Fresh Garlic Clove
The medicinal herb Garlic as an alternative herbal remedy for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. - Garlic is the edible bulb from a plant in the lily family. It has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years.
What Garlic Is Used For
- Garlic's most common uses as an herbal remedy and as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. *Garlic is also used to prevent certain types of cancer, including stomach and colon cancers. Allium sativum (Garlic) has been used for centuries to treat infection and was popular even during the Plague of London in 1665.
- Garlic can kill almost every kind of bacteria but is especially effective against organisms that cause disease, like E. coli and S. aureus while leaving normal, protective intestinal flora unharmed.
- Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of garlic in the treatment of a wide range of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. This natural antibiotic is also an excellent tonic for immune system functioning, allowing the body to protect itself from infectious organisms.
How Garlic Is Used
Garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked. They may also be dried or powdered and used in tablets and capsules. Raw garlic cloves can be used to make oils and liquid extracts.
Herbal Remedy Product with Garlic as part of the ingredients
What the Science Says about Garlic
- Some evidence indicates that taking garlic can slightly lower blood cholesterol levels; studies have shown positive effects for short-term (1 to 3 months) use. However, an NCCAM-funded study on the safety and effectiveness of three garlic preparations (fresh garlic, dried powdered garlic tablets, and aged garlic extract tablets) for lowering blood cholesterol levels found no effect.
- Preliminary research suggests that taking garlic may slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a condition that can lead to heart disease or stroke.
- Evidence is mixed on whether taking garlic can slightly lower blood pressure.
- Some studies suggest consuming garlic as a regular part of the diet may lower the risk of certain cancers. However, no clinical trials have examined this.
- NCCAM is supporting studies looking at how garlic interacts with certain drugs and how it can thin blood.
Side Effects and Cautions of Garlic
- Garlic appears to be safe for most adults.
- Side effects include breath and body odor, heartburn, upset stomach, and allergic reactions. These side effects are more common with raw garlic.
- Garlic can thin the blood (reduce the ability of blood to clot) in a manner similar to aspirin. This effect may be a problem during or after surgery. Use garlic with caution if you are planning to have surgery or dental work, or if you have a bleeding disorder. A cautious approach is to avoid garlic in your diet or as a supplement for at least 1 week before surgery.
- Garlic has been found to interfere with the effectiveness of saquinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection. Its effect on other drugs has not been well studied.
- Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
News About Garlic
Garlic can fight chronic infections
- (University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences)
An active sulphurous compound found in garlic can be used to fight robust bacteria in patients with chronic infections, a new study from the University of Copenhagen indicates. Here the researchers show that the garlic compound is able to destroy important components in the bacteria's communication systems, which involve regulatory RNA molecules.
'We really believe this method can lead to treatment of patients, who otherwise have poor prospects. Because chronic infections like cystic fibrosis can be very robust. But now we, together with a private company, have enough knowledge to further develop the garlic drug and test it on patients', says Assistant Professor Tim Holm Jakobsen from the Costerton Biofilm Center at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.
The study is the latest addition from a research group headed by Professor Michael Givskov, which since 2005 has focussed on garlic's effect on bacteria. At the time they learned that garlic extract is able to inhibit bacteria, and in 2012 they showed that the sulphurous compound ajoene found in garlic is responsible for the effect. The new study, which has been published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports, takes an even closer look and documents ajoene's ability to inhibit small regulatory RNA molecules in two types of bacteria.
'The two types of bacteria we have studied are very important. They are called Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They actually belong to two very different bacteria families and are normally fought using different methods. But the garlic compound is able to fight both at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibiotics', says Tim Holm Jakobsen.
Previous studies have shown that garlic appears to offer the most powerful, naturally occurring resistance to bacteria. In addition to inhibiting the bacteria's RNA molecules, the active garlic compound also damages the protective slimy matrix surrounding the bacteria, the so-called biofilm. When the biofilm is destroyed or weakened, both antibiotics and the body's own immune system are able to attack the bacteria more directly and thus remove the infection.
In 2012 the researchers took out a patent on the use of ajoene to fight bacterial infections. Now the company Neem Biotech has bought the licence to use the patent. Their medical product, NX-AS-401, which aims to treat patients with cystic fibrosis, has now obtained a so-called 'orphan drug designation'. This means that clinical trials on patients will be conducted soon.
If the clinical trials show good results, the drug can be marketed as the first in a series of antimicrobial connections with brand new modes of action developed by Givskov's research team.
Garlic: The Forbidden Fruit?
- (The Nature Conservancy of Canada)
Did you know that garlic goes as far back as the time of the Babylonians? Back then, garlic was a super important medicinal herb. It was used to remedy pretty much everything: intestinal worms, hemorrhoids, digestive issues, infections, skin rashes and diseases. Physicians of the Roman Empire called garlic a cure-all.
In 1665, during the Great Plague of London, the curious tale of the Four Criminals emerged: four thieves stole from the dead but survived infection by consuming a daily concoction of garlic and vinegar. This concoction is actually available today and is literally called Four Thieves’ Vinegar!
In more recent centuries, Louis Pasteur’s detailed texts on garlic’s antibacterial effects was distributed among western European physicians. Garlic was, and still is, used to treat many cardiovascular diseases and is found in dietary medications.
Garlic also has vitally important cultural and religious uses. In some cultures, garlic is a powerful defense against evil beings. In others, garlic is an essential part of traditional rituals and celebrations.
Of course, if we talk about culinary uses, garlic is among the top 10 ingredients in almost every single culture and/or country. There is a recipe for every part of the garlic plant, except for the roots, which are the only inedible parts.
- When, how and how much to harvest
Garlic is often compared with apples because both plants have so many different types. However, this comparison often leads people to think that the two plants also grow in the same way. This isn’t the case. Apple trees flower and germinate annually, giving up fresh apples every autumn. Garlic plants, on the other hand, actually take up to seven summers after germination to produce flowers. And we’re talking good summers with suitable weather conditions. It’s only after the flowers have bloomed that the garlic bulbs are ready for harvest.
Garlic has a very short growing period, between mid-spring to early summer. Once the leaves above ground are done, the bulb can be ready to harvest. Harvesting essentially rips out the entire plant, including the roots, explaining why garlic crops need to be harvested sustainably to maintain their numbers.
There you have it: the importance of garlic in a brief clove-shell. If you’re a garlic enthusiast, hopefully you can love and appreciate garlic that much more. If you’re not a garlic lover, hopefully you can see the necessity of keeping garlic around for many more centuries.
As for now, pass the garlic butter please!
Garlic May Help You Lose Weight, Study Says
- By Cynthia Sass
We've known for some time that garlic is a nutritional powerhouse. It's been shown to boost immunity; relax blood vessels to open up blood flow and reduce blood pressure; quell inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging and disease; protect blood vessels from damage, thus lowering the risk of heart disease; and even protect against osteoarthritis.
Now, a new Korean study shows it may hold some promise for weight control as well. Researchers fed mice a fattening diet for eight week to plump them up, then served them the same diet supplemented with 2 percent or 5 percent garlic for another seven weeks. The addition of garlic reduced the mice's body weights and fat stores, and lessoned the effects of the unhealthy diet on the animals' blood and liver values. Yet another reason to savor the "stinking rose," as it's affectionately called by those who love it.
To get the most bang for your bulb, crush fresh garlic, then let it sit at room temperature for a full 10 minutes before cooking. Several studies have shown that this helps retain about 70 percent of its beneficial natural compounds compared to cooking it immediately after crushing. That's because crushing the garlic releases an enzyme that's been trapped in the cells of the plant. The enzyme boosts levels of health promoting compounds, which peak about 10 minutes after crushing. If the garlic is cooked before this, the enzymes are destroyed.
Oh, and if you adore this herb like I do, and you haven't tried black garlic (check it out in one of my previous posts) it's amazing. Free from additives and preservatives, black garlic is made from whole garlic that's been aged for at least a month in a special fermentation process under high heat, which gives it a darker color and sweeter taste. It's been shown to pack twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic, and it's so soft you can easily spread it. I love to slather it onto whole-grain crackers as a snack along with lemony hummus and veggies. Yum!
The healing power of garlic and types of cancer it can prevent you from
- By Jane Jeptumo Kenda
Many people use garlic to flavour food but not all of them know that the bulb, which belongs to the onion family, has immense health benefits.
Garlic has been used for centuries by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and the Chinese as medicine. The medicinal value of garlic is mainly as a result of the sulfur compound known as allicin, which is formed when a garlic clove is chopped, crushed or chewed. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s distinct smell.
According to Peter McClusky, founder of the Toronto Garlic Festival, garlic has lipid-lowering, anti-blood coagulation, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-microbial effects.
Research shows that garlic combats the common cold and boosts the immune system. It also significantly reduces blood pressure.
Regularly adding garlic to your food prevents various types of cancer, including colon and stomach cancer.
Research also indicates that garlic’s anti-bacterial properties might help to prevent food poisoning by killing bacteria.
Because of garlic’s anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, it can also be used to treat athlete’s foot. You can either soak your feet in garlic water or rub raw garlic on your feet.
Research in India also indicates that garlic can be used as a mosquito repellant. You can either apply it directly on the skin or keep some near your bed.
Apart from serving as a great antioxidant, garlic also reduces cholesterol and blood pressure and prevents Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Because of its ‘performance enhancing’ substances, garlic was used to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of labourers in ancient times. Some people use it today to reduce exercise-induced fatigue.
Note that most of the health benefits apply only when fresh as opposed to processed or over-stored garlic is used.
Cooking with garlic
It's relatively simple to ensure you eat enough garlic and it can be added to any savoury dish.
Check out our massive recipe database for plenty of options for getting garlic onto your dinner plate. For optimal health benefits, it should be consumed raw or lightly cooked. If the flavour is too strong for you, add the whole cloves to a dish and remove them before serving.
The University of Maryland Medical Center in the US recommends eating 2 to 4 whole cloves of raw garlic per day as a natural health supplement. However it’s believed consuming between 1 to 2 cloves of garlic daily offers the same benefits to fight off a cold. For those who don’t like the taste or smell of raw garlic, an odourless supplement can be taken instead.
Tip: To super-charge the body’s immune protection, add a fresh clove of garlic to your breakfast juice. If you can't stomach it or put up with foul-smelling breath, opt for garlic tablets with ‘enteric coating’ which break down slowly in the stomach.
8 Health Benefits and Uses for Garlic
- By Michelle Schoffro Cook
I remember a call with my mother about a decade ago in which she continually bragged about my three-year-old nephew. She was telling me how much he still enjoyed being cuddled and then paused. “But,” she said, “frequently the smell of garlic coming off of him is overwhelming. He just loves the stuff!” My nephew has eaten a largely raw, plant-based diet since he first started on solid food, and is one of the healthiest kids I know. Instinctively he knew that garlic was one of the world’s superfoods.
