Health Benefits of Garlic / Lehsun ke fayade – Garlic (Allium sativum), is used widely as a flavoring in cooking, but it has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history; it has been taken to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases.
In fact, a couple of days back the Ayush Ministry (Ayurveda & Well being) of India released a circular which advocates use of garlic amongst other things. Thereby, nationally endorsing the health benefits of garlic.
It is not that Ayurveda does not acknowledge the health benefits of onion and garlic. Ayurveda recognizes onions and garlic as blood purifiers. Moreover, garlic is used to prepare various ayurvedic medicines. But Ayurveda does not support their excessive usage as it considers onion as tamasic in nature (makes people irritable) and garlic to be rajsic (disturbed sleep and drained energy) in nature. As per Ayurveda, both these ingredients produce excessive heat in the body.
From Ancient Egypt, garlic spread to the advanced ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley (Pakistan and western India today). From there, it made its way to China.
Garlic has acquired a reputation in different traditions as a prophylactic as well as a therapeutic medicinal plant. Health benefits of garlic have played an important dietary and medicinal roles throughout the history.
Some of the earliest references to this medicinal plant were found in Avesta, a collection of Zoroastrian holy writings that was probably compiled during the sixth century BC. Garlic has also played as an important medicine to Sumerian and the ancient Egyptians. There is some evidence that during the earliest Olympics in Greece, garlic was fed to the athletes for increasing stamina.
Ancient Chinese and Indian medicine recommended garlic to aid respiration and digestion and to treat leprosy and parasitic infestation. In the medieval period, garlic was also played an important role in the treatment of different diseases.
Avicenna in his well-known book, Al Qanoon Fil Tib (The Canon of Medicine), recommended garlic as a useful compound in treatment of arthritis, toothache, chronic cough, constipation, parasitic infestation, snake and insect bites, gynecologic diseases, as well as in infectious diseases (as antibiotic).
With the onset of Renaissance, special attention was paid in Europe to the health benefits of garlic. Garlic has attracted particular attention of modern medicine because of widespread belief about its effects in maintaining good health.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARLIC
Here is a range of health benefits of garlic in both raw and cooked forms.
- Nutrition: Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.
- Againt Flu: Garlic supplements help prevent and reduce the severity of common illnesses like the flu and common cold.
- Against Hypertension: High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure for those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). In some instances, supplements may be as effective as regular medications.
- Against Cholesterol – Garlic supplements seem to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides do not seem to be affected.
- Against Free Radicals – Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Against Chronic Diseases – Garlic has known beneficial effects on common causes of chronic disease, so it makes sense that it could also help you live longer.
- Against Toxicity – Garlic was shown to significantly reduce lead toxicity and related symptoms.
- Culinary Benefits – Garlic is delicious and easy to add to your diet. You can use it in savory dishes, soups, sauces, dressings and more. Some Recipes with Garlic
TO SUM IT UP
Garlic is most commonly used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Health benefits of garlic are significant and cannot be ignored.
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