- Garlic Composition
- Medicinal properties
- Harm from use
- Cooking methods
One of the very first folk remedies that come to mind when symptoms of a cold, flu, or other diseases appear is garlic. It is placed on a par with lemon and honey, and is considered almost a panacea for many diseases. Let’s try to figure out whether this is true, what benefits garlic actually brings, and what are the contraindications to its use.
Garlic is a perennial plant, a herbaceous vegetable crop with a spicy taste and smell. In cooking and medicine, both the plant heads, and its flower stalks and leaves are used.
All features of vegetable culture due to its composition. A bulb of fresh garlic contains:
- Proteins, fats and carbohydrates;
- Vitamins of group B (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folacin), vitamin C and β-carotene;
- Macronutrients: calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus;
- Trace elements: manganese, iodine, zinc, selenium;
- Essential oil containing volatile and allicin, giving a recognizable taste and smell to the plant;
- Organic acids: ferulic, pyruvic, coumarin, caffeic and others;
- Alimentary fiber.
Not all the elements in garlic are listed here, but only in large quantities. Some biologically significant elements are present only in garlic cloves, others – mostly in green feathers (leaves).
The calorie content of this vegetable crop is 149 kcal per 100 grams of product.
It is a complex of vitamins and minerals that gives garlic healing properties.
- Increases immunity by activating immune cells. Garlic is a natural immunomodulator, as it cleanses the body, provides it with nutrients and their compounds, which have a beneficial effect on the immune system.
- Acts as an antibiotic that kills pathogens. Manifested properties in the Middle Ages, in the absence of drugs, used where possible. Garlic was treated for plague and tuberculosis, typhoid and dysentery. In the last century, during the war, juice of garlic was washed and treated with infected tissues and even open dirty wounds in order to reduce the risk of infection and suppuration.
- Antiviral effect , as well as a sharp smell gives the sharp vegetable component allicin. Doctors everywhere advise for the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory viral infections there is garlic (if there are no contraindications) and / or inhale its fumes, saturated with phytoncides. Allicin has an expectorant, irritating effect. Garlic also dilutes sputum, relieves inflammation of the respiratory mucosa.
- As a remedy for beriberi, garlic is still used in areas (or in conditions) with a scarce variety of diets: in the northern regions, in distant sea voyages. This is due to the rich bouquet of healing ingredients.
- In oncology, it is also used for prophylaxis – active substances inhibit the growth of diseased cells.
- As an antidote, garlic is used due to its ability to neutralize poisons and remove them from the body.
- For slimming, it became possible to use garlic because it contains iodine, therefore, it has a positive effect on the thyroid and the entire endocrine system, increases the digestibility of food and metabolism. Garlic does not have any fat burning properties, a slimming effect can be achieved only with a low-calorie diet in combination with sports, at least with morning exercises.
- Improves the composition of the blood with the help of the contained minerals, in particular iron. Reduces cholesterol, cleans blood vessels, normalizes the work of the heart. It is even used for the prevention of heart attack.
- A positive effect on the liver , restores its cells, enhances bile secretion, prevents stone formation in the gallbladder.
- Antiparasitic garlic is an herbal remedy for worms and other intestinal parasites.
- Garlic is considered an aphrodisiac , as it enhances sexual desire.
- For men’s health, garlic is one of the beneficial products. In addition to the properties of an aphrodisiac, it also reduces the risk of prostate cancer by half . Thanks to many of the above properties, garlic increases and restores potency , fights many infectious diseases that could be the cause of infertility.
- In home cosmetology, garlic masks are used for the disappearance of acne (black spots on the skin of the face), and to fight against hair loss on the head.
During the period of massive colds, it is necessary to begin the medical intake of garlic in advance, as a prophylactic, without waiting for the onset of the disease.
Harm from use
It is rare to hear that garlic, in addition to undeniable benefits, can have adverse effects. Everybody knows about persistent bad breath after eating garlic, but it is not dangerous for the body. For a healthy person, undesirable effects can occur only with excessive and frequent use of garlic. But there are categories of people who should eat it with care, or even abandon this sharp product, especially in its raw form.
