Ginger is a common ingredient in Asian and Indian cuisine. However, ginger has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries among many cultures.
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium.
Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. With a history of human consumption and use of over 7,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterraneanregion, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was known to Ancient Egyptians, and has been used both for food flavoring and traditional medicine.
It has gained its reputation as a virus buster thanks to one of its chemical constituents, allicin.
The amazing benefits of Allicin
Allicin is an organosulfur compound obtained from garlic, a species in the family Alliaceae. It was first isolated and studied in the laboratory by Chester J. Cavallito and John Hays Bailey in 1944.
As well as having antibiotic properties, allicin is an excellent anti-fungal and garlic preparations have been used in folk medicine to treat skin infections such as athlete’s foot. Be cautious: too much contact with crushed garlic can result in skin blistering. You should also be aware that a few people are allergic to garlic. Garlic is powerful and needs to be treated with respect.
From immune enhancement to cancer prevention, there is a wide range of health benefit in allicin. Many clinical studies have showed that garlic/allicin has the ability to lower total cholesterol, LDL, or “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides, and increase HDL cholesterol.
Allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed garlic homogenates, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. Allicin in its pure form was found to exhibit i) antibacterial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multidrug-resistant enterotoxicogenic strains of Escherichia coli; antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans; antiparasitic activity, including some major human intestinal protozoan parasites such as Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia;andantiviral,activity.
Garlic supplements with high allicin content are marketed for their ability to fight bacterial, fungal and viral infections. A typical dosage as detailed by the UMMC is two 200-milligram freeze-dried tablets taken three times per day, with tablets standardized to at least 0.6 percent allicin.
Garlic as Medicine
Garlic (Allium sativum), a herb used widely as a flavoring in cooking, has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases. Garlic belongs to the onion genus Allium, and is closely related to the onion,rakkyo,chive,leek,andshallot.
Garlic’s allicin can serve as a health aid during times of illness. Rene Ficek, a registered dietician and a lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating in Illinois told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic cloves contain a healthy dose of allicin, but you may still need a few cloves per day to feel the effects.” However, garlic supplementation can also be used to ward off viruses.
Allicin also makes our blood vessels dilate, improving blood flow and helping to tackle cardiovascular problems such as high cholesterol.
Among its many other virtues, garlic kills slugs and snails. Researchers from the University of Newcastle believe it contains oils that may cripple the nervous systems of these slimy creatures.
Best way to prepare garlic
A lack of international competitiveness is severely affecting Cuyo’s garlic sector, in Argentina; the province’s most important in terms of export volumes.
Garlic Soup Recipe
Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 26 organic garlic cloves (unpeeled)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) organic butter (grass fed)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/2 cup fresh ginger
- 2 1/4 cups sliced onions
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 26 organic garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
- 4 lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 350F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, thyme, ginger and cayenne powder and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add coconut milk and bring to simmer.
Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.