So what is this Allicin I speak of? It is a sulphur-based compound that is known to offer a plethora of health benefits. It is an effective natural antibiotic that kills certain pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungus.
Antiviral: According to Dr. Andrew Weil M.D., an effective home remedy for colds is to eat several cloves of raw garlic at the first onset of symptoms. The key to garlic’s antiviral and healing properties are its hundreds of beneficial compounds, which work synergistically.
Antibacterial: Garlic works inside the body by promoting the ability of white blood cells to fight infections, and by stimulating other immune cells which fight bacterial infections.
Did you know that garlic is the only antibiotic that can actually kill infecting bacteria and, at the same time, protect the body from the poisons that are causing the infection? In studies, garlic has been found to be almost as effective as penicillin. Apparently, I have read that even the blood of people who eat garlic can kill bacteria, and that the vapour from freshly-cut garlic can kill bacteria from a distance of 20cm! All Hail Garlic!
Antifungal: Athlete’s foot? Give those itchy feet a soak in garlic water to combat the fungus, or simply rub garlic all over your feet for a more potent remedy? Yeast infection ladies? Try inserting a small, peeled, clove directly into the vagina over night. Bare down in the morning to remove. It REALLY works. For a stronger remedy, carve slits into the clove (or cut in half for a super potent dose), to expose the infection to the inner portion of the clove.
Iron Metabolism: Garlic may help improve your iron metabolism by increasing production of a protein called ferroportin, which allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available where it is needed.
Immune System Boost: 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. Bonus Info: these antioxidants can also 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: 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 dilate our blood vessels, which can help keep your blood pressure steady.
Repel Mosquitoes: Apparently, mosquitos hate garlic!
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.
1) 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.
2) How to Cook Garlic: The best way to enjoy garlic’s health benefits is to eat it raw, or close to raw as temperatures above 140F destroys the allicin. To combat this, add it at the very end of the cooking process after you’ve removed the dish from the source of heat.