlic that cause its foul and lingering odor are the ones that are largely responsible for its healing powers.  Garlic’s so-called volatile factors are probably responsible for its therapeutic properties.  These include the sulfur-containing compounds allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, etc.

Other Beneficial Substances in Garlic:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C
  • Good source of the minerals phosphorous, iron, copper, potassium, and calcium.

Although garlic does leave a rather unfortunate odor after it is eaten, it is incredibly delicious!  Here are some yummy raw recipes to help you include more healing garlic in your life:

Finally, here is a lovely short video on the benefits of eating raw garlic (complete with calming background music):

Much love to all the stinky people!



Entry filed under: Lara. Tags: , , , .

Cinnamon: The Yummiest Medicine? Let them eat cake!!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Frank Giglio  |  June 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Garlic, YUM!! My wife and i just moved to East Waterboro with a field of garlic which was planted last fall.. Also, we are planning a trip to Moosehead Lake in a few weeks, love to connect.. Blessings


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