Garlic lovers already know how good this food tastes, but they might not know just how amazing it is for their health. Here are some of my favorite health benefits and uses for garlic.
- Anti-viral Aid
According to James Duke, PhD, botanist and author of The Green Pharmacy, several compounds found in garlic, including allicin, have antiviral activity against colds and flu.
- Systemic Infection Solution
Countless studies over the last few decades have demonstrated the antibacterial activity of garlic against both gram positive and gram negative strains of bacteria. New research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that garlic is one of the most potent antibacterial herbs. Of the 83 herbs tested, compounds in garlic and juniper showed the highest antibacterial action, including against drug-resistant infections like S. aureus and E. coli. S. Aureus (the bacteria that is involved in MRSA infections) can cause systemic infections of the blood, heart, spinal cord or bones.
- Ulcer Aid
Garlic is such a superb antibacterial agent, it is of little surprise that more and more research links it to destroying infections that even antibiotics cannot address. Recent research in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine found that raw garlic showed potency against H. pylori—the antibiotic-resistant bacteria linked to conditions like stomach ulcers.
- Urinary Tract Infection Alleviator
Anyone who has ever had a urinary tract infection knows how difficult they can be to treat. The Journal of Parasitic Diseases concluded that garlic was effective against bacteria linked to urinary tract infections, even when antibiotics failed.
- Tuberculosis Tamer
Research in the International Journal of Mycobacteriology found that garlic was one of fifteen plants that showed effectiveness against tuberculosis.
- Cancer Fighter
Allicin is not only a natural antibiotic, it is also an antioxidant that helps to prevent the cell damage that can be a precursor of cancer. Researchers have concluded that garlic has the ability to inhibit different types of tumors and lower the risks of esophageal, stomach and prostate cancer. Research has also shown that allicin can not only slow the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells, but also cause cancer cell death.
- High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease Remedy
Many studies have demonstrated garlic’s heart-healing ability over the last few decades. A recent study similarly concluded that garlic can help reduce high blood pressure and the risk for heart disease. The researchers also found that garlic supplements did not interfere with medications used to treat these conditions. Other research found that garlic significantly reduced triglycerides, high levels of which are linked to heart disease.
- Diabetes Aid
Exciting new research in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that aged garlic extract was effective at reducing some markers for diabetes and may offer hope in the treatment of diabetes.
- Using Garlic
There are very few savory dishes that don’t benefit from the addition of garlic. You can add it to soups, stews, stir-fries, curries, sauces and pastas.
No need to fear garlic
- (Health News Team)
It was the 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula that introduced the world to alliumphobia, the fear of garlic (yes, the struggle is real!). While vampires have an aversion to garlic, there’s no reason for you to fear it — nor its often offending odor.
For thousands of years, and all over the world, garlic has been valued for its therapeutic properties. Even the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known today as "the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses.
So what are some of the health benefits of consuming garlic today? We asked Dr. Alshafie Hassan, a board-certified internal medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy.
First, before considering the health benefits of any one food, Dr. Hassan says it is important to understand the basics of good nutrition. “Once you understand the foundation of health, then we can talk about that last 1 percent of the diet, which can be used to further prevent infection and improve the immune system,” he says.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, garlic is used as a dietary supplement for many purposes, including high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and the common cold, as well as in attempts to prevent cancer and other diseases. While some studies indicate that certain groups of people who eat more garlic may be less likely to develop certain cancers, such as stomach and colon cancers, the evidence on whether it lowers blood cholesterol levels or helps high blood pressure is conflicting.
Still, some studies reported by the National Institutes of Health indicate that garlic may be useful for the common cold, based on laboratory evidence that garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Fortunately, you don’t need much. “Eating just two cloves twice a week can substantially prevent getting a cold,” says Dr. Hassan.
“I would be cautious in taking garlic supplements, as many of them are unregulated and not FDA-approved, and vary in their doses and contamination,” he says. “If you insist on supplementation, use a product with the USP symbol on the label to make sure it is third-party–tested to look for contamination, which is common in these products.” USP stands for the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention and is a sign of vitamin quality.
Also, before consuming large amounts of garlic or taking garlic supplements, talk to your doctor, especially if you are on other medications or if you need surgery. While garlic is safe for most people in the amounts eaten in foods, garlic may increase your risk of bleeding and interfere with the effectiveness of some medications.
Finally, what’s the best way to deal with that offending odor? To remove the smell from your hands after chopping garlic, simply rub them on stainless steel, such as your kitchen sink or faucet. Garlic contains molecules with sulfur. When you touch stainless steel, the molecules in the steel bind with the sulfur molecules on your hand and transfers them to the steel. And that awful garlic breath? Just chew some parsley, a natural breath freshener.
Garlic Planting & Spacing
- By Victoria Weinblatt
The first thing you need to know about planting garlic is that planting the biggest cloves yields the biggest bulbs. This plant’s famous flavor is essential for many savory recipes. For best results, choose a site in your garden that has good drainage and receives full sun all winter long. After planting, expect green shoots to pop through the soil within 10 days to 3 weeks in mild climates and within 3 to 6 months in cold climates. After harvesting, curing the garlic properly is essential to long-term storage.
- Preparing the Soil
Soil preparation for garlic planting revolves around its fibrous root system, which is 4 to 8 inches deep and wide, and inefficient at absorbing water and nutrients. If you have loamy, fertile soil rich in nutrients that you’ve been building with compost over the years, turn in a bit of extra phosphorous before planting by adding bone meal. If you have poor soil, add potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous by turning aged compost made of a mixture of horse manure, chicken manure and straw into the top 4 to 8 inches of soil.
The best time to plant garlic is between September and November, when the weather begins to cool. Start by separating the cloves from the bulb no more than seven days before and leave the papery skin intact. Do not plant bruised or damaged cloves. Place the clove with the pointy tip up, so it sits 1 to 2 inches below the soil in mild climate zones and 2 to 4 inches below in cold areas.
Proper spacing of rows and plants allows garlic to take up a sufficient amount of nutrients for optimal yield. Dig your rows at least 10 to 12 inches apart. When you plant garlic, the spacing between cloves depends the type of garlic. Stiffneck types (Allium sativum ophioscorodon), also known as topsetting, ophio, serpent or rocambole garlic, need to be 4 to 6 inches apart. Softneck types (A. sativum sativum), also known as artichoke garlic, need to be 6 to 8 inches apart. Elephant garlic cloves (Allium ampeloprasum), also known as great-headed garlic, need to be 8 to 10 inches apart.
Proper irrigation is imperative for optimal yield and disease prevention. After planting, and throughout the growing season, thoroughly water your plot to a depth of at least 4 inches. Before watering again, wait until the top 4 to 8 inches of soil dries out. Overwatering garlic plants results in the fungal disease downy mildew.
10 Benefits of Eating Garlic: Garlic Promotes Digestion
- (Youth Health)
Lets learn about 10 really good garlic effects on our body.
1. Powerful sterilization and antibacterial activity: Alicin rich in garlic has a strong bactericidal action, such as Penicillin or Terra It has stronger sterilizing power than maicin.
2. Strength enhancement, tonic effect and fatigue recovery: Garlic is combined with vitamin B1 germanium, vitamin B1, unlimited absorption, the body And it is good when you are tired or fatigued.
3. Increased tack, improved atherosclerosis, suppress body aging: Alicin, rich in garlic, cleanses blood when bound to lipids, Activate and promote blood circulation, warm the body.
4. Improvement of hypertension: Potassium in garlic normalizes blood pressure by removing sodium in blood To do.
5. Improve diabetes: Alicin, which is rich in garlic, stimulates pancreatic cells to promote secretion of insulin This will improve your diabetes.
6. Anticancer action: Organic germanium and selenium in garlic are effective in inhibiting cancer and preventing cancer. is.
7. Atopic dermatitis and allergy inhibition effect: Garlic has a glass of Betahexigosaminidase enzyme which is liberated in allergic reaction. It works.
8. Promotes suits and digestion Alicin, which is rich in garlic, stimulates the gastric mucosa, promotes gastric juice secretion, It acts to promote action.
9. Detoxification action: Cysteine and methionine contained in garlic are powerful detoxifying agents, Alliin, Alicin, Chioether, Melgaptan, Hydrogenated Hydrogen Components and Its derivatives emit heavy metals such as mercury and remove bacteria.
10. Nerve stabilization and soothing effect: Alicin, which contains a lot of garlic, acts on the nerves of the human body, Calms and stabilizes, relieves stress and improves insomnia.
Healthy recipe – Garlic lemon broccoli to fill you up any time!
- By Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti
If you are hungry and are health conscious, then here is a quick and tasty broccoli recipe you can try!
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables that we have on our platter. But to make the most of it, you need to have it in the steamed form to reap all its health benefits If you are pressed for time and are feeling hungry, make this quick, healthy and stomach filling snack. Here’s how to make this tasty and quick broccoli salad at home.
2 heads of broccoli, separated into medium-sized florets
2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt (as per taste)
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper powder
1 clove of finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
How to prepare:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In the meanwhile, toss broccoli florets with black pepper powder, salt, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
2. Now, spread broccoli on a baking sheet ensuring that the florets are spread in an even layer and place it a microwave at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
3. Bake the florets until tender enough. You can check this be putting a fork through the stems. If the florets are cooked properly and tender enough, then the fork can pierce the stems.
4. Once done, remove the tray from the oven and transfer the florets to a serving plate. You can either squeeze half a lemon over the florets or half a teaspoon of lemon juice and toss all the florets before serving for a tangy and healthy broccoli salad.
5. If you do not have an oven at home, then you can even steam the florets and add all the ingredients including salt, pepper powder, garlic and oil. Toss all the ingredients, add lemon juice and mix properly before you serve. You can either have it as an evening snack or as a mid-morning snack to crave your hunger pangs.
What Is Russian Garlic?
- By Michelle Kerns
Russian garlic is one of the common names for Allium ampeloprasum, says the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Also known as elephant garlic, levant garlic and Russian red garlic, the plant isn't a variety of garlic at all, but a type of leek brought to North America by Russian immigrants in the 1900s. Although Russian garlic resembles the more commonly used Allium sativum garlic, Clifford A. Wright, author of "Mediterranean Vegetables," warns that you should not use Russian garlic and typical garlic interchangeably in most recipes.
Russian garlic looks like a larger version of regular garlic, with each head featuring four to six purple-tinged cloves that may each be as big as one whole head of typical garlic. These cloves are easier to peel than smaller garlic cloves. The plant itself has a tall stalk with edible leaves and is topped by pink-purple flowers during the spring and summer growing season. If you own a Russian garlic plant, Wright says you can remove the plant's flower stalk in order to increase the size the individual cloves will grow.
