Garlic is a plant that belongs to the onion family. It is believed to be a native of Northeast Asia but currently, it is grown in different parts of the world.
It is mostly used as a spice for cooking several delicacies all over the globe. In addition, it is believed to have medical values. According to reviews, there are claims that garlic can cleanse the body system, provide relief to cold and flu, prevent cancer and heart disease.
However, all these are claims made by people with little scientific research, further and more detailed research is necessary before we can confidently say garlic is effective for all the above listed issues.
Benefits of Garlic
Aside garlic being an active ingredients in most of our delicacies, it is also very useful for our overall health. Below is a list of its benefits;
- Cleanse the body system
- Relief cold and flu
- Protects food
- Prevent heart disease
- Antibiotic property
- Anti-inflammatory property
- Prevents cancer
- Good for hair and skin
It cleanses the body system
Garlic is capable of reducing acne by cleansing the blood. It can also clear out toxins from our body and enhance weight loss.
It can help relief cold and flu
Garlic is one plant that has shown effect in reducing the symptoms of cold and flu. Drinking garlic tea has been known to relieve stuffy nose and cure cold, it also boosts immunity and protect against frequent cold and flu infections.
It could protect food
The antibacterial property of garlic makes it effective for fighting against bacteria like E.coli and salmonella that can lead to food poisoning. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice proper food sanitation. Ensure to properly wash your foods and vegetables before cooking.
It helps prevent heart disease
The antioxidant property of garlic makes it effective for reducing cholesterol level when consumed daily. It is also very useful for the regulation of blood pressure and sugar level. Garlic should be consumed raw or semi cooked in order to enjoy these benefits because cooking can reduce it’s medicinal qualities.
It is an antibiotic
Over the years, garlic has been used to treat bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. Studies have shown that it is effective for treating tapeworms in children. It can also be used to fight off cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
It has anti-inflammatory property
Studies have shown that garlic oil can function as an anti-inflammatory agent. It can ease pain in inflamed joints and muscles.
May prevent cancer
It may be able to boost the body’s immunity against cancer when it is consumed daily.
It is effective for skin and hair
Garlic protects the skin against free radicals and slows down aging. It can fight against skin infections like eczema and ringworm when applied topically. Garlic or it’s infused oil can help prevent hair loss.
Side Effects of Garlic
Despite the many benefits of garlic, it still has some minor drawbacks that should be given attention. It has negative effects on the following;
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Bleeding disorder
- Blood pressure
Effects when consumed through the mouth
It is considered safe when consumed with mouth in the right proportion. However, it may have some effects especially when consumed raw. Some of those effects are; mouth odour, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, gas, diarrhea, body odour and a burning feel in the mouth and stomach. There has also been reports of asthma on people that work with garlic. More research is being carried out on garlic and it’s effects.
Effect on the skin
Raw garlic could cause irritation and burning sensation when applied directly on the skin. But it’s skin care products in the form of gel, mouthwash and paste are considered safe to use on the skin.
Effect on pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is safe to consume in food during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, it is considered unsafe to use as medicine during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are no concrete information about the effect it has on the skin during those period.
Effect on children
Garlic is considered safe for children when consumed in food and at the right proportion. But it is likely unsafe when taken directly by mouth and in high dosage. It is also unsafe when applied on the skin of children, it could cause burnt to their skin.
Effect on bleeding
It may increase the rate of bleeding, therefore, people with bleeding disorder should avoid taking it.
Effect on diabetes
It has the ability of reducing the level of blood sugar, thereby making it too low for people with diabetes
Effect on blood pressure
Garlic has the potential of reducing blood pressure. This could be dangerous for people with existing low blood pressure issue.
Effect on the stomach
It could cause irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, people with digestion problem should apply extra caution when using it.
Effect on surgery
As earlier stated, garlic could increase the rate of bleeding thereby causing complications with surgery. It may also lower blood pressure and sugar level. Ensure to stop using it at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery date to avoid any complications.
How to Use Garlic
This spicy plant is highly used for cooking several dishes. It is also used as medicine for the treatment of different illnesses. There are different forms in which it can be utilised, these are;
- It is used in oil form
- Garlic can be grinded into powder
- It is used in making bread
- It can be consumed in juice form
- Garlic can be made into sauce and paste.
- It can also be taken in butter form
I will write about how to make few of those forms.
How to make garlic powder
- Get your fresh garlic, whatever amount you want.
- Peel them and slice them into thin slices
- Preheat your oven to 150 or 200 Fahrenheit, depending on your oven’s calibration
- Place them on a hitting sheets and hit them for about an hour until they are dehydrated.
- When the garlic is crumbly dry take them out of the oven and let them cool.
- Grind the dried garlic using a spice grinder or mortar and pistol.
- There you have it, your powdered garlic.
How to make garlic juice
- Get a glove of fresh garlic
- Peel the it through any method that is easy for you
- Place the peeled garlic in a food processor or blender.
- Blend it to get a puree
- Pour the puree on a mesh sieve and place a bowl under it to collect the juice.
- Using a rubber spatula, press the puree on the mesh so that the juice can be extracted.
- Continue with process 6 until there are no more juice in the puree.
- Using a coffee filter, strain the juice through the filter to separate any solid particle that might have flowed with the juice from the mesh strainer.
- The final poor juice can be stored in a refrigerator.
- You can add lemon to the juice to add flavour to it before drinking.
- You can also use the poor juice for cooking.
Garlic is a very important plant. It is packed with nutritional compounds that provide several health benefits to us. But it also has some negative effects when used in the wrong proportion or on people with some existing health issues. Before you decide to use garlic for health issues, contact your doctor for proper guidance.