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The Major Health Benefits of Raw Garlic

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Post The Major Health Benefits of Raw Garlic   Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:20 pm

Since moving to a tropical climate, I've noticed somethinginteresting: I've developed an appetite for raw garlic. I've alwaysenjoyed garlic in my raw food dishes and have used it medicinally tocure an ear infection. But living in Bali I find myself eating a fewcloves of raw garlic at least twice a week.

I was curious why Ideveloped this unexpected craving so I did some research and discoveredthat raw garlic has powerful medicinal properties with some greathealth benefits.

Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is part of thelily family and it's medicinal use dates back to 4000 BCE. It growswell in nearly every climate, so it is known throughout the world. Hippocrates, the founder of western medicine, used garlic in somecancer treatments. In ancient Egypt garlic was valued as a generalhealth tonic and sometimes even used as currency. Later in the middleages, garlic was used in treating victims of the plaque. Even as lateas WW II, garlic was used as an effective replacement for antibiotics.

The Medicinal Properties of Garlic

Garlicis high in sulfur, which accounts for some of it's medicinal potency. The stronger the taste of the garlic, the higher the sulfur content andthe better it is for you. Two other medicinally potent compounds ingarlic are Diallyl Sulphides, which increase blood circulation, andAllicin, an anti-biotic, and anti-fungal compound.

In general terms raw garlic is:

A broad spectrum anti-biotic
Highly Anti-fungal
Highly Anti-bacterial
Highly Anti-parasitical
High in antioxidants

And the major health benefits of garlic are:

1. Increases blood circulation and thins the blood - this can lower bloodpressure, reduce the likelihood of blood clots and lower the risk ofheart attack and stroke

2. Suppresses the growth of tumors

3. Decreases levels of LDL or "bad cholesterol"

4. Stimulates the immune system by increasing blood cell count

5. Supports recovery from cancer

6. Kills some intestinal parasites - this may be related to its potency asa cancer treatment, as some naturopaths consider intestinal parasitesto be directly linked to cancer

7. Repels insects - somesulphur in raw garlic passes into the blood and is carried to the skinwhere it is excreted. This helps to make the skin unattractive toinsects

8. Soothes coughs and colds - this is due to garlic's anti-biotic properties

9. Kills fungi such as athletes foot and warts

It'simportant to note that these health benefits only apply to the use ofraw garlic. The active compounds in garlic are destroyed bycooking. They are also lost over time. Crushing or chopping rawgarlic releases its medicinally potent compounds, which are sensitiveto oxidation. It is best to consume the raw fresh garlic shortlyafter crushing or chopping to get the highest benefit.

How To Use Raw Garlic

Internally- take 1 to 2 cloves or crushed raw garlic every other day. Isometimes just pop a clove in my mouth with some olive oil or avocadoand chew it up (to keep it from burning). I also blend it in rawsoups, use it in guacamole or sprinkle it over my salad. You can eatraw parsley afterwards to sweeten your breath.

Topically - makea poultice with raw garlic to use on skin infections like athletes footor warts. Be careful not to irritate the skin by using too much.

AsA Tincture - you can use garlic oil drops in the nose, as a gargle orin the ears to fight infection. Make garlic oil drops by mixing oneclove crushed garlic with 10ml (4 oz.) pure water.

Garlic isgenerally very safe, but in some people and at higher doses, it cancause irritation to the stomach and skin. Also people who are on anykind of blood thinning medication not take garlic medicinally withoutfirst talking to their doctor. Garlic should be used very sparinglywith small children.

A Few Facts About Garlic

Garlic is probably descended from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in south-western Asia

There are now over 300 varieties of garlic

China produces 10.5 billion kilos/year - about 75% of worldwide production

In Northeastern India, it is believed that garlic mixed with water spread around the home will keep snakes from entering

Garlic plants are very hardy and not attacked by pests

A Christian myth considers that after Satan left the Garden of Eden, garlic arose in his left footprint, and onion in the right

Garlic cloves cooked whole have very little medicinal value

Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires

Garlic and onions were invoked as deities by ancient Egyptians at some religious ceremonies
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