- Health Benefits
Since it belongs to the same Alliaceae, or onion family, of plants as conventional garlic, Russian garlic is similar in nutrition to all varieties of garlic, leeks and onions. Dr. Leo Galland says plants in this family contain compounds known as bioflavonoids and allyl sulfides, which are linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. A 2007 study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" reported that garlic consumption boosts the amount of hydrogen sulfide in your body, a chemical that can increase blood flow by relaxing blood vessels.
- Storage and Preparation
Russian garlic should be stored in a cool, dry location, such as a dark pantry or cabinet. Exposure to too much heat and moisture can cause the cloves to become soft and moldy. Christopher Ranch, a commercial marketer of Russian garlic, advises customers to store cloves in the refrigerator, but not enclosed in a plastic bag where moisture can build up. To use Russian garlic, remove the thin, papery skin covering the cloves and use them raw or cooked, whole or sliced. If you cut the clove and see that the inner germ has become green, remove and discard it before cooking or eating.
- Suggested Uses
Russian garlic cloves have a milder flavor than typical garlic, so don't use them in dishes in which you want the flavor of garlic to shine through. The taste of Russian garlic is a cross between garlic and onion. Because of its mildness, you can slice the cloves and eat them raw in salads, or steam, roast or sauté them as you would any vegetable. Add them to soups, pasta dishes, pizza and dips, either raw or lightly cooked. Try making a flavored garlic oil by roasting whole cloves in olive oil, then storing the cloves and oil together in the refrigerator. You can also try grilling thick slices of the cloves, or coating them in batter, then frying them to create crispy garlic chips.
Starting Garlic From Cloves Indoors in a Shoebox
- (San Francisco Gate)
Growing garlic (Allium sativum) can be a rewarding, educational and money-saving experience. Even though this member of the Liliaceae family can grow outside in gardens within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9, growing garlic indoors is also possible and ideal if you lack outdoor space. A simple shoebox can double as a garlic-growing container. Start the cloves about eight weeks before the last spring frost date.
- Preparing the Shoebox
To provide garlic with enough space to grow, select a large, sturdy shoebox that's at least 8 inches deep. Avoid using a small shoebox, because this may result in smaller bulbs. Garlic dislikes wet roots and waterlogged soil. To prevent this and to promote water drainage, pierce holes in the bottom of the box with a screwdriver or knife. Lining the inside bottom of the box with coffee filter paper or newspaper prevents the soil from falling through the holes.
- Planting the Cloves
Garlic isn't grown from seeds -- it's grown from cloves, also known as seed garlic. Before planting, separate the cloves with the skin intact from the main bulbs. Consume the smaller cloves, because planting these usually results in smaller bulbs. Only use the larger cloves for planting. Plant the cloves with their pointy side up in well-drained potting mix. Maintain a 4- to 6-inch distance between the cloves and plant them about 3 inches deep, so there is about 1 inch of soil above the tips of the cloves.
- Growing Garlic
Moisten the soil after planting and secure a piece of plastic wrap over the shoebox opening. To encourage proper spring growth, garlic must endure an eight-week chilling period. To provide this, place the shoebox on a tray, in the refrigerator. During this period, check the soil moisture frequently and mist it with a water-filled spray bottle to keep it consistently moist. After chilling, remove the shoebox from the fridge and place it on a tray, in a sunny, south-facing window. Alternatively, suspend fluorescent lights 6 inches above the soil surface, and provide 16 hours of light per day.
As the garlic grows, water the soil about every other day, to keep it evenly moist. As soon as the garlic tips emerge, remove the plastic wrap from the box. To promote growth, fertilize the garlic seedlings twice a month with an all-purpose fertilizer. The garlic is ready to harvest when all but four to six top leaves die. Dig up the bulbs with a fork and wipe off any soil. Hang or lay the garlic to dry in a ventilated, warm area for at least four weeks. After this curing period, peel off the dirty skin, cut off the tops and roots, and store the garlic in a cool, dry area.
The Health Effects of Eating Raw Garlic Daily
- (San Francisco Gate)
Garlic is more than just a flavorful herb added to food. Used for its medicinal properties as long ago as ancient Egypt, garlic was also believed to have protective properties against plague in medieval Europe. Several natural compounds with biological activity have been identified as components of garlic. If you consume garlic, these chemicals may help keep you in general good health and might also help you avoid some potentially serious problems.
- Garlic Compounds
Garlic contains a chemical called allin, which is converted into another compound, allicin, when you chew a fresh garlic clove. Allicin is an oily chemical that decomposes very rapidly once it is formed, producing an acidic compound that reacts quickly with free radicals, destroying them. Free radicals are byproducts of digestion and also result from break down of environmental toxins by your liver and other organs. They can damage cellular membranes and DNA and, in the long term, accelerate aging and raise your risk of cancer and other diseases. Garlic also contains several other compounds, including enzymes and water-soluble chemicals. These additional compounds may be responsible for some of the health benefits of garlic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, although this still needs more study.
- Cancer Prevention
Consuming fresh garlic regularly might help you avoid certain cancers, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, whose website says that people who eat large amounts of garlic have less incidence of certain types of cancer. These include cancer of the prostate, uterus, breast and colon, as well as cancers that originate in the blood. In a laboratory study of garlic compounds published in 2011 in "Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry," researchers found that oily compounds from garlic suppressed growth of cultured human breast cancer cells and reduced the incidence of breast cancer in laboratory animals. They also found that garlic-derived compounds reduce the side effects of chemotherapy drugs and suggest that these chemicals might be useful for breast cancer therapy.
- Effects on Cholesterol and Clotting
Cholesterol is a fatty compound that travels in your blood combined with protein in a lipoprotein. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is sometimes called bad cholesterol because when its level is too high, your risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack increases. Compounds in fresh garlic might be beneficial in keeping your LDL levels in a healthy range, helping you avoid cardiovascular disease. In a review of many clinical trials published in 2010 in "Current Pharmaceutical Design," researchers concluded that garlic contains compounds effective in lowering blood levels of both LDL and total cholesterol, and suggested that garlic should be studied further as a possible therapy for those at risk of heart disease. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering, garlic may also suppress aggregation of blood platelets, possibly reducing your risk of stroke and other problems caused by blood clots.
Chewing garlic regularly is considered safe and without any significant side effects, although chemicals in garlic might have some unpleasant gastrointestinal effects. These could include bad breath, a feeling of bloating, intestinal gas or nausea. When handling fresh garlic, exercise care to keep its juice away from your eyes, since the juice can be an irritant. Garlic might interact with some medicines, such as blood thinners. Before you self-treat with garlic, discuss its use with your doctor to determine the right course for your situation.
The Best Container for Garlic and Onion
- By Michelle Z. Donahue
Some vegetable plants can’t be contained. Squash (Cucurbita spp.), for instance, seems to have a wandering spirit and wants to sprawl and spread. Garlic and onion plants, however, stay put in their little patch of earth, and it is this prim characteristic that makes them particularly well-suited to container growing. Even still, garlic and onion need some room. So sticking them into just any old pot that is laying around may not be the best tactic if the goal is to get decently plump bulbs to harvest. Pots that are deep but not cavernous give the best benefits for growing patio crops of these culinary favorites.
- Choosing a Container
Using several small containers can be more convenient than using one awkwardly large pot. Portability and space efficiency are important in plant pots. One or more 3- to 5-gallon pots, or a container at least 8 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep, is a good starting place. Pots of those sizes provide room enough to plant roughly one-half dozen cloves of garlic or onion sets. Ceramic or terracotta pots are suitable, though their soil tends to dry out faster than some other materials' soil in hot weather. Any container to be used for gardening must have drainage holes in its bottom to allow excess moisture to flow from the container.
- Growing Garlic
Garlic (Allium sativum var. sativum and Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon) is mostly a set-it-and-forget-it plant. Shove a garlic clove, blunt side down, 2 to 3 inches into the soil, and then cover the clove with soil; water the soil, and wait for the clove to sprout. Space cloves roughly 4 inches apart in every direction. The container must receive full-sun exposure, and aggressively remove all weeds that appear in the container because they seriously reduce the size of the mature garlic bulbs, which contain the cloves. Fall is the recommended season for planting garlic, providing the long growing season garlic needs to develop a full bulb of cloves by the following summer. A relatively shallow-rooted plant, garlic needs to be watered consistently while it is actively growing. Water your plats lightly in winter if precipitation is low, and then provide at least 1 inch of water per week from early spring through midsummer, when yellowing leaf tips indicate that the bulbs are almost mature. Stop watering at that sign, and dig up the bulbs when the plant tops begin to fall over. Allow the garlic bulbs to dry, or cure, for several weeks in a shady, breezy spot to ready them for long-term storage.
- Growing Onions
Onion (Allium cepa variation cepa) has many of the same cultural requirements as garlic, except that its seeds or the small bulbs called sets should be planted in early spring. In areas with warm winters, onions can be planted in fall. Seeds are planted shallowly while sets usually are planted 1 to 2 inches deep, 4 inches distant from all neighbors. Onions require full sun and frequent watering to produce full, rounded bulbs. Keep weeds strictly at bay, and stop watering your onion plants in summer when their tops begin to turn yellow. Once several of the tops fall down, manually push over the tops left standing, and harvest the bulbs when all the onion plants' tops have turned brown. Cure the harvested bulbs by allowing them to sit in a dry, well-ventilated area before taking them indoors for storage.
- Taking Precautions
The proper growing medium for container gardening is an important and often overlooked factor. A few scoops of backyard soil can’t be used as the growing medium because it compacts badly over time from frequent watering and lack of earthworm action. Pick up one or two bags of a premixed, formulated-for-containers, growing medium that includes generous proportions of compost, peat and other amendments. Avoid mixtures that contain high levels of nitrogen, which promotes top growth at the expense of garlic and onion bulbs. Containers' soil dries out much faster than soil of in-ground gardens and may need to be watered both morning and evening during the hottest part of summer. Reduced availability of water leads to stunted, sharply flavored garlic and garlic bulbs. Take care when weeding or otherwise scratching around in the plants' soil because these shallow-rooted vegetables can be damaged easily by careless cultivation.
4 Health Benefits of Garlic
- By Joyce Hendley (Contributing Writer)
Learn about the health benefits of garlic for colds, diabetes, heart health and fighting cancer.
Garlic not only infuses a delicious earthy flavor into dishes, it also delivers a healthy punch. From heart health to immunity, garlic is a healthy ally when cooking. Learn more about the health benefits of garlic.
1. Heart Health Benefits of Garlic for Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Garlic can lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots, but it’s really good at fighting high blood pressure. Here’s how researchers think it may work: Garlic breaks down in the body into compounds that contain sulfur that can trigger blood vessels to release hydrogen sulfide. That helps blood vessels relax and widen, keeping blood pressure down.
