Healing Powers of Garlic
Garlic has been used since the days of the Egyptians to treat wounds, infections, tumors, and intestinal parasites. Garlic’s reputation as a powerful medical herb dates back to over 5,000 years. It’s usage’s vary throughout it’s history. For instance, the Encyclopedia reports that “Four garlic bulbs were found in King Tut’s tumb, obviously intended to feed the pharao h in afterlife. Roman gladiators ate garlic before combat, and Roman nobleman gave garlic to their laborers and soldiers”. During World War II, a time when antibiotics were scarce, garlic was placed in the wounds to prevent infection. Needless to say, garlic has been in existence for many years with the intention of healing.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the lily family along with onions. Garlic is a rich source of allin, allicin, chromium, phosphorous, and sulfur containing amino acids. A compound Diallyl sulfide (DADS) is found in garlic oil and is shown to inact ivate potent carcinogens in animal studies. DADS reduces the metabolism of nitrosamine (a lethal, naturally occurring carcinogen produced by the liver).
A handful of Americans can say that “Garlic is good for you because it thins your blood or is good for your heart.” However, the benefits of garlic in regards to one’s health is far more entailed than one might think. According to the National Cancer In stitute, garlic lies among the top of the list of foods ingested as a potential weapon against many types of cancer. With all of the recent research done on garlic and it’s medical purposes, I can validate the reasons for it’s prevention against many typ es of health related issues. Garlic contains agents that protect us from breast, colon, and gastric cancer. It also inhibits the growth of tumors and lowers serum cholesterol.
The health benefits in regards to garlic are empowering. Recent research indicates that garlic is sought to be a protective agent against various cancers. Nickolay Dimitrov, Ph.D., of Michigan State University at Lansing, said that “aged garlic extract, when fed to human volunteers, inhibited breast cancer formation by promoting the beneficial prostaglandin Es, hormone- like substances, in the serum and by stimulating the phagocytic, scavenger cell, activity of the white blood cells to devour carcinogen s.” This finding is a positive step in the prevention of breast cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer among women. The National Cancer Society estimates that 183,000 new cases of this cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States.
John Miller, Ph.D., of Pennsylvania State University reported in April of 1995, that “a compound in garlic shrinks tumors from human growth cells that were transplanted in mice. Considering lung, colon and skin cancers are the three most common human can cers, Sujatha Sundaram, Penn State doctoral student in nutrition, describes how diallyl disulfide depressed the growth of these human cancer cells or killed them. Diallyl disulfide (DADS), effectiveness in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells works on colon, skin and lung cancer even though the rate of growth differs among the three.
Dr. Herbert Pierson, formerly with the Designer Foods Research Program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), says that “evidence concerning garlic’s anti- cancer benefits in people has been mounting steadily. Several different studies have shown a link between garlic and lower incidences of stomach cancer; another study shows lower risks of colorectal cancer. Another finding from the University of Limburg in the Netherlands, used epidemiological data from China and Italy indicates that with diets rich in garlic can reduce the risk of gastric cancer.
A study conducted by William Harris, Ph.D., director of the Lipid and Arthiosclerosis Prevention Clinic at the University of Kansas Medical Center at Lawrence reported new evidence that “garlic protects the LDL particles in a way that makes them less susc eptible to free- radical oxidation.” Furthermore, “The oxidation process has been liked to heart disease. Thus, this preliminary research implies that concentrated garlic tablets may reduce the risk of heart disease through garlic’s antioxidant powers.”
Several studies hint that garlic has the ability to reduced cholesterol, as well as combat plaque formation in the arteries. Studies have looked at garlic extract and garlic powder as well as isolating the components of garlic. Garlic’s ability to lower serum cholesterol in the blood can in turn reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A study conducted on the amount of garlic and onions consumed and the effects of triglyceride and cholesterol levels was done by dividing volunteer’s into three grou ps based on their dietary habits: “1) those who ate liberal amounts of garlic and onions; 2) those who ate small amounts of garlic and onions; and 3) those who did not eat garlic and onions at all”. “Researchers then compared the cholesterol and triglyc eride levels of the three groups,” Mimdell reported. “Those who ate garlic and onions liberally averaged 25 percent lower in cholesterol levels than those who abstained. Those who ate liberal amounts of garlic and onions had an average of half the trigl ycerides of those who didn’t eat garlic or onions .” Mimdell concluded that “Aggressive research shows that garlic effectively reduces the blood cholesterol levels in two ways, first, it slows down endogenous cholesterol synthesis, your body’s own man ufacture of cholesterol. Secondly, garlic helps your body transport fats from the tissues where they are stored to the bloodstream, which enables them to be eliminated from the body.”
Garlic is one of natures most broad spectrumed, antibacterial agents. It counteracts the growth of many forms of bacteria and fungi that cause disease. Allicin, the compound found in fresh garlic that constitutes antibiotic and anti-fungal properties, k ills or at least cripples 72 infectious forms of bacteria. Among the list of bacteria’s that spread are diarrhea, dysentery (an infectious disease of the colon, with painful diarrhea that becomes mucous and hemorrhagic), botulism, tuberculosis and enceph alitis among other diseases. As scientists struggle to find new ways to fight bacteria that resist almost every drug in the antibiotic arsenal, a group of Boston University Medical researchers have made a significant discovery about garlic. “It’s a surprisingly effective weapon agai nst some of the most dangerous antibiotic – resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia. Researchers found that an aqueous extract of fresh garlic cloves was effective against more than a common strains of bacteria”. Sulfides, which are found in garlic and cruciferous vegetables, are compounds which deactivate steroidal hormones and promote the growth of tumors and inhibit carcinogens. Also sulfides reduce blood pressure and prevent the formation of blood – clots whi ch can cause heart attacks and strokes. Because garlic enhances the activity in the immune system and increases the number of natural killer cells, it’s ability to destroy tumor cells, virus infected cells and foreign invaders increase. If garlic has th e ability to dramatically enhance the immune system of healthy people than it might be able to help people with a compromised immune system, such as AIDS patients. “Research conducted by Dr. Tarig Abdullah and his colleagues at the Akbar Clinic and Rese arch Center in Panama City, Florida, led to the conclusion that raw garlic and the Japanese garlic extract Kyolic dramatically increased the ability of the immune system’s natural killer cells. The result of this research could have important implicatio ns for the treatment of infections, cancer, and even AIDS. Dr. Abdullah believes that garlic may speed up the immune defenses and may combat many fungal- type infections”.
Garlic is not a Cure All but close to it! When you combine it with the power of cayenne pepper you have A DYNAMIC DUO!