Garlic is a plant best known for its use as a foodstuff.
Over the years, garlic has also been used as a medicine to prevent or treat various diseases.
Fresh garlic or dry extract capsules are used in medicine.
Garlic is used for many cardiovascular or blood diseases.
These conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, infarction, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis).
Some of these applications are backed by science.
Garlic can actually slow the development of atherosclerosis and appears to be able to moderately lower blood pressure.
Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer.
It is used to cure prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH), diabetes, osteoarthritis, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), traveler’s diarrhea, high blood pressure in pregnancy (preeclampsia) and flu.
It is also used to boost the immune system, prevent tick bites and treat bacterial and fungal infections.
Other uses include treatments for fever, cough, headache, stomach pain, nasal congestion, gout, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, high blood sugar, and snake bites.
It is also used to combat stress and fatigue and to keep the liver healthy.
There is some evidence that fresh, unaged garlic can kill some bacteria such as Escherichia coli, antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis in the lab.
Eat or apply to the skin?
Some people apply the oil to the skin to treat skin calluses, warts, and fungal infections.
There are some studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of using garlic for topical treatment of fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot, but the effectiveness of garlic against warts and calluses has not yet been proven.
There are a variety of garlic-based products for medical purposes. The amount of allicin, the active ingredient and source of the typical garlic smell, depends on the method of preparation.
Allicin is unstable and transforms relatively quickly into another chemical substance.
Some manufacturers use the aging of garlic to make it odorless. Unfortunately, this also reduces the amount of allicin and reduces the effectiveness of the product.
Some products and preparations with odorless garlic may actually contain very small amounts of allicin.
Others have an outer coating to protect them from the aggressive stomach acids.
Because garlic is often an ingredient in food, some scientists think it could play a role in treating food poisoning.
How does garlic work?
Garlic contains the active ingredient allicin, which is also responsible for the characteristic smell.
Some products are made “odorless” thanks to the aging of garlic, but this process also affects its effectiveness.
One should look for preparations that are coated in such a way that they dissolve in the intestine, and not in the stomach.
Garlic is a very good remedy for:
– High blood pressure Some studies show that garlic can reduce blood pressure
by 7% to 8%.
Garlic seems to reduce the formation of plaques in the blood vessels.
– Cancer in the colon and stomach
Eating garlic seems to reduce the risk of developing these tumors. However, garlic supplements don’t seem to offer the same benefit.
– Tick bites
Scientists have compared the number of tick bites in people who eat a lot of garlic with the number in people who don’t eat garlic.
A high dose in the diet over a period of at least five months seems to reduce the number of tick bites.
– Fungal infections of the skin (including ringworm and athlete’s foot)
Ringworm responds to treatment with a gel containing 0.6% allicin, which is applied to the skin.
For athlete’s foot, a higher concentration of allicin (1%) is required. In fact, this gel seems to be almost as effective in athlete’s foot as the drug Lamisil.
Garlic is less effective in the following cases:
The intake of garlic does not seem to have any effect on blood sugar levels, neither in diabetics nor in healthy people.
-Treatment of an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which may cause stomach ulcers.
– High cholesterol Many studies have been conducted to measure the effect of garlic on reducing cholesterol
and triglycerides. The results were contradictory.
– Breast cancer Garlic intake does not seem to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
– Lung cancer Taking garlic does not seem to reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.
– Leg pain when walking due to poor circulation (peripheral arterial occlusive disease or PAD). Taking garlic even over 12 weeks doesn’t seem to help people with this condition.
There are still no reliable data for the treatment of the following diseases:
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
There is some evidence that taking garlic by mouth may be helpful in improving urine flow through less frequent urination and other symptoms associated with BPH.
research indicates that garlic can reduce the frequency and number of colds.
– Calluses Initial studies suggest that applying some garlic extracts twice a day to calluses
on the feet may bring improvement.
A fat-soluble garlic extract works after 10-20 days of treatment, but with a water-soluble extract, it can take up to two months before improvement is shown.
– High blood pressure in pregnancy (preeclampsia)
Some preliminary clinical research suggests that taking a garlic extract of 800 mg per day in the last trimester of pregnancy does not reduce the risk of developing preeclampsia in high-risk women.
Prostate cancer Men in China who eat one clove of garlic per day appear to have a 50% lower risk of developing prostate cancer
It is not known whether this effect also applies to people in Western countries.
Preliminary research suggests that applying a fat-soluble extract twice a day solves the wart problem on the hands in 1-2 weeks.
A water-soluble garlic extract, on the other hand, seems to bring only a slight improvement, and only after 30-40 days of treatment.
Garlic is probably safe for most people when taken by mouth. It can cause bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, flatulence, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
These side effects are usually more pronounced with raw garlic.
Garlic may also increase the risk of hemorrhage.
There are reports of bleeding after surgery in people who had eaten garlic.
When applied to the skin, it can cause burn-like damage.
Special precautions and warnings:
– Pregnancy and lactation
Garlic is probably safe during pregnancy if it is taken in the usual amount for food.