2. Health Benefits of Garlic for Diabetes Control
One recent study found that people who took a garlic supplement with their diabetes medications had better control over blood sugar levels. Bonus: their cholesterol and triglyceride levels improved too.
3. Health Benefits of Garlic for Colds
Garlic may boost the body's ability to fight colds. Some studies have found that people taking garlic supplements get less severe colds.
4. Health Benefits of Garlic for Cancer Protection
Studies show that in areas where garlic eating is highest, prostate cancer incidence is lower. Just why isn’t certain, but the sulfur compounds in garlic might help quash tumor growth and prevent cancer cells from spreading.
How Long Does it Take for Garlic to Grow & Mature?
- By Michelle Z. Donahue
Onion family members are renowned in the garden for the lengthy growing seasons needed to produce a decent harvest. Garlic (Allium sativum) is no exception, requiring a stretch of relatively cold weather for bulb formation. Gardeners in areas with a Mediterranean climate fare best by planting regionally adapted types of garlic in fall to take advantage of the cooler winter months.
- About Garlic
Originally native to Central Asia, garlic was long ago adapted to southern European climates and eventually made its way to the New World. The familiar paper-white garlic bulbs sold in grocery stores are mostly grown in California, but partly thanks to its skyrocketing popularity, many heirloom varieties of this annual with varying color, flavor and intensity are available for home growers. Though store-bought cloves may sprout in some gardens, experts recommend seeking out varieties that perform best under local climate conditions.
- Types of Garlic
Though more than 600 types of garlic are available, all are separated into two main categories: hardneck and softneck. Hardneck garlic produces a false seed stalk, called a scape, which in turn produces bulblets that can be planted like mature cloves but take longer to mature. The finished bulbs of hardneck types contain from four to 12 cloves and are best used quickly, as they do not store well. Softneck garlic does not produce a scape and is often referred to as “artichoke” or braiding garlic. Mature bulbs are larger, with several layers of 10 to 40 cloves. So-called elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is actually a type of leek grown as an annual, though it can produce mature bulbs weighing in excess of a pound. Warm-climate gardeners may have the greatest success with softneck varieties, which are more heat tolerant and store longer than other types of garlic. "Burgundy," which has a white covering but purple, mild-flavored cloves, and "Mild French Silverskin" are both softneck types well adapted to warm climates. Good hardneck types for warm, dry weather include "German Porcelain," which can grow half the size of elephant garlic, and "Killarney Red," which has an attractive pink wrapping.
- Cold Requirement
For a clove to form a bulb, most garlic types require at least 40 days with temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Absent this, the plant forms the familiar green stalk with flat leaves but no bulb. Garlic also fails to form bulbs if exposed to temperatures over 77 degrees Fahrenheit before planting, and so should be carefully refrigerated before planting.
- Reaching Maturity
Once the cold-days requirement is met and days warm up and dry out, the clove begins to split into multiple new cloves to form a bulb with characteristics identical to the parent. The number of days to maturity for any given type of garlic varies, but October and November plantings are generally ready by May or June. Garlic signals it is ready for harvest when the tops are dry and have fallen over. Entire plants should be lifted from the ground with a garden fork, taking care not to damage the wrapping around the bulb.
- Pests and Diseases
Garlic is subject to many of the same pests and diseases that affect other members of the onion family. Thrips cause foliar damage and can be controlled by spraying liquid insecticidal soap onto foliage. Onion maggots bore into the underground bulb and cause the top foliage to yellow and wilt. Control is mostly through rotation of crops and removing affected plants. Wireworms also damage bulbs by burrowing and occur mainly when garlic is planted in an area that was recently covered with grass. Armyworms congregate on individual plants and strip the foliage one by one. Populations can be controlled by handpicking or spraying with a caterpillar control liquid containing Bacillus thuringiensis.
Growing your own onions and garlic
- By Sophia Markoulakis (Special to The Chronicle)
Now that it's time to think about planting root crops, you might want to grow every kind of onion or other allium that strikes your fancy. But don't spend all your time growing storage onions that you can find at the supermarket. Instead, consider planting specialty alliums such as super-sweet 'Walla Walla,' torpedo-shaped reds, Italian cipollinis, oh-so-French shallots and unusual garlic varieties that cost a fortune at the store but are easy to grow at home.
There are three approaches to growing onions: from seed, from transplant or from sets.
Each method has its advantages and fan base. Growing from seed is by far the most economical. It's also the most adventurous and interesting. Starting from seed can be a gamble, yet the variety of unusual seeds makes it an enticing one.
Purchasing transplants during fall and early winter is a less risky way to go, but the choices can be limited. Onion sets are onion bulbs that are grown in tight quarters to stunt their growth, harvested prematurely, then sold for the following year's planting. Some gardeners claim that onions tend to bolt in the spring because of their biennial nature.
Onions planted in the fall get the benefit of a long growing season and tend to produce larger bulbs than those planted in the spring. All onions are categorized as short-, intermediate- or long-day onions. These terms relate to the length of daylight that the plant receives.
The northern United States, which receives more daylight, requires long-day varieties. These onions typically need 15 to 16 hours of daylight to produce bulbs. 'Walla Walla,' 'Spanish Yellow,' 'Copra,' 'Red Tropea' and 'Borettana Cippolini' are some popular long-day varieties.
Short-day varieties do well in the South and require only about 12 hours of light. Most sweet onions, such as 'Texas Supersweet' and 'White Bermuda,' are considered short-day varieties.
The center of the country, including California, can successfully grow intermediate-day varieties. 'Stockton Early Red,' 'Candy,' and some pearl and cipollini varieties are perfect. Don't be afraid to experiment with all three.
Elise Loveday-Brown, co-founder of Sweetwater Organics in Santa Rosa, encourages gardeners to give seeds a try. Her organic wholesale plant company provides many local retailers with onion seedlings.
Loveday-Brown says starting onions from seedlings just buys time and recommends starting seeds first in flats because onions and weeds compete for space.
"When seedlings germinate and reach 1/4 inch tall, hose off all the topsoil and place them on their side in rows built up a bit for proper drainage. Lightly top with soil and wait for them to grow strong enough to stand and pop through the soil."
She hasn't found her onions to be heavy feeders, and says rich, loose soil is all you need.
Her company does carry several easy-to-grow varieties, such as 'Stockton Early Red,' a popular Northern California onion that produces large, juicy, mild bulbs. Her plants also are available at many grocery stores, such as Whole Foods and Mollie Stone's.
"It is a growing trend to carry plants at these food stores," Loveday-Brown says.
Onion seeds should be sown and sprouting by the end of September for transplanting into the garden by October or November. If you skip a step and go straight to transplants, which resemble green onions, you should order them now because many mail-order companies sell out in the fall and won't have any available until the following year.
Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply in Grass Valley have a large selection of both onion transplants and onion sets. Get transplants into the ground as soon as they are delivered; they tend to dry out quickly. Plant them deep enough to cover the bulb.
Growing onions from sets is the fastest way to produce onions. Sets will become available in the next couple of months, at retail locations and through mail order.
Loveday-Brown is skeptical of sets, saying that "you don't know how it (the plant) has suffered at any stage. Anytime you stop the natural growth and progress, you are taking a risk."
Sets should be planted like other bulbs, with their roots pointing down 2 inches deep with their tips covered with no more than 2 inches of soil. In the Bay Area climate, onion sets can be planted as late as January.
All onions, regardless of their form, should be planted in rich, loose soil. Establish rows by mounding the soil, spacing rows 18 inches apart and spacing onions 8 inches apart. Use a water-soluble starter fertilizer, high in phosphorus, to establish a strong root system. Water well throughout the growing season, especially if rains don't do the job. Keep weeds down by mulching as much as 2 inches.
Harvest premature onions anytime during the spring and enjoy as you would green scallions. Continue to water regularly throughout the growing season until the tops of the onions begin to brown and droop, usually beginning in June and running through July.
Cease watering and use a garden rake to press the stalks gently down to rest flat against the soil. Keep the tops attached and harvest by hand or garden fork after the tops have dried.
Cure the onions and tops for as long as three weeks in a dry, well-ventilated location. It can be done in a dry area of your garden. Keep out of direct light if temperatures run high.
Once the onions have cured and their skins have dried, the tops can be removed, roots can be trimmed and dirt dusted off, and the onions can be stored according to variety.
Sweet onions have a short shelf life and should be stored in the refrigerator, but more pungent onions can be stored in open-weave bags in a dark, dry location around 50 degrees for four to six months.
There's no better way to get caught up in the nuances of garlic varieties than by checking out Filaree's Web site. This organic farm and mail-order company in Washington carries more than 100 varieties and provides detailed information about each strain.
Softneck garlic refers to its bendable stalk. Most supermarket garlic is the softneck 'Silverskin' variety because it is easy to produce commercially, has a thicker skin and a long storage life. Softnecks are also used in garlic braids.
Hardneck varieties have fewer cloves, thinner casing, and shorter storage life. 'Rocambole' is a popular hardneck variety, prized for its full flavor and plump bulbs. Experiment with both varieties.
Purchase garlic sets from reputable mail-order seed companies or garlic farms. Garlic sets also should be available at many local garden centers by the end of September. The garden bed can be prepared the same way for all alliums, but rows should be arranged closer together for garlic, about 1 foot apart and each clove planted 6 inches apart.
To plant, separate the cloves from the bulb, keeping the skin and roots attached. Only use the largest cloves, reserving smaller ones for consumption.
Plant 2 inches deep, roots down, and cover with 2 inches of soil. Mulch to keep weeds at bay.
Harvest garlic the same way you would onions, allowing the tops to turn from yellow to brown and guiding them to fall over and dry. Pull up sample bulbs and harvest when bulbs look mature for their variety. Cure garlic as you would onions, except keep out of direct sunlight.
If braiding softneck varieties, keep tops on; otherwise, clean like onions. Store in a ventilated bag or similar netting in a cool dry place for as long as eight months.
Shallots can be started from seed, but most gardeners find success with sets. Because shallots grow several clusters of bulbs attached to one root system, they should only be separated by bulb, not by clove.
Plant individual bulbs, like garlic, with similar spacing and depth. Most companies that offer onion and garlic sets for sale also offer shallots.
'French Red' shallots are a popular variety. Sets planted as late as January should be ready to harvest by midsummer and will show signs of maturity when half of their foliage turns brown and dries. Remove from the soil by hand or with a garden fork, careful not to bruise or damage the skin. Cure and store as you would garlic. Shallots can also be braided like softneck garlic.
What Are the Health Benefits of Raw Garlic Vs. Cooked Garlic?
- By Amber Olson
Garlic has a long history of use for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Because it has a strong odor and a pungent flavor when raw, garlic is often cooked before it's eaten. But, research has shown that cooking garlic can sometimes diminish its health benefits.
