Garlic Proven Through Time
Tuesday, July 11th 2006
So, what is it about garlic that makes it such a boon to our health? When cloves are chewed, crushed or cut, they release a sulphur compound called allicin - the chemical that gives garlic its pungent taste and smell. And it's the allicin that scientists have discovered is the ingredient responsible for garlic's therapeutic qualities.
The therapeutic qualities of garlic are nothing new. Sanskrit records reveal that garlic remedies were in service in India 5,000 years ago, while Chinese medicine has recognised garlic's powers for over 3,000 years. Louis Pasteur, recognised the anti-bacterial powers of garlic back in 1858. During World War One surgeons regularly used garlic juice to stop wounds turning septic.
Fighting off the common cold
A recently published study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the risk of the volunteers catching a cold by half. The researchers also discovered that even when those taking the supplement did develop a cold they were more likely to make a speedier recovery than the non-garlic taking volunteers.
Garlic - helping your health
Most of the modern research on garlic has concentrated on its ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as offering protection against strokes and heart disease. For example, when the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians reviewed data on cholesterol in 1993, it found that after just four weeks there was a 12 percent reduction in cholesterol levels in the research groups that had taken garlic.
Scientists have also looked at the role garlic plays in helping prevent the formation of blood clots. A review of recent clinical trials, published in the Journal of Hypertension, showed that taking garlic tablets cut volunteers' blood pressure by between one and five percent. These results led the report's authors to conclude that taking supplements could cut the incidence of stroke by anything from 30-40 percent, while heart disease could be reduced by 20-25 percent.
While garlic is gathering a reputation for helping to maintain a healthy heart, regular amounts of garlic seems to also help the body fight off infections.
Which Garlic Product Do I Use?
This is the economical once-a-day enteric coated garlic tablet for every day, all year round use to help prevent colds, flu and infections and improve cardiovascular health. Two tablets a day provide the amount of allicin indicated in clinical trials to help reduce cholesterol.
Garlicin HC (Healthy Circulation)
This very popular formula contains garlic (as Garlicin), hawthorn, cayenne (capsicum), vitamin E and rutin. This formula is designed to help enhance circulation and improve cardiovascular health. Other health problems that may benefit include angina, aching legs from poor circulation, normalising of blood pressure and prevention of thrombosis (DVT).
Garlicin CF (Colds and Flu)
This formula is especially important when a cold or the flu strikes. It contains garlic (as Garlicin), Echinacea, zinc and vitamin C.
Reproduced unabridged from the July - September 2006 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Circulation and Heart health:
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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