Garlic is a wonder plant. Forget the smell and focus on the fact that garlic is one of the wonders nature has given us. While it is a common ingredient in every kitchen, in the ancient times, it was highly valued for its numerous health benefiting properties, which are still followed in many cultures today.
The sulphur-containing compound, Allicin, found in fresh, crushed or chewed garlic has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and some startling claims mention that it may help prevent some forms of cancer too. Garlic is a part of the onion family and the ‘bulb’ of this herb typically consists of 10-20 smaller sections called the ‘cloves’. Each small clove is a powerhouse of flavour as well as medicinal properties.
So here are the 7 best ways to use them
1. The Blood Purifier
Tired of covering up those zits with concealer every morning? It’s time to tackle the root cause of acne by purifying your blood from inside to get healthy skin on the outside. Take two cloves of raw garlic with some warm water everyday, early in the morning and consume a lot of water the entire day. If you’re looking to shed some pounds, squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a glass of luke warm water and have it with 2 cloves of garlic in the mornings. Garlic will help to cleanse your system and flush out toxins.
2. Cold and Flu
Garlic is going to provide you relief from that stubborn cold and flu (yes, they absolutely love you and never want to leave). Taking 2-3 cloves of raw or cooked garlic a day or sipping some garlic tea (with a touch of honey or ginger to lift up the taste) is not only going to relieve a stuffed nose and cure the cold but also build your immunity against these frequent visitors over time.
3. Prevention of Heart Disease
Consuming garlic on a daily basis (in food or raw) helps to lower cholesterol levels because of the anti-oxidant properties of Allicin. It is also immensely beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is essential to remember that the sulphur-containing compound Allicin tends to lose its medicinal properties when garlic is cooked whole. It is imperative to consume garlic raw or semi-cooked to derive any of its benefits.
4. Anti-bacterial and Anti-parasitic
Garlic is one of the best kept medicinal treasures of the past era – it has been used as an antibiotic to treat bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections for the last 7,000 years. Studies suggest diluted garlic extract helps children with tapeworm infections. A garlic-based mouthwash may not sound like fresh, minty breath but a very small quantity of its extracts is sufficient to ward off cavity-causing bacteria.
5. Cancer Prevention
Several studies have indicated an association between daily consumption of garlic and prevention of stomach and colorectal cancers. It is said to strengthen the immunity of the body against cancer.
6. For Skin and Hair
The invigorating properties of this wonder plant protect the skin from the effect of free radicals and slow down the depletion of collagen which leads to loss of elasticity in aging skin. Applied topically, garlic does wonders to skin infected with fungal infections and provides relief from skin ailments like eczema. It is also an effective remedy for fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworms.
All of us know about the wonders of onion for hair but its brother, garlic is no less of a hero for your thinning mane. Well, its surprise time. Rubbing crushed garlic extract on your scalp or massaging with garlic-infused oil is known to prevent and even reverse hair loss.
Many of it’s astounding uses were forgotten in the folds of time but users (and believers) still vouch for the lesser-known benefits. One of them is against stubborn splinters. Place a piece of cut garlic over the splinter cut and cover with a bandage- and voila! Bye-bye splinter.
1. Asthma patients should not consume it as it may have side-effects.
2. Garlic should be avoided before surgeries or medical operations.
3. Do not consume more than 2-3 cloves in a day without consulting a doctor.