- Organosulfur Compounds
Garlic is high in organosulfur compounds, which are believed to be responsible for its aroma, flavor and health benefits. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, organosulfur compounds in garlic act as anti-clotting agents by inhibiting platelet aggregation and may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Researchers also believe these organosulfur compounds may be protective against cancer.
- Raw Vs. Cooked: Anticarcinogenic Activity
Heating garlic has been shown to reduce its anticancer properties. Sixty seconds of microwave heating and 45 minutes of oven heating both blocked the anticarcinogenic activity of garlic, according to a study published in 2001 in "The Journal of Nutrition." However, crushing garlic and allowing it to stand for 10 minutes before microwave heating for 60 seconds was found to preserve some of garlic's anticarcinogenic activity.
- Raw Vs. Cooked: Anticlotting Effect
Oven baking -- at 200 degrees Celsius -- or boiling for up to 3 minutes did not affect garlic's ability to inhibit platelet aggregation, according to a study published in 2007 in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry." Heating for 6 minutes suppressed all anticlotting activity in whole garlic, while crushed garlic showed reduced, but still significant, anti-clotting activity. Heating garlic for more than 10 minutes and microwaving garlic result in no anticlotting effects.
- How Cooking Affects Garlic
Crushing garlic releases an enzyme, called alliinase, that causes the formation of allicin. Allicin then breaks down to form the beneficial organosulfur compounds. However, the heat from cooking can inactivate alliinase. Researchers have found that crushing garlic and letting it stand for 10 minutes before cooking allows time for alliinase to work before heat inactivates it. So, the next time you’re making something with garlic, crush it first and add it to the dish toward the end of the cooking time.
Beauty benefits of garlic
- By Priyanka Ganwani
We love that garlic garnishing for our favorite dishes, but the benefits of garlic serve much more!
Garlic usually makes for a strong tasting garnish for our dishes. However, this herb is a simple answer to a list of beauty and health problems, containing essential nutrients for our benefit.
For instance, it offers anti-fungal and antibiotic properties, along with high levels of zinc, calcium, sulfur, allicin, and selenium. Here is how it relieves our skin and hair with the help of these properties and compounds:
- • Treats hair loss
The presence of allicin, a sulfur compound enables garlic to combat hair loss. This is so because the compound works on increasing blood circulation in the scalp, which results in stimulating hair growth, keeping hair loss at bay.
- • Resolves scalp infections and dandruff
Other common problems that garlic tackles are itchy scalp, infections and excessive dandruff. The sulfur in garlic plays a key role in banishing dandruff and flakiness.
- • Clears blemishes and acne
A clove of garlic is good enough to eliminate bacteria from the skin’s surface with its anti-fungal power. Similarly, the antioxidants in garlic cleanse clogged pores and reduce acne and blemishes.
- • Keeps anti-ageing signs at bay
Just like it’s a great remedy for acne and pimples, garlic is beneficial to keep various signs of skin ageing away, as well. This rather traditional herb reduces free radicals and ensures the skin stays firm and youthful. The presence of sulfur in garlic aids collagen production which essentially fights off wrinkles and fine lines.
- • Strengthens brittle nails
It doesn’t take too long for our nails to get exposed to fungal infections followed by yellow stains on our nails. Such infections weaken our cuticles further, turning them dull and brittle. In such a case, garlic could provide relief too. Its anti-fungal nature protects and prevents nail infections. Use these kitchen ingredients to to strengthen weak nails.
- Garlic and olive oil for better hair growth
Garlic, when used with a base oil such as olive oil, further helps in nourishing the hair and reduces hair fall. Olive oil increases blood circulation and immediately stimulates hair follicles for thicker growth. Hence, the mixture of both these ingredients is ideal for healthy hair. You could also try castor oil for better hair growth.
- • Soak some garlic cloves in olive oil for a week or so.
- • After a week, use this oil to massage the scalp thoroughly.
- • Leave it overnight and wash with a mild shampoo.
- • Do this at least once a week for desired results.
- Garlic cloves with honey in conditioner and shampoo for dandruff-free hair
If you want to put an end to your excessive dandruff problem, ingredients like garlic and honey in your regular shampoo and conditioner could prove beneficial.
Honey is a humectant and nourishes the hair from the roots and right till the ends. Regular use of honey also ensures lustrous hair. Hence, using it with garlic deep cleanses and eliminates dandruff well. An easy way to incorporate these two ingredients in your regular hair-washing regime is by simply adding them to your shampoo or conditioner. Banish dandruff with these natural remedies.
- • Crush some garlic cloves and accumulate its juice.
- • Take a tablespoon of honey and add to your shampoo.
- • Mix it with the garlic juice and apply it thoroughly on your scalp.
- Garlic with vinegar for acne and pimples
Acne and pimples are common skin problems that need strong remedies to free the skin and keep it healthy. Like garlic, apple cider vinegar too comes with bacteria-killing and acidic properties that ward off acne and their stubborn marks. Want to try out some more home remedies for acne? Try these!
- • Take around 2-3 pods of garlic and crush these into fine bits.
- • Mix this with some vinegar.
- • Dab a cotton ball soaked into this mixture and apply over the affected area.
- • Leave it on for a few minutes and wash well with cold water.
- Garlic cloves for infected nails
Garlic is a useful remedy to protect the nails against bacterial infections and helps in removal of yellow stains. You can also use toothpaste to whiten your nails.
- • Churn out the juice from some crushed garlic cloves.
- • Soak a cotton ball into this juice and rub against your cuticles.
- • Do this twice a week for healthier nails.
- • Alternatively, you could squeeze in some garlic juice into your hand cream or lotion and apply it all over your nails.
Surprising Health Benefits Of Garlic And Onions
- By Leo Galland, M.D.
When talking about aromatic onions and garlic, we might as well get right to the question:
Would you be willing to smell a little worse to feel a little better?
Of course, for fans of these vegetables, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Since ancient times, onions, garlic and scallions have been prized around the world for their culinary uses. Because of their durability, onions have been shipped and traded across long distances. According to a study from the UK, when it comes to horticultural crops, onions are the second most important after tomatoes.
Now scientists from the U.S., England, France, Italy and other countries are confirming the outstanding health benefits of allium vegetables such as onions, garlic and scallions. Research has looked at how these vegetables help to facilitate detoxification and act as powerful antioxidants, stimulate immune responses and reduce inflammation.
- What Makes Onions and Garlic Special?
Some scientists believe the components in onions and garlic called allyl sulfides and bioflavonoids may be key to the research observations of generally lower incidence of cancer and heart disease in people who consume large amounts of garlic and onions, compared with those who eat less.
- Nutritional Support for Cancer Prevention
A study from the National Cancer Institute found that eating 10 grams (approximately two teaspoons) or more of garlic, onions or scallions a day was associated with a statistically significantly lower risk of prostate cancer for the participants in the study.
A study conducted at Case Western Reserve University indicated that garlic may help reduce the occurrence rate of pre-cancerous tumors (polyps) in the large intestine.
- Garlic and Onions for Detoxification
Many cancers are thought to be caused by damage to DNA, often induced by environmental toxins. A study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that eating a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a half cup of onions per day increases the levels of a key enzyme for removing toxins in the blood cells of healthy women. The authors of this study believed that men would require a higher dose on average for the same effect, because of their larger body size.
Another study, conducted in Scotland, found that eating sautéed onions increases the resistance of the blood cells to DNA damage.
- Garlic and Cholesterol
While a highly publicized clinical trial at Stanford University found that garlic did not lower cholesterol levels in healthy people with moderately elevated cholesterol, previous studies have indicated that garlic is more likely to produce beneficial effects on cholesterol in women than in men, and in patients with diabetes or heart disease than in healthy individuals.
News reports of this negative trial failed to recognize that the cholesterol-lowering effects of garlic are not the same for all people and that any trial containing a large percentage of healthy men could miss an effect that might be found if the people studied were patients with diabetes or heart disease.
In addition, while there is so much focus on the connection between cholesterol and heart disease, the benefits of garlic in preventing heart disease are probably due to factors other than changes in cholesterol.
In particular, clinical experiments have shown that regular consumption of garlic decreased calcium deposits and the size of arterial plaque in coronary arteries, prevented unhealthy blood clotting and improved the circulation of the subjects who were studied.
- How to Add Garlic and Onions Your Day
The minimum effective amount is generally two teaspoons a day of garlic or two tablespoons of onions or scallions, chopped or crushed.
When shopping, look for the freshest bulbs. Onions should be very firm with an intact outer layer. For garlic, look for a bulb with tightly packed cloves. Pick scallions that are bright green and skip any that are wilted.
In the kitchen, chopped onions or garlic are the starting point for many cooked dishes. They also add robust flavor to main courses, soups and omelets. A sprinkle of chopped scallions or chives makes a perfect garnish to add flavor to dips, sandwiches, salads and grilled dishes. Cooking does not diminish the protective effects of garlic, onions or other alliums.
- Caramelized Onion
For a savory side dish my son Jonathan Galland wrote this simple recipe for caramelized onion.
Simply slice one large onion and sauté slowly in a half teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the onion turns soft and golden, which brings out the natural sweetness. For more delicious ways to enjoy onions and garlic, visit www.fatresistancediet.com.
I hope you enjoy the healthy pleasure of onions and garlic now and throughout the year.
Many reasons to be gung-ho about garlic
- By Rhonda Nowak (for the Mail Tribune)
I never liked garlic before, but tonight it is delightful! There is peace in its smell; I feel sleep coming already.”
— Miss Lucy Westenra in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” 1897
Did any young Draculas come knocking on your door this Halloween? If so, no doubt you sent the little vampires on their way after a gasp — “Ooh, scary!” — and a goodie.
Not so for poor Miss Lucy Westenra in Bram Stoker’s horror novel set in Victorian England. Lucy is the first young lady to fall under the spell of charming but bloodthirsty Count Dracula. After she becomes mysteriously ill, Professor Van Helsing is summoned from Amsterdam because, according to Lucy’s physician, Dr. Seward, Van Helsing “knows as much about obscure diseases as anyone in the world.” The professor attempts to save Miss Westenra by scattering garlic flowers all around her bedroom and making a wreath of the flowers to wear around her neck.
Garlic has been used for treating ailments for as long as history has been recorded. In Ancient Egypt, slaves were fed garlic to improve their capacity for work and to help prevent heat stroke. Well preserved garlic cloves were discovered in the tomb of King Tutankhamen, who ruled Egypt between 1334 and 1325 B.C.E.
Competitors at the first Olympic Games in ancient Greece ate garlic to increase their performance, and men in ancient China downed garlic to enhance their sexual prowess. During the Middle Ages, garlic was used to treat the Great Plagues. Around the time “Dracula” was published, garlic appeared in several health-related books as a remedy for worms, lung disease and flu-like symptoms.