However, it is potentially dangerous if taken in medication form during pregnancy and lactation.
There is no sufficiently reliable information on the safety of external use of garlic during pregnancy. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid its use.
garlic is likely to be safe when taken by mouth and appropriately over a short period of time by children. However, it can become dangerous if taken by mouth in large doses.
Some sources suggest that large amounts of garlic can be dangerous for children.
There are no reports of significant incidents or deaths in children due to ingestion of garlic by mouth.
– Hemorrhage Garlic
can increase bleeding, especially when it is fresh.
– Stomach or digestive problems
Garlic can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. It should therefore be avoided in case of stomach or digestive problems.
Garlic can promote bleeding. You should not eat garlic at least two weeks before a planned operation.
Garlic interacts with some medications, including:
– Isoniazid, the main antibiotic for tuberculosis.
Garlic reduces its effectiveness.
– Drugs used in HIV/AIDS, in particular the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) nevirapine and efavirenz.
Garlic reduces its effectiveness because it interferes with its mechanism of action.
– Saquinavir, a retroviral drug from the group of protease inhibitors, which is used to block the multiplication of the HIV virus.
Garlic reduces its effectiveness.
Moderate interactions occur when taking the following agents:
– Birth control pill
Taking garlic along with oral contraceptives can reduce the effectiveness of the pill. If you take the birth control pill along with garlic supplements, you should use an additional form of contraception, such as condoms. Some oral contraceptives include:
- Miranova/Minisiston (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel)
- Yasmin/Petibelle (ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone)
- Maxim/Valette (ethinyl estradiol and dienogest)
- Marvelon (ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel)
- Belara/Bellissima (ethinyl estradiol and chlormadionacetate)
- Minulet/Femovan (ethinyl estradiol and gestodene)
- Diane (ethinyl estradiol and cyproterone acetate)
– Ciclosporin Taking garlic together with ciclosporin may reduce the effectiveness of ciclosporin.
– Inhibitors of cytochrome P450
Taking garlic together with some drugs that are metabolized by the liver can increase the side effects of the drugs.
Pharmaceutical products of this type include paracetamol, ethanol, theophylline and drugs used for anesthesia during surgery, lovastatin, ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine, triazolam (Halcion) and many others.
Taking garlic together with anticoagulant drugs can increase the possibility of bruising and bleeding. Medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Dolormin), naproxen (Proxen and others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin, heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The dose of warfarin (Coumadin) may need to be changed when garlic is ingested.
Garlic to prevent weight gain
Allicin is the strongest substance found in garlic. Scientific studies show that it keeps blood pressure, insulin and triglycerides low in laboratory animals on a high-sugar diet, but it can also be effective in preventing weight gain.
Garlic: home remedies
Due to its expectorant effect, garlic is an indispensable remedy for asthma, hoarseness, coughing, breathing difficulties and most other lung diseases.
An old and formerly very popular asthma remedy is garlic syrup. To do this, garlic bulbs were soft-boiled and then an equal amount of vinegar was added to the water in which they were cooked. This solution was then sweetened and boiled down to syrup. The syrup was then poured over the boiled garlic bulbs, which were then dried and stored in a jar. Every morning you took one or two pieces with a tablespoon of syrup.
For ear infections, you can wrap a small piece of garlic in a cloth, then put it in the ear and let it work overnight.
In this way, the pain passes almost immediately and the infection usually improves overnight.
For a sore throat, you should put a small slice of garlic in your mouth and suck for 10-15 minutes. The resulting juice slides down the throat and relieves the pain.
Garlic can cure pain caused by stings/bites from insects such as scorpions or centipedes.
The juice of fresh garlic mixed with salt can be placed on sprains and bruises.
To relieve toothache, you can cut raw garlic and rub it over the teeth and gums twice a day.
For warts, you should crush a fresh clove of garlic and apply it to the skin.
With herpes, you can cut a clove of garlic in half, eat half of it and spread the rest on the affected area.
The juice of raw garlic helps with rashes and insect bites, as it immediately blocks the itching.
8-10 drops of garlic juice with 2 tablespoons of honey four times a day works well against persistent cough.
10 drops of garlic juice with 2 teaspoons of honey seem to help well with asthma.
Garlic in the kitchen
Garlic can be recognized by its taste and characteristic smell when it is cooked and used in various dishes.
Garlic has a long history as a spice. Its Latin name is derived from “allium” (leek) and “sativum” (cultivated).
The most widely used part is the tuber, which is used in the kitchen as a spice.
Cultivation of garlic
Garlic is planted in autumn and eaten fresh or dried in spring. It needs loose and very fertile soil.
The freshly harvested tubers must rest at a low temperature until they can form roots and germinate.
They must be planted about 5 cm deep in the soil with the tip facing upwards. The tubers must be planted at a distance of about 15 cm, between the rows should be 45 cm apart.
If garlic is grown in a large field, it must rain enough to ensure irrigation.
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