The Immune Boosting Power of Garlic
Garlic is a pungent herb and one of nature’s natural anti-biotics. Due to the powerful sulfur containing nutrients and immune stimulators within garlic it is classified as a superfood herb. Consumption of garlic daily may be one of the best defense’s against infection and inflammatory based disease.
Garlic has been used by many cultures throughout the history of mankind as a medicinal tool. The Sumerians and other groups around the Mediterranean region had a great reverence for its ability to fight infection. An Egyptian writing dating back to 1500 BC discusses the use of garlic for over 22 common health challenges. These same Egyptians fed a heavy garlic diet to their slaves to increase their strength as they built the great pyramids (1).
Garlic grows all year around in mild climates and forms very hardy stalks. The strong smell repels most insects, rodents and other animals that would potentially be predators. The largest supplier of garlic is China while in the US the “garlic capital of the world” is found in California. Garlic is typically grown without the use of toxic chemicals and always tests out for very low levels of pesticides and herbicides.
Garlic’s Super Nutrients:
Garlic is one of nature’s most powerful immune boosting secrets. Garlic contains over 100 biologically active components including alliin, allicin, alliinase and unique sulfur compounds. When garlic is crushed or chewed it forces the allin and allinase enzyme together and causes a chemical reaction to produce allicin. Allicin along with sulfur based compounds act as powerful antibiotic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents that have an incredible immune stimulating effect (2). Additionally, garlic is also used to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and help prevent/reverse cancer (3, 4).
Researchers have found garlic to be more powerful at destroying pathogenic bacteria than the popular anti-biotics penicillin and tetracycline. It is also very effective against viruses and yeasts like Candida. Garlic is also very potent at destroying tumor cells in the stomach, colon, breast and prostate among other regions (5). The sulfur compounds are also effective at detoxifying heavy metals such as mercury, lead, & aluminum (6).
The benefits of garlic can be enhanced by letting it sit for a few minutes directly after chopping. Most people chop or slice garlic and then immediately cook it or put it in an acid based solution such as lemon juice. Both of these modes of preparation reduce the allinase enzyme and decrease the availability of the sulfur compounds.
Get Rid of the Garlic Smell:
Garlic is known for its very strong odor and has even been called the “stinking rose.” Large quantities of garlic consumption have been known to cause an unpleasant body odor. This odor which is released through the breath, skin, urine & feces with varying strengths is due to the breakdown of the allium sulfur groups. When metabolized these groups produce allyl methyl sulfide which cannot be metabolized (7). It passes into the blood stream and out of the body through the modes explained above.
Chlorophyll found in green veggies and herbs is known to facilitate the removal of the allyl methyl sulfide and reduce the garlic smell (8). Parsley, fennel seeds, mint, & peppermint among other things are very good at masking this smell. Be sure to utilize these in any potent garlic enriched meals or take them directly afterwards.
The benefit of the strong garlic odor is that it naturally repels mosquitos, ticks and other parasites in and around the body. Large doses of garlic are known to kill internal parasites such as tape worm and strong bacteria and viruses.
6 Great Ways to Use Garlic:
1) Use in Your Food
Dice it up and put in salads, soups, stews and meat dishes for great flavor and health benefits described above
2) Put on Warts and Cuts:
Garlic is a powerful anti-microbial. It is good to put a small piece of diced garlic on a wart and wrap it up in a bandaid so it remains pressed up against the wart. Do this for 5-7 days, changing garlic every 24-48 hours. You should see the wart disappearing.
You can also use it on cuts and burns to keep them sterilized. You can either use a piece of garlic or a garlic spray – 1 clove of garlic blended with 4oz of water. Spray the cut or wound throughout the day.
3) Natural Pesticide in Your Garden:
Put in your garden as a natural pesticide. Especially good around more tender and vulnerable plants like tomatoes. You can blend up 2 cloves of garlic in 8 oz of water and put in a spray bottle and spray your plants daily to keep pests off.
4) Dish Washing and Home Cleaning
Put one garlic clove, 2 tbsps of lemon juice in 8-16 oz of water (depending upon how strong you want it) and blend. Put in a spray bottle for an all-purpose or dish washing cleaner.
5) Parasite Cleanse:
Make green juice with lemon, ginger, garlic and bitter herbs like cilantro, parsley and dandelion along with water-rich veggies like bok choy, cucumber or celery. Drink 16-32oz daily for a week. Stay off of all sugar, dairy and starches. Eat light and use tons of herbs.
Garlic Green Juice:
1 lemon diced into pieces
2 cloves of garlic
2 inches of ginger
1 whole bunch of bok choy (or 2 medium cucumbers)
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of dandelion
1/2 granny smith apple
This makes about 8-10 oz
6) Repel Vampires:
Put a fresh clove on a necklace and hang over your heart! Got to keep those vampires away!! Lol!
Sources For This Article Include:
1) Rivlin RS. Historical perspective on the use of garlic. J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3s):951S-4S. PMID: 11238795
2) Ankri S, Mirelman D. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes Infect. 1999 Feb;1(2):125-9. Review. PMID: 10594976
3) Elkayam A, Peleg E, Grossman E, Shabtay Z, Sharabi Y. Effects of allicin on cardiovascular risk factors in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Isr Med Assoc J. 2013 Mar;15(3):170-3. PMID: 23662381
4) Chu YL, Ho CT, Chung JG, Raghu R, Lo YC, Sheen LY. Allicin induces anti-human liver cancer cells through the p53 gene modulating apoptosis and autophagy. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Oct 16;61(41):9839-48. PMID: 24059278
5) Rana SV, Pal R, Vaiphei K, Sharma SK, Ola RP. Garlic in health and disease. Nutr Res Rev. 2011 Jun;24(1):60-71. PMID: 24725925
6) Nwokocha CR, Owu DU, Nwokocha MI, Ufearo CS, Iwuala MO. Comparative study on the efficacy of Allium sativum (garlic) in reducing some heavy metal accumulation in liver of wistar rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Feb;50(2):222-6. PMID: 22101063
7) WebMD: Why Garlic is the Bad Breath King. Nov 27th, 1999. Link Here
8) Eric Block, Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science. Pg 84 – Link here