Modern science has confirmed the health benefits of garlic. During World War II, it was discovered that fresh garlic contains a substance called allinase, which converts into another substance, allicin, when planted garlic is attacked by microbial pathogens in the soil. Allicin has proven to be a powerful defense mechanism for garlic and for humans. Research has shown this active compound in garlic enhances the immune system, lowers “bad” cholesterol while increasing “good" cholesterol, and supports a healthy circulatory system.
If I’ve swayed you to be gung-ho for garlic, there’s still time during November to plant garlic in your garden for harvesting next summer. First, decide whether you will grow a hardneck or softneck variety. Hardneck types have larger but fewer cloves, stronger flavor and a more limited storage life because they have a thinner outer wrapper. Softneck types have smaller cloves but more of them, milder flavor, and they keep longer. The “neck” or scape is flexible, which makes softneck garlic good for braiding. Most garlic sold in grocery stores is a softneck variety.
Whichever type you choose, separate cloves from the bulbs on the day you will plant them. Each clove will grow into a new bulb. Use the largest cloves for planting and the smaller cloves for cooking. Garlic grows best in raised beds with fertile soil that drains well (pH 6.0-7.0). Before planting, mix compost and a high-phosphorous fertilizer into the top 8 inches of soil. Then plant, pointy-side up, so the top of the cloves are 2 inches below the soil line, spacing about 3 inches apart. Keep in mind that 40-50 cloves (1 pound) will fill a 20- to 25-foot row or three rows in an 8-foot raised bed.
Mulch with leaves or straw for winter protection, and watch for rot from too much moisture. Next spring, use a balanced fertilizer when new growth emerges. See my blog for tips on harvesting and storing garlic.
Alas, Professor Van Helsing wasn’t able to save Lucy, but that was no fault of the garlic. While she was sleeping soundly, Lucy’s mother removed the “horrible, strong-smelling flowers” from around her daughter’s neck and opened the window for a little fresh air …
Gardens: boost your garlic
- By James Wong (James Wong on gardens)
If there is one ingredient I just couldn’t live without, it would be garlic. From its ridiculous versatility to its widely researched health benefits, garlic even acts as a natural flavour enhancer, adding a rich depth to pretty much any savoury dish. If you have never grown it before, you are in for a real treat and right now is the perfect time to start.
If you want the maximum taste and health benefits from garlic you really do have to go straight to the source. My favourite variety for flavour is an old Eastern European cultivar called ‘Red Duke’, which is as fierce and fiery as they get, mellowing to rich, complex umaminess when cooked.
Like most of the “hardneck” garlic varieties, it is more closely related to garlic’s wild ancestor in the mountains of Afghanistan than the boring and bland “softneck” varieties that dominate the supermarket shelves. This rugged constitution means it churns out more of the pungent sulphur-based chemicals that help defend the plant from attack from insects, fungal diseases and bacterial infections, making it much easier to grow in soggy old Blighty. It’s these exact same chemicals that also give garlic its characteristic flavour and associated health benefits, so it is a hands-down winner all round.
Pick the sunniest spot you have and plant individual cloves 15cm apart any time between now and late January, and water in well. Scattering a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts over each square metre of planting bed can up the strength of your garlic. This is because garlic produces its flavour compounds using the sulphur it sucks up from the soil. As many British soils are sulphur-deficient, correcting this imbalance will pay dividends.
After this the plants are pretty much happy to just get on with it, only needing the occasional watering during very dry periods, and offer up nearly eight times the amount you put in by next June.
Even once you have harvested garlic there are two tricks you can do to improve flavour and nutrition. This is because allicin, the active ingredient in garlic, is not really found in intact cloves at all but is only generated when you damage the bulbs by chopping or slicing them.
Two compounds held in different parts of cells suddenly mix, generating a chemical reaction that churns out the good stuff. So the finer you chop it, the better. Prolonged cooking destroys one of the compounds in garlic that is responsible for the reaction. But adding a tiny amount of raw stuff at the end of cooking (about 10% the amount used in the cooked dish) replaces enough of it to spark it off again, as if by magic, making the cooked version potentially as good as raw. Good luck!
13 Surprising Benefits of Garlic
- By Alyssa Jung
Try garlic for these unexpected health benefits, who-knew beauty uses, and hidden home repairs.
- Grow beautiful hair with garlic.
Garlic could end your hair loss problems because of its high levels of allicin, a sulfur compound similar to that found in onions, which were found to effectively treat hair loss. Rub sliced cloves of garlic on your scalp, squeezing as you go for the most benefit. You can also infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp.
- Garlic clears acne.
It might not be a main ingredient in your drugstore acne medication, but garlic makes a great natural remedy to banish unsightly blemishes. Its antioxidants kill bacteria, so rub a sliced clove of garlic on the pimple for an effective topical treatment.
- Garlic prevents and treats colds.
Packed with antioxidants, a daily dose of garlic in your recipes could benefit your immune system. If a cold does sneak by, try sipping garlic tea: steep chopped or minced garlic in hot water for several minutes, then strain and drink. You can add a bit of honey or ginger to improve the taste.
- Soothe psoriasis with garlic.
Since garlic has proven anti-inflammatory properties, it could be useful in relieving uncomfortable psoriasis outbreaks. Try rubbing a little garlic oil on the affected area for smooth, rash-free skin.
- Control your weight with garlic.
Garlic could help you control your weight, according to nutritionist Cynthia Sass, who cites a study that showed mice eating a garlic-rich diet reduced their weight and fat stores. To take advantage of this benefit, try to cook with garlic daily.
- Remove a splinter with garlic.
Placing a slice of garlic over the sliver and covering it with a bandage or duct tape has been a folk cure for years. As natural remedies gain in popularity, current bloggers swear this one works.
- Treat athlete's foot with garlic.
With its anti-fungal properties, some people swear that a benefit of garlic is its ability to relieve itchy athlete's foot. Soak your feet in a bath of warm water and crushed garlic.
- Keep away mosquitoes with garlic.
Scientists aren't sure why, but mosquitoes don't seem to like garlic. One study in India found that people who rubbed a garlicky concoction on their arms and legs weren't bothered by the pesky buggers. Make a solution of garlic oil, petroleum jelly, and beeswax for a natural repellant or place cloves of garlic nearby.
- Garlic conquers cold sores.
A popular cold sore home remedy involves holding a bit of crushed garlic directly on the cold sore; its natural anti-inflammatory properties could help reduce pain and swelling. Garlic supplements may also speed up the healing process, according to ecosalon.com.
- Garlic works as a natural glue.
Have you ever noticed how sticky your fingers get after chopping garlic? That natural adhesive quality is why some people use garlic to fix hairline cracks in glass. Crush some cloves and rub the juice on the crack, wiping away any excess.
- De-ice your sidewalk with garlic.
A town in Iowa used donated garlic salt to remove ice from roadways. Next time you stumble on old garlic salt in the back of your spice cabinet, save it for an icy walkway.
- Protect plants with garlic.
Garden pests don't like garlic, so make a natural pesticide using garlic, mineral oil, water, and liquid soap. Pour into a spray bottle and mist your plants to keep away destructive critters.
- Catch more fish with garlic.
Fish are so attracted to the scent of garlic that you can buy bait with the smell built in. Or, get this benefit by making your own using food scraps and, of course, plenty of cloves.
Why Drink Garlic Juice?
- By Praveen Kumar
Garlic juice is a potent antibiotic drink. It helps a lot in your overall health. Most of us hate the pungent smell and taste of garlic but if you can bear it then you can protect your health in many ways and enjoy several benefits.
In order to prepare garlic juice, just peel a few garlic cloves and grind it to paste using a blender. Use a mesh filter to derive its juice. You can further filter it to remove all the pulp and get pure liquid. Place it in your fridge for daily consumption.
Consume a teaspoon of this juice every morning. You can also add it to your vegetable juices. However, never try this remedy if you have any health conditions like ulcer. Consult a doctor before consuming garlic juice. Here are some of its benefits...
Benefit #1 If you are suffering from sore throat or cough, consume a teaspoon of garlic juice mixed in a cup of warm water.
Benefit #2 If you regularly consume garlic juice, your cholesterol levels may decrease. Also, it is good for your arteries.
Benefit #3 Add a teaspoon of garlic juice a cup of milk and consume it regularly to prevent infertility.
Benefit #4 Take a teaspoon of garlic juice and ad some drops of honey to control the symptoms of asthma.
Benefit #5 In case of bug bites or insect bites, apply a drop of garlic juice on the affected area for relief.
Benefit #6 Applying a bit of garlic juice to your scalp may be good for hair growth too.
Benefit #7 Consuming a teaspoon of garlic juice is very good for your heart heath too. But consult your doctor first before you try garlic juice.
Read why you should always take garlic and honey
- By Temitope Popoola
Garlic is one of the healthiest plants in the world; it is considered to be a plant in the allium or onion family and is known to be used for culinary purposes as well as a remedy to various ailments.
It is high in a compound called Allicin; this sulfuric compound is believed to be the one responsible for most of the health benefits obtained from the consumption of garlic since it has potent medicinal properties. Garlic grows in many parts of the world as it is known to be a popular ingredient for cooking since it enhances the taste of the food. It also generates a strong smell when it is being used to cook.
When this plant is being taken, the allicin content in it enters the body from the digestive tract to the other parts of the body where it exerts its effects. Many people do not like the after taste and smell they get when they eat raw garlic; however, if you want to tap from all the benefits embedded in this plant, you would have to overlook that and chew it daily.
The benefits of honey, on the other hand, go beyond the great taste. It helps boosts the immune system in addition to it having antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Taking honey also helps improve the digestive system and it would enhance the over all well-being of whoever takes it. The use of honey dates back to thousands of years as people have found a different use for it. It is being used as a remedy for the treatment of many ailments and also eaten as food to improve health conditions. It has been known and used as a natural sweetener long before the introduction of sugar.
Taking this delicious food has the ability to load you with bouts of energy. People combine it with other foods when they want to eat; it could be spread generously on bread or licked raw. Combining garlic and honey would do amazing things to you body as both foods are loaded with benefits.
Eating garlic in pregnancy has been found to be helpful; it helps the growing fetus to gain weight in the womb. It also helps to fight respiratory tract infections as it boosts the immune system; this helps fight a cough, cold and chest infections.
Taking garlic and honey every day would keep your body fit and strong. Garlic contains an appreciable level of iodine which is effective for the prevention and treatment of hyperthyroid conditions. Honey, on the other hand, will help you have an early start as it helps revitalize the body.
It helps with memory retention and is highly recommended for children in school. Taking honey on a regular basis helps the body to recover.
Eating raw garlic and honey would also help reduce the risk of having high blood pressure. This combination is also good for checking and regulating cholesterol levels in the body. Diabetic patients can indulge in this healthy combination.
Garlic particularly helps the body recover from fever attacks, bug bites and fungal infections. This is because garlic contains vitamin C which helps boost the immune system.
