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Articles > The Power of Garlic

Garlic benefits have been touted for years by nutritionists and doctors alike. In addition to its ability to spice up many culinary dishes, it can offer numerous benefits to your health and well-being.

What are the health benefits of garlic?

Garlic is one of the world's oldest healing herbs, and as such has been used for centuries for everything from headaches, menstrual cramps and tumors. The benefits lie in its antibiotic, antioxidant and heart-protective qualities. Garlic contains a chemical called allicin, which can fight infection. Along with another substance called ajoene, garlic benefits include lowering cholesterol, reducing the likelihood of blood clots and facilitating blood flow.

Three important facts about garlic's medicinal powers

First, a major scientific discovery was made in 1942 when a substance called "allicin" was found in garlic by American scientists; it soon became clear that allicin was a major factor that contributed to the health benefits of garlic. Allicin has many valuable properties, but the most powerful one is its ability to resist or kill bacteria, as we will explain later in detail. The second major characteristic of allicin is its unique ability to team up with other substances which then increases its health benefits. In particular, it works with thiamine (vitamin B1); the two combine to become allithiamine, a more powerful force than thiamine to repair the body. Thirdly, in 1936 in Japan, garlic was found to contain a substance called "scordinine" which is effective for increasing stamina, for helping the body recover from fatigue, and for promoting metabolism. After these initial discoveries, scientists have researched the health benefits of these substances in more detail, and the following facts are now known:

The Power of Allicin, Scordinine, and More:

1. The antibacterial properties of allicin are so extraordinary that, even when diluted to 120 thousandth, it is powerful enough to annihilate the devastating effect of cholera, typhoid, and dysentery bacteria. This is because allicin penetrates the bacteria and destroys their proteins, thereby limiting their destructive attacks on a healthy body. Needless to say, allicin is all the more effective when it encounters less powerful bacteria, such as the cold and influenza viruses.

2. The other remarkable health benefit of allicin is its ability to combine with thiamine to form allithiamine, which has the same properties as thiamine and yet works more effectively than thiamine itself. Now, a brief explanation of what thiamine does inside the body is in order here. Thiamine is responsible for the creation of energy that our body needs. Energy is generated from glucose; thiamine is indispensable in the process of dissolving glucose and thus generating energy. If the body lacks in thiamine, it cannot produce enough energy, and a person feels tired and lacking in stamina. One problem with thiamine, however, is that it is not readily absorbed and is thus easily flushed out of the body. Allithiamine, on the other hand, does not have this problem. In particular, its advantages are are as follows: a) The amount of vitamin B1 (thiamine) that the human body can absorb at one time is only about 10 mg, but an unlimited amount of allithiamine can be taken in by the body; b) Once inside the body, allithiamine remains inside the blood, so the body can store it in large amounts and use it as need arises.

3. The first experiments using scordinine were conducted on mice. It was found that scordinine-fed mice swam four times longer than scordinine-free animals and that there was a marked difference in growth between these two groups. Subsequent studies have shown that scordinine activates human metabolism, works inside the body in the same way as thiamine, and stimulates the hormone system to boost stamina.

4. Garlic also contains a substance that has the same function as vitamin E which is known to improve blood circulation, to cleanse the blood, to increase red corpuscles, and to refresh cells by promoting the circulation of oxygen throughout the body. Now, the ability of allicin to combine with other substances works here, too. This time, it teams up with a fatty substance to become fatty allicin which works in the same way inside the body as vitamin E. As a result, this fatty allicin is effective not only for aging of cells and for beautifying the skin, but also for cleansing the blood and for making the blood circulation smoother because of its antioxidant activity.

Garlic and Cancer

Ever since a report came out of the United States showing that a liquid extracted from garlic can control the growth of cancerous cells in cancer patients and thereby prolonging their lives, many studies have been conducted on this subject throughout the world. It is now suspected that a mineral called "germanium" found in garlic may have something to do with the effectiveness of garlic against cancer, but more studies are needed to find out how garlic works on cancerous cells.

The following is a more detailed account of what garlic does for various organs in the human body:

1. Protection of the liver from toxic substances: Garlic activates the cells of the liver and thereby protects the liver from toxic substances; it also rejuvenates a tired liver and promotes its normal functioning.

2. Improvement of blood circulation: When allicin is heated in the process of cooking the garlic, a substance called ?ajoene" is formed. This substance has a suppressive effect on thrombi and blood cholesterol, so it is effective for the treatment of atherosclerosis and thrombosis.

3. Regulation of stomach function: Allicin promotes the secretion of gastric juices by stimulating the mucous membranes of the stomach; furthermore, it combines with proteins which can reduce excessive activity of the stomach. In addition, allicin reglates the functioning of the stomach by activating the large intestine and thus cure both constipation and diarrhea.

4. Promotion of insulin secretion: Allicin combines with vitamin B1 (thiamine) to activate the function of the pancreas and thus promote insulin secretion. As a result, garlic is effective in the prevention or the cure of diabetes that is caused by a lack of insulin or by the defective functioning of the pancreas.

5. Normalization of blood circulation: Because it stimulates the brain nerves and controls the workings of the heart at a constant level, garlic stabilizes blood pressure. It is also capable of dissolving cholesterol and fatty substances inside blood vessels and therefore refreshing cells and the blood inside the body.

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