Garlic

Health benefits of Garlic

 

Strong flavored, garlic cloves contain many noteworthy phyto-nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that have proven health benefits. Total measured antioxidant strength (ORAC value) is 5346 µmol TE/100 g.
Its bulbs contain organic thio-sulfinite compounds such as diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide and allyl propyl disulfide. Upon disruption of bulb (while crushing, cutting, etc.), these compounds convert intoallicin through enzymatic reaction.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductaseenzyme within the liver cells.
Allicin decreases blood vessel stiffness through facilitation of nitric oxide (NO) release. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels and thereby, bring a reduction in the total blood pressure. Further, it blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action inside the blood vessels. This function of allicin helps decrease the overall risk from coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Research studies also suggest that consumption of garlic is associated with a possible decrease in the incidence of stomach cancer.
Allicin and other essential volatile compounds also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities.
Garlic is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. The bulbs are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Selenium is a heart-healthy mineral, and is an important cofactor for antioxidant enzymes within the body. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
It contains many flavonoid anti-oxidants like carotene beta, zea-xanthin, and vitamins like vitamin-C. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.


Garlic cloves have amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals. Just 100 g provides (in % of recommended daily allowance)

95% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), 
52% of vitamin C, 
33% of copper, 
21% of iron, 
18% of calcium, 
26% Selenium, and 
73% of manganese 
but no cholesterol.

 

Medicinal uses

 

This herb has been used since long time in many traditional Indian and Chinese medicines as a remedy for cold, cough, bronchitis, etc.
Garlic oil has been used as a local applicant for "ring worm" (fungal dermatitis) infection of skin.
In modern medicine, this exotic herb is advised as health benefiting food for its anti-microbial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and immune boosting and cholesterol-lowering properties.

 

Safety profile

 

Its cloves contain allicin that acts as blood thinner. It is, therefore, advised to avoid in patients on anticoagulants like warfarin as the resultant combination might cause excessive bleeding.

Garlic-in-oil, as in the pickle preparations, favors growth of Clostridium botulism, which may result in a condition known as botulism (paralysis of nervous system). It is therefore, advised that garlic preparations should be preserved inside the refrigerator and should be used as quickly as possible. 

 

Disclaimer

 

The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this web site are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.