To get the best from these healthy foods, garlic could be peeled and chopped in tiny pieces which would be dropped in a spoonful of honey. You can put your garlic in a glass jar filled with honey too. Ensure you take both every day and watch your body get stronger with each passing moment.
Garlic could also be combined with onion and other foods for the treatment of other ailments. Garlic purifies the blood and helps the body get rid of the toxins in the body. A clove of garlic taken with lemon would be helpful if you want to shed some weight.
Taking garlic and honey would make you stay healthy. Honey has been proved to contain anti-tumour and carcinogen-preventing properties.
This means that taking this healthy food would reduce the chances of you having tumours and cancers. It could also help reduce the progression of cancer.
--- 6 Surprising Ways To Use Garlic In Hair Care
- (Kumutha, BoldSky)
Is your rapidly thinning hair giving you nightmare? Do you wakeup to hair strands coating your pillows and bedsheets? Then, it is time to up your hair care routine and try potent yet safe ways to solve the issue. And when it comes to boosting hair growth, we can think of no powerful ingredient than garlic.
How to use garlic in preventing hair loss, you ask? Here is how. Garlic is packed with zinc and copper which stimulate blood circulation, cleanse scalp of the buildup residue and help remove flaky dandruff.
Sulphur deficiency is one of the prime causes behind weak hair strands, brittle nails and dry skin. Garlic contains a strong amount of sulphur, which whether consumed or applied topically reverses the signs of hair fall.
Enriched with vitamin C, garlic not just prevents hair fall, but also repairs damaged hair follicles and improves hair texture.
Pre-menopausal and menopausal women mainly experience hair fall due to sudden dwindling of iron. Garlic has high iron content, which when consumed directly can improve the iron count in your system within seven days.
With so many benefits in store, we could not help but find out unique ways to use garlic in hair care.
So, here are 6 ways how you can use garlic in your hair care routine, do have a look.
- Garlic-Infused Oil
This oil infused with the goodness of garlic in your hair care routine will promote hair growth, kill scalp infection-causing bacteria and prevent hair from greying.
- How To Make
Crush a few garlic cloves and extract the juice. Mix 1 tablespoon of garlic juice with half a cup of coconut oil. Heat it in low flame. Massage the oil on to your scalp. Massage until you feel your scalp becoming warm. Let it sit for an hour or so. Rinse your hair with clarifying shampoo and condition.
- Raw Garlic Serum
Tried and tested way to prevent hair loss immediately is by combining the potent properties of garlic with an equally effective ingredient, onion juice.
- How To Make Extract garlic oil and mix it with 1 tablespoon of raw onion juice. Immerse a cotton ball into the solution and gently apply it through your scalp. Massage your scalp with the soft bud of your fingers for a few minutes. After about 20 minutes, rinse your hair thoroughly with cold water. Follow this method every night for quick results.
- Garlic Conditioner Another seamless natural way to include garlic in your hair care routine to prevent hair loss is by simply adding garlic to your regular conditioner.
- How To Make
Dry garlic under sunlight, grind it into fine powder and mix the powder with your regular conditioner. You can also add garlic juice to your conditioner to amp up its effectiveness.
- Garlic Mask
When selenium present in garlic is combined with vitamin E in olive oil and proteins of egg mask, expect nothing less than an absolutely natural way to include garlic for hair care. A hair care tip that will change your hair forever!
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of
- How To Make Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until you get a frothy pack. Apply it liberally through your hair and scalp. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Clear it out with a clarifying shampoo and follow it up with a mild conditioner.
- Garlic Salve
Another way to include garlic in your hair care routine is by making a soothing salve out of it. Now, garlic alone can be irritating on the skin, but when you combine it with healing aloe vera and nourishing honey, it adds a punch of goodness to it.
- 1 tablespoon of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
- How To Make In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Whip until you get a smooth paste. Apply it to your scalp every night. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This salve will help reduce inflammation and the rashes on your scalp.
- Garlic Spray
This is by far the most handy way to use garlic in your hair care routine. This natural remedy is perfect for hair growth.
- 1 tablespoon of garlic juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup distilled water
- 10 drops of lavender oil
- How To Make
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Stir until the ingredients combine well. Pour the solution in a glass bottle. Shake it well before using. Store it in a cool and dry place. Caution: Avoid storing the solution in a plastic bottle, as garlic reacts badly with plastic and emits a pungent odour.
6 benefits of garlic
- By Temitope Adeiye
Unlike its cousin onion, garlic is less preferred because of its strong smell. Here are six reasons you should consume garlic.
1. Garlic boosts the immune system:
Garlic is an ingredient in most homemade remedies, it can combat several illnesses, such as cold and cough. If you are prone to the common cold and its variants, maybe you should include garlic in your diet.
2. The active components in garlic can reduce blood pressure:
Hypertension, one of the biggest killer diseases in the world today can be treated with supplement doses garlic which lowers the blood pressure considerably.
3. Garlic is useful for detoxification:
Garlic reduces toxicity in the blood and reduces the clinical signs/symptoms of toxicity in the body.
4. Garlic lowers the risk of heart disease:
Garlic lowers cholesterol in the body, considerably reducing the risk of heart diseases.
5. Garlic fights cancer:
Garlic increases the production of hydrogen sulfide. Researchers and scientists are of the opinion that this is the reason garlic is effective in fighting several types of cancer.
6. Garlic tastes great:
When used to season or garnish food, garlic has a unique taste and smell that makes for a great meal.
B.C. community says its mosquito-fighting garlic spray is working
- (The Canadian Press)
The mayor of the district of Taylor in northeastern B.C. says if the second application goes well, council may expand the program for 2017.
TAYLOR, B.C.—A northeastern B.C. community is discovering a little garlic can make a big difference when battling an itchy pest.
The District of Taylor, just south of Fort St. John, is using a garlic spray to fight mosquitoes and Mayor Rob Fraser says it’s working.
He says ball diamonds have now been misted with the 99 per cent garlic spray and a second application is planned.
Taylor councillors have been assured the spray can kill mosquito larvae while leftover sulphurs, undetectable by humans, can deter adult mosquitoes for weeks.
Floods and heavy rains delayed the experiment but Fraser says Taylor residents are generally pleased and some have even bought the product and sprayed it themselves.
He says if the second application goes as well, council will have to decide on a budget to expand the project in 2017.
“The next phase (would) also have a look at the equipment. Right now, we’re just spraying it with backpacks, so it is very labour intensive,” he says.
Leduc, Alta., and Huntsville, Ont., have also used the environmentally friendly garlic solution to eradicate mosquitoes.
Benefits of Garlic: 11 Healthy Reasons To Eat More Of This Smelly Superfood
- By Terri Coles (The Huffington Post Canada)
Garlic — known to some as the stinking rose — is used by many cuisines around the world to add flavour to food, but it's also been used as a natural medicinal ingredient for centuries, both in its fresh plant form and as a supplement.
Peter McClusky, founder of the Toronto Garlic Festival, moved back to Ontario from New York in 2009 and started growing garlic, which is actually part of the onion family. Today he's an expert, sharing his love of the bulb with Torontonians. Five thousand people came out for the city's first garlic festival, McClusky said, so there's got to be some shared affection there.
So aside from the fact that it's delicious, why add garlic to your dishes? "Research shows that garlic is responsible for lipid-lowering, anti-blood coagulation, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-microbial effects," McClusky said.
Immune System Boost: Garlic was used to fight gangrene during the world wars—probably not a concern of yours, but it may be able to help you fight off a more modern-day ailment. This herb could help keep those cold-weather colds and flus at bay. The food's antioxidants can help your immune system run well; in addition to simply eating it, you could also try steeping garlic into a tea by steeping chopped garlic in hot water. Add a bit of natural honey to soothe your throat and cut some of the intense garlic taste.
Get Those Antioxidants: Here's a reason to crush a few garlic cloves into your next meal — garlic is a great source of antioxidants, which we know play an important role for our health. The evidence is varied, but there is some research supporting garlic's potential benefits. One of those benefits might be beating bad skin: those antioxidants can kill the bacteria that are sometimes a cause of acne. Next time you have a pimple, try rubbing on a sliced clove of raw garlic.
Get Heart Healthy: Studies have shown that garlic can benefit the health of your respiratory and circulatory system in several different ways. Let's count them: it could help with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and artery hardening. The research on each condition and how garlic can help is varied, but research into what it can do for atherosclerosis and blood pressure is promising. These benefits may come from the production of hydrogen sulfide gas, which is produced when red blood cells take the sulphuric compounds from garlic. The gas can help expand our blood vessels, which can help keep your blood pressure steady.
Beat Inflammation: Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties — one study identified four sulphuric compounds in garlic that helped cut inflammation. People who suffer from auto-immune diseases might be helped by including garlic in their diets — Dr. Andrew Weil includes it in his Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid. As well, if you have psoriasis — a skin condition related to inflammation — try rubbing garlic oil directly on the affected area for relief.
Prevent Food Poisoning: Some research indicates that garlic's anti-bacterial properties might help to prevent food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis.(The affect would only apply with fresh garlic, not aged.) One study found that garlic was better at treating Campylobacter than two kinds of antibiotics (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9238912/Garlic-fights-food-poisoning-bacteria.html). That said, the addition of garlic to a dish is in no way a substitute for proper sanitation and safe cooking and food handling.
Remove a Splinter: OK, this isn't as serious a medical concern as some of the others we'll address — but everyone knows a deep splinter is really annoying! Garlic is involved in an old folk remedy for splinters that involves placing a slice of garlic over the splinter, then securing it to your skin with tape or a bandage. Try it and let us know if it works!
Beat Athlete's Foot: Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, garlic has anti-fungal properties as well. Give those itchy feet a soak in garlic water to cut the fungus that causes athlete's foot (otherwise known as ringworm of the foot). Or you can use this approach and rub raw garlic straight on your feet.
Repel Mosquitoes: One study from India found that mosquitoes apparently hate garlic — great news for people who are fans of natural bug repellents and not fans of pesky nippers. You can either apply the garlic directly to your skin, or just keep some nearby to try to keep the bugs out of your general vicinity.
Banish Cold Sores: Here's another folk tale that might have something to it — if you get cold sores, try applying some crushed garlic directly to the affected area. The anti-inflammatory properties may help you feel better by cutting the sore's swelling. Some say that taking garlic supplements can also help to prevent them and get rid of them more quickly.
Allicin: Allicin is a sulphur compound similar to the one found in onions, and it could offer a host of health benefits. Onions have similar compounds that were found to treat hair loss in one study. (It's also what gives garlic that unmistakable smell!)
Botulism In Garlic Oil: Garlic-infused oils are a great way to add that flavour to your dishes, but you have to be careful if you're making them at home. Botulism can spread when it in foods that aren't exposed to oxygen, and garlic is one of them — there have been several documented cases of people becoming ill after consuming homemade garlic oils. Botulism can lead to paralysis or even death, and it's not obvious if your oil contains it. The safest way to use homemade garlic oil is to make it in small quantities and use it fresh.
