In ancient times, many cultures used garlic as medicine.
In India and China, it was used as an aid in digestion, breathing problems, and to fight parasitic infections. (1)
Garlic was referenced in Canon of Medicine as having a compound that works against “arthritis, toothache, chronic cough, constipation, parasitic infestation, snake and insect bites, and gynecologic diseases, as well as in infectious diseases (as antibiotic).” (1)
The use of garlic became more common in Medieval times and is still a popular remedy for many ailments.
The plant grows up to four feet high and is of the bulbous plant family.
Garlic bulbs, or the head, contain about 10-20 cloves.
Allicin is the main component of garlic that has healing properties.
It is produced when garlic is broken, either sliced or crushed, and the enzyme is activated.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Although garlic does not typically serve as a major source of essential nutrients, it may contribute to several dietary factors with potential health benefits.
These include the presence of oligosaccharides, arginine-rich proteins, and, depending on soil and growing conditions, selenium and flavonoids.
According to the Journal of Nutrition, “Countless studies have demonstrated the value of vegetables and fruits in the prevention of cancer and heart disease…
As research advances, it is apparent that many vegetables and fruits have antioxidant capabilities and, as mentioned, the effects are often synergistic rather than additive.
Such agents influence inflammation, differentiation, and many other basic ailments.
The anti-cancer effects of phytochemicals are increasingly recognized as complex and multifactorial.” (2)