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
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
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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