What is garlic?
Garlic is known ubiquitously throughout the world as the powerful herb that will ward off vampires when used in large quantities. Simply string it around your neck, chow down on a handful of garlic cloves and protection guaranteed!
What about your health? Nowadays people want to know if garlic is good for skin, gut health, heart health, fighting parasites and so much more.
I think the renewed interest is in part due to the uncertain circumstances that we now find ourselves in throughout the United States and world. I myself have been gardening since I was a child and continue the tradition now that I’m in my thirties (shhhh….don’t tell). Garlic grows well in the garden and can be cultivated from a single clove, or so I think and am currently trying this experiment in my own garden.
It is also a strong repellant of squirrels, who have tried to invade our home every fall and spring for the last few years. The squirrels also try to burrow into our raised garden bed. This year we have outsmarted our rodent friends and have placed garlic cloves strategically in the corners of the beds. We will see who has the last laugh!
I digress, garlic is a herb that is grown in varying climates. It’s related to the onion and leek family. Some think it’s origin is Siberia but that is unconfirmed.
Besides vampire repellant it is used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis and parasite cleansing.
Garlic’s effect in the body
Garlic is good for you if you are looking to make improvements in your cardiovascular health. It produces allicin.
Funny enough, allicin is what gives garlic it’s distinctive odor so if you have a garlic product that is ‘odorless’ then that means it has been aged and the allicin is less effective. Be careful as this may have unintended consequences. You may have odorless garlic if you are taking it in pill form and in that case be sure to get the enteric coated kind. ‘Enteric coated’ just means that the pill will withstand the harsh environment of your stomach so that the full benefit can be received in the gut.
This is a biggie because no one wants to have a heart attack or anything of the sort. If you are concerned about hardening of your arteries and want to know if garlic is good for you then you’re in luck. There are very little side effects from garlic so you can try it and see how it works for you. More than likely you will not know if it’s working but if you don’t have a major event (heart attack) then it did it’s job.
Garlic seems to work better for women than men. The suggested serving is to take a garlic supplement twice daily for 24 months.
Blood sugar handling seems to be a level playing field. No matter whether you have blood sugar problems or not, everyone can benefit from having garlic during their meal.
Research suggests that over the course of at least 3 months a regular addition of garlic to your meal will help to reduce pre-meal blood sugar levels.
The research is a bit confused when it comes to cholesterol and garlic. Honestly, the research is a bit confused on cholesterol in general so this is not shocking.
If you have concerns about cholesterol and aren’t buying into the whole proven physiology that your liver controls cholesterol and it’s necessary for healthy brain function and you’re really worried about it then take some garlic, as it can’t hurt.
High Blood Pressure
This one is no brainer. Garlic has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 7-9 mmHg and diastolic by about 4-6 mmHg, those are your top and bottom numbers respectively.
If you are concerned about cancers, colds, obesity, swelling and other areas of concern there does not seem to be enough proof, yet. Obviously garlic has many positive outcomes and is not a cure all for all conditions.
It is listed as mostly safe when taken internally but consult your doctor before you begin a garlic supplementation regimen.
Garlic is good for you. There is a very small downside to taking garlic and it seems to help the cardiovascular system quite a bit.