Let It Sit: If you know you'll be adding garlic to a dish, crush or mince it a bit before you plan to add it. It gives the alliinase enzymes in the food a chance to get working. Changing the temperature or pH of the garlic by putting it in food or heating it prevents this from happening, so you might not be getting the full health benefits of garlic if you toss it in the pot right away.
Supplements or Food? Is it better to get garlic's health benefits from supplements or food? "Supplements deliver a concentrated form of allicin, which is the organosulphur compound responsible for the medicinal benefits of garlic," McClusky said. "Some claims state that an allicin powder extract is the best form of supplement. Pay attention to the quantity of allicin on the package."
Allicin is an unstable compound so it can change very quickly once outside of garlic's fresh form. Some supplement manufacturers age garlic to make it odourless, but this reduces the amount of allicin available, making the product less effective. Talk to a natural-health professional about choosing a quality supplement for garlic or supplement, if you'd like to try one.
How to Cook Garlic: The best way to enjoy garlic's health benefits is to eat it raw, or close to raw. "A temperature above 140F destroys the allicin," McClusky said. "If you wish to add it to a meal, try to add it at the very end of the cooking process after you’ve removed the dish from the source of heat."
Five reasons to include garlic in your diet
- By Abi Jackson
We’re all familiar with garlic’s flavour credentials — but how much do you know about its health-enhancing qualities? This foodie favourite doesn’t just pack a culinary punch. Packed with manganese, vitamins C and B6 and selenium, it’s also highly nutritious.
Of course, the usual rules apply: eating tonnes of garlic, or popping garlic extract supplements, won’t ‘undo’ other unhealthy habits, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it’s a worthy staple.
Here are five reasons to include garlic as part of a healthy, balanced diet...
- Garlic could help protect the brain
Some studies have also linked garlic with lower risks of developing age-related brain diseases, including dementia.
It’s believed this could be due to garlic’s antioxidant contents — which, in the case of garlic, largely lies in its sulphuric compounds, the stuff that also makes it stinky!
Antioxidants play a role in protecting the body from oxidative stress, basically helping ‘mop up’ free radicals associated with cell ageing and damage.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Many of us think of inflammation as the acute reactions when we have an infection or problematic joints flare up.
Inflammation can also linger internally throughout the body as a chronic condition we may not even be aware of.
There is evidence that diet is an important factor, along with a healthy lifestyle. Garlic’s often hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks again to all that sulphur.
Beating high blood pressure
Consuming high levels of salt is one of the single biggest risk factors for high blood pressure, and associated conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Looking for alternative ways to flavour food can be a good place to start; jazz up sauces, soups, stews and dressings with garlic, rather than reaching for the salt shaker.
Studies have also found that garlic extracts can directly reduce blood pressure too, backed up by recent analysis of data published in the Journal of Nutrition, which compared the effect between groups treated with garlic extract and a placebo.
- Artery aids
As nutritionist Rob Hobson points out, black garlic — which is basically fresh garlic that’s gone through a particular fermentation process (and it’s quite the trendy ingredient right now) — has additional heart health-boosting qualities.
An LA BioMed study found black garlic supplements are linked with a reduction of certain types of plaque build-up in the arteries of people with metabolic syndrome (the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity), which suggests it could help prevent heart disease in certain high-risk groups.
- All about the allicin
Allicin, a powerful antioxidant/antibacterial/anti-fungal compound — an active ingredient that’s released when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed (to reap the benefits, experts say garlic is best eaten raw) — has also been linked with protecting heart health, including helping reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol, along with a long list of other potential health boons, from supporting the immune system to improving blood circulation.
What Are the Benefits of Chewing Raw Garlic?
- By Joanne Marie (Demand Media)
Traditionally called stinking rose or rocambole, garlic is more than just a spicy, pungent addition to food. It was used as long ago as ancient Egyptian times as a traditional remedy to maintain health and treat disease. The potential health benefits of garlic reside in its natural components, which include allicin, a compound that is produced when you chew and crush fresh garlic.
- Active Components
Intact cells in garlic contain a natural compound called alliin. When you crush garlic cloves by chewing them, alliin is released from broken cells and contacts a garlic enzyme called alliinase. Alliinase converts alliin into a volatile oil, allicin, which is a main active ingredient in crushed garlic. Garlic also contains other oils, called ajoenes and terpenes, as well as several water-soluble compounds. Some amino acids, vitamin C, calcium, iron and other minerals are also components of fresh garlic.
- Cardiovascular Benefits
Allicin in raw, crushed garlic has significant benefits for your cardiovascular system. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, it helps prevent atherosclerosis and reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. In a review of many clinical studies published in "Current Pharmaceutical Design" in 2010, the authors concluded that consumption of garlic reduces blood levels of both total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol. Allicin and other compounds in garlic also act on platelets, blood components involved in clot formation, to lessen the likelihood of blood clots that can lead to stroke.
Chewing raw garlic might also lower your risk of developing several types of cancer, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which indicates that people who consume abundant fresh garlic have a lower incidence of stomach, colorectal, prostate and uterine cancers. This may be due to the ability of compounds in garlic to stop cancer cells from dividing and cause them to die. In a study published in "Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry" in 2011, oils derived from garlic suppressed development of breast cancer in laboratory animals and blocked growth of cultured human breast cancer cells. The Cancer Center states that garlic may also boost the immune system by stimulating the activity of immune cells that recognize and destroy cancer cells.
- Recommendations and Precautions
Garlic is generally considered safe and without serious side effects. However, it may cause upset stomach, bloating or bad breath in some people, and you might experience stinging of your skin after handling fresh cloves. Do not consume garlic if you take blood-thinning medication, or if you have stomach ulcers or a thyroid condition. Garlic may interact with some prescription medicines, including insulin, anti-viral drugs, anti-inflammatory medicines and certain contraceptives. Discuss garlic with your physician before consuming it to decide if it is appropriate for your situation.
Smelly but super healthy: 5 reasons why eating more garlic could be great for your health
- By Abi Jackson
Stinky, tasty and fabulous in butter on bread - garlic is a kitchen stalwart. It could be a key ingredient for keeping healthy too, as we found out.
We're all familiar with garlic's flavour credentials - but how much do you know about its health-enhancing qualities?
This foodie favourite doesn't just pack a punch in the culinary stakes... packed with manganese, vitamins C and B6 and selenium, it's also highly nutritious.
Of course, the usual rules apply: eating tons of garlic, or popping garlic extract supplements, won't 'undo' other unhealthy habits, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest it's a worthy staple.
Here are five reasons to include garlic as part of a healthy, balanced diet...
1. Garlic could help protect the brain
Some studies have also linked garlic with lower risks of developing age-related brain diseases, including dementia. It's believed this could be due to garlic's antioxidant contents - which, in the case of garlic, largely lies in its sulphuric compounds, the stuff that also makes it stinky!
Antioxidants play a role in protecting the body from oxidative stress, basically helping 'mop up' free radicals associated with cell ageing and damage.
A University of Missouri study published in 2015 found that another garlic component, a carbohydrate derivative called FruArg, may be beneficial in protecting the brain against ageing-related disease.
Lead author Zezong Gu, associate professor of pathology and anatomical sciences at the MU School of Medicine, commented: "Scientists are still discovering different ways garlic benefits the human body."
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
Many of us think of inflammation as the acute reactions that happen when, say, our skin is injured or irritated, we have an infection and the affected area gets red and swollen, or problematic joints flare up.
Inflammation can also be something that lingers internally however, throughout the body as a chronic condition we may not even be aware of - and there's growing interest in the role this possibly plays across a wide range of ailments and diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers.
That's not to say we should be popping Ibubrofen pills willy-nilly, but there is evidence that diet is an important factor, along with a healthy lifestyle (being active; not smoking; drinking in moderation...).
Garlic's often hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks again to all that sulphur.
3. Beating high blood pressure
Consuming high levels of salt is one of the single biggest risk factors for high blood pressure, and associated conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Keeping salt intake within the recommended amounts (for adults, this is 2.4g of sodium, or 6g of salt, per day) can significantly reduce your risk - and play a part in managing high blood pressure if you are diagnosed.
Looking for alternative ways to flavour food can be a good place to start; jazz up sauces, soups, stews and dressings with garlic, rather than reaching for the salt shaker.
Studies have also found that garlic extracts can directly reduce blood pressure too, backed up by recent analysis of data published in the Journal of Nutrition, which compared the effect between groups treated with garlic extract or a placebo.
GP and nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer notes: "While its effects start within five hours, and wear off over 24 hours, there is an accumulative benefit so that blood pressure gradually continues to fall over two to three months of treatment."
4. Artery aids
As nutritionist Rob Hobson points out, black garlic - which is basically fresh garlic that's gone through a particular fermentation process (and it's quite the trendy ingredient right now, thanks to it's sweet flavour and fruity texture) - has additional heart health-boosting qualities.
An LA BioMed study found black garlic supplements are linked with a reduction of certain types of plaque build-up in the arteries of people with metabolic syndrome (the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity), which suggests it could help prevent heart disease in certain high-risk groups.
Black garlic's not as easy to come by as the traditional white stuff, but TheFoodMarket.com sells 50g pots of Balsajo Original Black Garlic , and Healthspan have Black Garlic supplements.
5. All about the allicin
Additionally, allicin, a powerful antioxidant/antibacterial/anti-fungal compound - an active ingredient that's released when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed (to reap the benefits, experts say garlic is best eaten raw) - has also been linked with protecting heart health.
This includes helping reduce 'bad' cholesterol, along with a long list of other potential health boons, from supporting the immune system to improving blood circulation.
Health benefits of garlic and onions
- By Bob Livingston
They don’t smell very good, but in this case you want the smell. We put garlic in a variety of foods for flavor. The Greeks and Italians love garlic and onions, especially to season and flavor their foods.
But there is much more! In ancient Egypt and other countries, garlic was greatly prized for health. Garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It was used as an antibiotic during both world wars. Thank goodness we can still buy garlic and onions without them being adulterated into patent drugs by the pharmaceuticals. Not that they wouldn’t love to!
I remember well that in high school lab we would make hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and as the smell radiated all over the school, there was the stink but nobody knew the hidden health benefits of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). It is derived from sulfur-containing compounds.
Behind that strong odor H2S has many health benefits as an important and beneficial chemical-signaling molecule in the body. The amount of H2S produced from eating garlic affects the degree of vasodilation and relaxation of blood vessels. This is powerful!
Also hydrogen sulfide reduces inflammation, modulates the release of insulin and reduces angiogenesis, all beneficial to the cardiovascular system. When eating garlic and onions we should think good blood circulation.
Blood sludges as we age, hence the circulatory problems of all degree