Garlic plays an important role in the Indian kitchen. Most Indian dishes cannot be cooked without garlic. Garlic contains a pungent smell, so it is commonly used for seasoning. Especially when it is paired with onion, it gives a desirable taste.
Garlic is equally an important ingredient in Mediterranean dishes and goes with the cuisine. It is used to enhance the flavours in pasta, risottos, stews, salads, soups and paellas. Garlic bread is one of the favourite appetisers for many.
Garlic is mixed with butter, and it is spread on bread. The bread is baked, which gives a combination of crunchy and soft texture. The butter with garlic gives an amazing aroma and enhances the taste.
Garlic is rich in sulphur and gives a pungent smell. Garlic is also packed with other nutrients like arginine, flavonoids, oligosaccharides and selenium. The blog will brief you about garlic’s properties and how it can help fight colds and other infections.
Properties of garlic
Garlic can benefit our health in various ways. Garlic contains certain properties that should be included in our daily diet.
Garlic helps boost immunity. Our bloodstream contains circulating T cells which help fight infections. Cold and flu are commonly caused by the virus. So consuming garlic can boost immunity and fights the infections that invade our bodies.
According to a study conducted in 2012, consuming garlic extract can reduce the severity of the symptoms of cold and flu. Apart from extract, garlic can be chewed, crushed or sliced and consumed. Garlic produces allicin, a strong antibiotic that helps boost the immune system. It also helps to remove toxins from the body.
Garlic oil acts as a good anti-inflammatory agent. If a person is suffering from inflamed joints or muscles, garlic oil can be applied topically on the skin. This will reduce inflammation and prevents cartilage damage.
Garlic contains aphrodisiac property that improves the sexual behaviour of a person. Garlic contains allicin, which increases the blood flow to the sexual organs. If garlic is consumed daily, it can improve sperm count, which in turn improves potency. Garlic should be consumed daily, either raw or incorporated in dishes like soups and bread, to attain the benefits of the aphrodisiac property.
Garlic contains antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties. When garlic is rubbed against acne, it helps control inflammation and swelling. It also improves circulation and makes the skin to become susceptible to receiving nutrients.
Acts as a stress buster
Garlic can effectively fight stress and reduces the feeling of fatigue. When you consume garlic, the cells produce less stress hormone. So as a result, you will feel less fatigue. It keeps you alert and fights the infection effectively.
Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic and its extracts offer a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are discussed below.
Garlic reduces high blood pressure
High blood pressure can lead to significant health issues like stroke and heart attacks. People with high blood pressure or hypertension can include garlic in their daily diet.
According to NCBI, meta-analysis and clinical trials demonstrated that garlic supplements like Kyolic aged garlic supplements could reduce hypertension effectively.
Garlic reduces cholesterol levels
According to NCBI, consuming one clove of garlic per day can reduce cholesterol levels by 10%. The mechanism behind low cholesterol levels is garlic reduces the absorption of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis.
However, the activity was not the same when compared to the garlic powder. The garlic cloves are crushed and dried. During the process, garlic is dried at a high temperature, which leads to the loss of certain active compounds.
In such cases, garlic loses its ability to effectively reduce high blood cholesterol levels. So, it is advised to consume whole garlic.
Garlic helps improve athletic performance
Garlic can enhance the performance of athletes. In the olden days, garlic was used to alleviate weariness and boost the endurance of workers who worked for long hours.
Detoxify your body
Detoxification helps excrete the toxins out of the body, which will keep us in good health. The compound present in garlic helps to flush the toxins out of the body and promotes detoxification.
Garlic for cold and flu
When it comes to colds and seasonal flu, garlic plays an important role. Garlic is often used as a home remedy for common colds.
According to NCBI, clinical trials conducted in humans reported that there were fewer occurrences of the common cold in people who consumed garlic for about 12 weeks. However, there is no evidence stating the recovery from an occurrence of the common cold.
Some of the common combinations with garlic that can help alleviate cold symptoms are listed below.
Home remedies for cold and flu using garlic
Garlic can be consumed either raw or steamed. Chewing one to two cloves of garlic is recommended.
Garlic tablets can also be taken. These tablets are processed and stuffed inside the capsule to protect the garlic from stomach acids.
Boil water and add some mashed garlic, ginger and cloves. When the ingredients have soaked in water, consume them like tea.
How to maximise the benefits of garlic?
The benefits of garlic consumption can be increased when consumed daily. It is recommended to consume one garlic clove per day.
One garlic per day can have benefits like anti-inflammatory and aphrodisiac properties, which can improve the health of a person.
- Stabilises blood glucose levels
- Safeguards brain health
- Supports heart health
- Regulates immune functions
Garlic contains properties that can reduce the risk of hypertension and other heart-related issues. So, garlic is one of the most commonly promoted dietary supplements.
Garlic powder and its extracts are commonly used to flavour foods which can enhance the flavour.
Garlic, when consumed either raw or steamed, provides good health benefits. However, there is little or no evidence stating garlic supplements’ health benefits and safety.
Garlic is applied to the skin during pregnancy or lactation. However, there is no proper evidence stating the benefits of applying supplements to the skin.
According to NCBI, taking garlic supplements can increase the risk of bleeding. If a person is on anticoagulant drugs, consult your doctor and then take such supplements.
Garlic supplements can interfere with certain drugs and reduce their effectiveness. Additionally, garlic supplements can also interact with dietary herbs and other supplements.
A research paper published in the JAMA network states that garlic supplements differ in the bioavailability of key phytochemicals.
If you are planning to take garlic supplements, consult your doctor and then use them to avoid any adverse reactions.
How much garlic to eat per day?
There is a measurement that you have to eat so many grams of garlic per day. Garlic can be consumed either raw or steamed. One to two cloves of garlic consumption are considered to be safe.
Overconsumption of garlic can lead to bad breath, acid reflux, risk of bleeding and other digestive issues. It is also recommended to consume steamed garlic which can ease digestive side effects like acid reflux and heartburn.
Garlic is rich in allicin, a strong antibiotic that helps regulate immune functions. It also contains other benefits like anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. So, they can effectively fight invaders that invade the body.
Additionally, there are many garlic supplements available in markets, and they can be prepared at home too. Home-made garlic supplements often complained of botulism. So be watchful about the preservatives you choose for the supplements.
There are many garlic tablets, oil and supplements available in the market. However, the effectiveness is still not fully known. So, it is recommended to prefer the natural form of garlic to these supplements.
What does garlic do for you when you’re sick?
Garlic contains antiviral and antimicrobial properties that help to reduce the severity of the symptoms of cold and flu. However, garlic will not help with nasal congestion, and it can even worsen it.
How many cloves of garlic does it take to cure a cold?
Garlic contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that can treat colds effectively. One clove of crushed garlic can reduce the infection and cure the cold. Garlic can be consumed either raw or with honey. You can also boil the garlic in water and drink the water to get instant relief from a cold.
Can I chew raw garlic?
Yes, you can chew raw garlic. Chewing garlic can reduce cholesterol levels.
Can raw garlic cure cough?
Raw garlic can cure cough and infection caused due to cold viruses. Consuming garlic on an empty stomach can effectively treat it. Adults can chew raw garlic.
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