So, fresh garlic must be abandoned to those who suffer from diseases of the digestive system. Garlic phytoncides have a high toxicity, after entering the stomach, garlic irritates its walls and increases acidity. Also, an excessive amount of garlic damages the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines. Unpleasant consequences in this case: heartburn, abdominal pain, nausea.
In small quantities, garlic has a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels, thins blood. But with such problems as ischemia, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, thrombophlebitis and chronic hypertension, you can eat garlic after consulting with your doctor, since blood-thinning drugs are usually prescribed for such diseases, and combining them with garlic is undesirable. The worst development in this case is the onset of internal bleeding.
Allergy sufferers that react to foods should be wary of garlic as a product that has aggressive organic compounds. It also happens that a person who is not allergic and previously calmly consumed garlic, at one moment begins to feel bad after taking it. Unpleasant effects of allergic reactions: diarrhea, flatulence, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, skin rash, swelling and, as a last resort, asphyxiation.
In home cosmetology, garlic is used as a means to cleanse acne, to fight acne, warts, papillomas, mosquito bites. Gruel or juice rub problem areas and sometimes leave for a long time, and then they are surprised that the skin in the treatment area swells, turns red and becomes irritated. To avoid unpleasant burns, the contact time of the skin and caustic mixture should not exceed 7-10 minutes.
According to some scientists, garlic adversely affects the brain. Sulfanyl-hydroxyl ion, a reactive toxic radical, is able to easily overcome the meninges and desynchronize brain waves. This leads to short-term distraction, inattention, reduced reaction, a weak headache. For these reasons, it is not recommended to take garlic to people of professions that require instant reaction and long-term concentration, for example, pilots and drivers before flights.
Garlic is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, canned, roasted, dried, boiled and fried. Consider some methods of its preparation and therapeutic combinations with other products.
Garlic with honey and lemon to enhance immunity . In the juice of 1 lemon, add the juice of two garlic heads, mixed with 500 gr. honey On the day, two times eat 1 tbsp. spoon before a meal.
Garlic with milk to strengthen the immune system . In a glass of preheated milk, add a few drops of squeezed garlic juice. Milk reduces the pungent smell of garlic.
Pickled garlic retains most of the nutrients, but is devoid of unpleasant taste and aroma. Marinating the plant can be as whole heads, and individual brushed cloves; both hot and cold brine.
Roasted and baked garlic also loses its specific smell and spice, partially preserving the vitamins and trace elements. Peeled garlic are chopped into thin petals. On a quiet fire, heat the pan, pour vegetable oil. When it heats up, put garlic pieces in it for 2 minutes, stir constantly. If the oil is very hot, then the vegetable will be immediately charred. Roasted garlic has a mild flavor, as such it can be eaten in greater quantities than raw. Roasted garlic can be put in any dishes – sauces, salads, soups.
Beets with garlic are prepared to cleanse the body. For salad take boiled or baked beets, at least – raw, garlic, usually – fresh. Grated beets with garlic are mixed, salted to taste, seasoned with sour cream or mayonnaise. You can vary the salad with nuts or dried fruits. With a low-calorie diet, a fatty dressing can be replaced with vegetable oil or low-fat yogurt.
Carrots with garlic are cooked with the same ingredients as beets, only carrots are used primarily in raw form. Carrots are known to be rich in vitamins and useful elements.
Raw garlic is not recommended to be swallowed whole, although some medicine men advise it to sick people. There will be no benefit from this. It should be chewed thoroughly, then a positive effect is achieved.
Dried crushed garlic contains the same elements as raw. It is added to any dishes, used as seasoning.
From the foregoing, it follows the conclusion about the indisputable benefits of garlic to strengthen the immune system, in the fight against colds, with beriberi. But for this you need to take into account the state of health and the dosage of a sharp vegetable.