Ever wondered how something as pungent smelling as Garlic can add flavor to your food as well as your health?

Meet the Garlic - neither a herb nor a spice. So what is it exactly?
It is a member of the Lily family. And because it is so similar in nature to onions, chives and shallots, and has leaves as well, it is considered to be a vegetable. But it would be so strange if someone offered you a garlic curry or a garlic stuffed dumpling!!

Jokes apart, garlic has been used for ages in several cultures for healing purposes. This includes the Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilizations. In fact, in Egypt, Garlic was used as a currency and was worshipped. Hippocrates, who lived 460 to 370 B.C. and is considered the father of western medicine, was said to have used garlic to treat cancerous tumors.

How will Garlic help me?

Lowers your Blood Pressure - This I speak from personal use. Eating a clove or rather chewing on a clove of raw garlic in the morning, considerably brings down your blood pressure. It is essential to chew on it and not just swallow it since the full potential will not be met. I have been doing this for over 3 years now which has brought down my bp from about 160/110 to normal i.e. 120/80. I even completely stopped my bp medication. Don't need them anymore. The best part about garlic is that it does not have side effects in the body since it is natural.

Is good for your Immune system - Garlic has high antioxidant levels that eliminate free radicals and toxins from your body. Studies now including garlic in your diet may enhance immune cell function which may be responsible for reducing the severity of colds and flu. You can add chopped garlic to warm water and sip on this to help combat the common cold or flu.

Lowers your Cholesterol - I used to suffer from high cholesterol as well (250 was my total cholesterol reading 3 years ago). After consuming garlic every day, I have managed to bring this level down to 180's which has taken me time nonetheless, however, was totally worth it. I did not want to get on pills for this issue, I am too young for that! Study has shown that adding garlic to your diet reduced the hepatic nature of lipogenic and cholesterogenic enzymes.

Anti-Cancer Properties - Scientists claim that the anti-cancer properties of garlic may have something to do with the way garlic boosts the production of hydrogen sulphide. This hydrogen sulphide is believed to prevent a wide range of cancers including prostate, breast and colon cancer. From's.

Reducing Toothache - Apply crushed or powdered garlic to a toothache and feel the pain disappear in minutes. It would burn but its worth it. The antibiotic allicin slows down bacterial activity upon application.

Acne - Want your pimples to go away without leaving a mark? Simply cut a garlic and dab it onto the pimple. This will burn but in a few days, you will notice the pimple gone without leaving a trace.

Earache - Mince a clove of garlic. Take some olive oil, about two tablespoons, and warm it on the stovetop. Add the minced garlic to this oil and let it be kept on a low flame for about 20 minutes. Take it off the heat, strain the garlic and let the oil cool for a while. When it is still a bit warm, add a drop or two into the ear for instant relief. This oil cannot be stored. Hence only make as much as needed.

Detoxify your Body - Garlic contains many sulphur containing compounds that help to activate enzymes in the liver, which are responsible for throwing out unwanted toxins from the body. These toxins may be responsible for causing cancer in the body. Hence having raw minced garlic even once a day will help in the long run.

How do I eat it?

Though Garlic is best consumed raw, if you have to cook it, there is a special way of doing so.
Garlic should always be cooked lightly else the potency will reduce.
The right way is chopping up your garlic and letting it sit on your chopping board for at least 15 minutes before you start cooking it. This causes an enzyme reaction that triggers a boost in the healthy compounds in garlic. However, the active compound Allicin, which is formed when the garlic is crushed, loses its healing properties when exposed to temperatures beyond 140 deg Celcius.

The Verdict!

I personally do not find anything negative in the usage of this powerful ingredient. Some may find the taste and smell revolting, but then somehow most of the stuff that's good for us, does not taste great! You want to see a change in your health? Add this ingredient to your diet and see the wonders for yourself.
For now, stay healthy and let Nature take its course in your life!

* These home remedies are not a substitute for your regular medication. Please consult your doctor if you have any medical concerns before trying them out or have any reaction to the same.

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