Garlic has been used for centuries as a food and as a medicine. It was even thought to ward off vampires at one time (not that I believe in vampires, but if you do. . .). Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, used it for any kind of infectious sores. In 12th century Germany three cloves of garlic steeped in a cup of boiling water for 20 minutes was considered the best remedy for an asthma attack. It was found to be very effective against the Black Plague in Europe, and in WWII when medical supplies ran low on the battlefront, crushed garlic was used as an effective antibacterial on severe wounds. Dr. Albert Schweitzer used it to treat cholera, typhoid and typhus infections. Garlic is known to protect from many types of infectious diseases including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Salmonella bacteria. It’s used to treat any type of cardiovascular disease from high blood pressure to high cholesterol, to atherosclerosis. Well, maybe not miracles, but that’s quite a repertoire for a smelly little bulb!
More recently garlic has grown in popularity among herbal remedies coming in second only to Echinacea.
“In the United States, in addition to its use in cooking and food preparation, garlic is now second in sales only to Echinacea as a best selling herbal supplement. As it grows in popularity, mixed reports and controversy continue to surround claims of its medicinal properties. It has been, in fact, probably the most studied herbal product, with about 1,200 medical and pharmacological reports, and an additional 700 or so chemical studies, now published. With that much scientific attention, one would think that we would be able to sort out clearly fact from myth.”
Excerpt from: http://www.amazingherbs.com/meduseofgari.html
Scientist are still trying to isolate the compound in garlic thought to be the cause of its beneficial effect on the body. To date their studies are inconclusive. At one point it was believed that allicin was the compound, but further studies proved that stomach acid prevents allicin from forming and that it is an unstable compound. They also found that steamed, roasted, pickled and extracted garlic all can produce phenomenal healing benefits even though the allicin is no longer present in these products. Could it be that all of the more than one hundred compounds in garlic are necessary, and that no single one can be isolated for healing?
Many doctors throughout the world, well educated in modern medicine, are turning to natural remedies in order to treat indigent people who don’t have money for medication or the benefit of government aid. One doctor in Pakistan reports,
“I used raw garlic in a patient having high blood pressure: BP=160/100 he took that daily and in a weeks time blood pressure came to 130/90. In the second week it was normal that is 120/80mm.
Dr Ahsan Salim”
Note: this was 1 clove of garlic daily
Some of my friends have suggested compatible ways to ingest a clove of raw garlic. First crush the garlic clove slightly, put it in a spoon and cover it with honey, mashed avocado, or mashed banana. Swallow it whole, otherwise it might burn your mouth.