Herbs have been helpful since ancient times. They have been admired for their pleasant smell and how they add flavor to what we eat and drink. Above that, they are best used as medicines for common health conditions. One of these helpful herbal plants that we tackled was Elderberry (Sambucus nigra). It was concluded that elderberry has proven its benefits in fighting flu, colds and other respiratory issues. In this article, let’s talk about the equally beneficial herbal plant like Elderberry, the Garlic.
What is Garlic?
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a close relative of onions, shallot, and chive. It is a bulbous herb that was natively growing in Central Asia and northeastern Iran. Each bulb contains 10-20 cloves. Cloves are the segment of a garlic’s bulb. As history tells, garlic was mainly used for medicinal purposes in many major civilizations like Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Babylonians, and Chinese.
Garlic is already widely grown in any part of the world. It is considered as a common ingredient in cooking because of its strong aroma and pungent flavor. It has been used as a food seasoning and traditional medicine for thousands of years.
What Is Garlic Good For And Why Is It A Top Pick?
- Garlic has beneficial compounds for medicinal purposes. Scientists concluded that the health benefits from garlic are the effect of sulfur compounds when we chopped, crushed or chewed it. The most famous sulfur compound the are present in garlic are:
- Diallyl disulfide
- S-allyl cysteine
- Garlic has high nutrient content with very few calories. A clove of fresh garlic has:
- Manganese: 2%
- Vitamin C: 1%
- Selenium: 1%
- Vitamin B6: 2%
- Fiber: 0.06 grams
- Protein: 0.2 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
- Calories: 4.5
- A fair amount of Vitamin B1, Iron, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium
3. Garlic can protect you from illnesses, such as flu and common colds. Garlic has the ability to boost your immune system. Studies show that garlic can reduce the severity of colds and flu by 61-70% compared to a pill.
4. Garlic has active compounds that can lower blood pressure. It was proven in a 24-week human study that 600-1500 mg (about 4 cloves) of garlic extract was equally effective as Atenolol on reducing blood pressure.
5. Garlic has a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels that can lower the risk of heart disease. Garlic can reduce total or LDL cholesterol for those with high cholesterol by 10-15%. Study shows that it has no effect on good cholesterol.
6. Garlic has antioxidants that prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. High doses of garlic can increase antioxidants enzymes in our body and reduce oxidative stress for those who have high blood pressure. These effects can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
7. Garlic can help you live longer. The beneficial effects of garlic can really help you live longer especially to those top-killer diseases such as infectious and heart diseases, high blood pressure, etc.
8. Garlic supplements can improve athletic performance. Garlic was used to lessen the fatigue of laborers in ancient times. It was also given to Olympic athletes during ancient Greece. Therefore, garlic can enhance physical performance.
9. Garlic can detoxify your body from heavy metals. A study in a car battery plant which is known to have extreme lead exposure shows that garlic has the ability to lessen lead level in employees’ blood by 19%. It also lessens headaches and blood pressure
10. Garlic has a beneficial effect on bone health. A study shows that a daily intake of 2 grams of dry garlic extract can lessen a marker of estrogen deficiency to menopausal women. It was also proven that both garlic and onion have a great effect on osteoarthritis.
Tips And Procedure On Growing A Garlic
You can use garlic in various forms like flakes, powder or paste, but nothing can beat the experience of fresh garlic as it gives more flavor and nutritional benefits. It can easily be grown in your garden and even inside your house where you can put in your window seal or balcony.
Growing your own garlic is so easy and cheap. So here are some tips on growing one:
- Garlic grows best in mid-autumn or early spring.
- Sandy loam soil is great for planting garlic. It should be well dug and soft.
- Choose to plant the fresh garlic bulbs with large cloves.
- Water the newly planted garlic when necessary because garlic hates wet soil. Once a week is enough if there’s no rain.
- Start with separating the cloves from the garlic head. Make sure not to damage the cloves because if you do, it won’t surely grow.
- Choose the larger cloves to plant.
- Plant the clove in 2 inches deep, where the tips are pointing upward.
- Cover it with compost or well-rotted manure or grasses.
Garlic has proven its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Even scientific studies have proven it. It is also easy and inexpensive to grow.
There are numerous beneficial herbs that people are using for several years just like the elderberry, garlic, cayenne, etc. Cayenne is known as the king of medicinal herbs. Just like garlic, it is equally helpful for cooking and treating health problems. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of Cayenne pepper, we have prepared that helpful article for you
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