Garlic : the healing bulb

Garlic is one of the most versatile of healing plants. It has been show to stimulate the immune system, is active against viruses including herpes and HIV, fights candida yeast infection and is classified as a 'broad spectrum antibiotic'. That means that it is effective in fighting both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. (Source: Paul Bergner, The Healing Power of Garlic 1996.

This herb has been used since ancient times. It has a prominent place in Ayurvedic Medicine, Herbasl medicine, Naturpathic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Unani Tibb Medicine.

To read a full list of conditions that have been shown to be effectively treated, go to: Medicinal Uses But does modern science agree with ancient tradition? Yes. Here are a few recent studies selected from hundreds available:

In 2002, Scientists at the Ethiopian Health Nutrition Research Institute studied its effect on pneumonia causing bacteria. They concluded that "(It) could be used as an effective antibacterial agent for these pathogenic microorganisms."

In 2003 the journal, Nutrition published a study of antibacterial activity of some vegetables. It concluded "Garlic juice had significant [antibacterial] activity, with bactericidal action in dilutions ranging up to 1:128 of the original juice.

In 2007 a study was published in a dental journal: "inhibitory activity of garlic (Allium sativum) extract on multidrug-resistant Streptococcus mutans" They concluded that Multi-drug resistant bacteria were more sensitive to garlic than a number of pharmaceutical drugs. The study said that "the highest rate of resistance [to drug] was observed for tetracycline (30.4%) and least resistance (0%) to teichoplanin and vancomycin while 22.8% and 23.9% of the isolates were resistant to penicillin and amoxicillin, respectively.. . . (but) All isolates, MDR and non-MDR of S. mutans were sensitive to garlic extract with the MIC ranging from 4 to 32 microg ml(-1). (italics are mine) More uses: fungal and yeast infections.

There are so many studies about the use of this herb as an anti-fungal.

In 1987, for example, the journal Appl Environ Microbiol. published a study "Antifungal activity of ajoene", an element derived from this bulb. It concluded " Ajoene had the strongest activity in these fractions. The growth of both Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans was inhibited by ajoene at less than 20 micrograms/ml"

It should be noted also that scientists from Wales found that fresh extract has a greater efficacy than the powder extract. Journal of Applied Microbiology

Anti-parasite properties

In 2006, scientists at the Department of Medical Parasitology at New York University found that there was an: Antimalarial activity of allicin, a biologically active compound from the cloves.

Anti-aging Activity

For those interested in anti-aging tips, will note that it has profound effect on improving cardio-vascular health. It can cause a drop in blood pressure and the effect is most noticeable in those with high blood pressure. It also "reduces cholesterol, reduces the oxidation of cholesterol in the fatty deposits in the arteries, lowers blood pressure and thins the blood to reduce its tendency to clot."

Anti-stress and fatigue fighter. Japanese scientists conducted a study of stress related symptoms: fatigue, stiffness, headache, low back pain, coldness of limbs etc. After only 4 weeks 71.4% of the participants reported improvement with 52.3% reporting that their symptoms had either disappeared or become mild.

In addition it has been shown to reduce the ill effects of chemotherapy

This healing herb also has a number of anti-oxidant properties. Nine of its natural constituents are classified as having anti-oxidant effects! And it also contains selenium a potent destroyer of free radicals.

WARNING But do not assume that every supplement or use of the bulb has health qualities. There can be some real problems in using it. Many people waste their money on by using forms that have no real medicinal properties. See the first article listed below for more information.

There are two additional articles in this series:

  1. What you need to do to get the benefits of garlic can be found at: Garlic : How to get its health benefits
  2. Learn the Medicinal Uses of this potent herb.

Or Click on Anti-Aging Foods Information

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