Garlic is one of the oldest known medicinal plants, and it’s been credited with fighting heart disease, lowering blood pressure and helping to fight off colds.
In fact, garlic has been used medicinally for at least 3,000 years, but until relatively recently its benefits were considered little more than folklore. According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the therapeutic roles of garlic have been described in more than 1,000 scientific studies. Cooking with garlic
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.
Health Benefits of Garlic on the Human Body
1. Protection of the liver from toxic substances: Garlic activates the cells of the liver and thereby protects the liver from toxic substances; it also rejuvenates a tired liver and promotes its normal functioning.
2. Regulation of stomach function: Allicin promotes the secretion of gastric juices by stimulating the mucous membranes of the stomach; furthermore, it combines with proteins which can reduce excessive activity of the stomach.
In addition, allicin regulates the functioning of the stomach by activating the large intestine and thus cure both constipation and diarrhea.
3. Promotion of insulin secretion: Allicin combines with vitamin B1 (thiamine) to activate the function of the pancreas and thus promote insulin secretion.
As a result, garlic is effective in the prevention or the cure of diabetes that is caused by a lack of insulin or by the defective functioning of the pancreas.
4. Normalization of blood circulation: Because it stimulates the brain nerves and controls the workings of the heart at a constant level, garlic stabilizes blood pressure.
It is also capable of dissolving cholesterol and fatty substances inside blood vessels and therefore refreshing cells and the blood inside the body.
Many health benefits can be derived from the daily consumption of garlic
Extensive tests on humans have concluded that a regular intake of garlic can:
- Lower total cholesterol (but raise the good-type HDL cholesterol)
- Produce more “natural killer” cells in the blood that will tackle infections and tumors
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of blood clots (that are responsible for most heart attacks and strokes)
- Destroy infection causing viruses and bacteria
Tips for cooking with garlic:
1. Before cooking, remove the exterior skin of the clove. There are many ways to do this: strike the bulb with the broad side of a kitchen knife, use a rubber garlic rolling tube, soak the garlic in lukewarm water for 30 minutes or dip the cloves into boiling water for 30 seconds.
2. After skinning the garlic, select a cooking method that will result in the appropriate flavor. It can be sauteed to create a nutty, savory taste; poached to create a mild flavor; oven-roasted to bring out the nutty flavor with a caramelized quality; fried to create a crisp exterior; or grilled to create a soft, smoky flavor.
3. Garlic is very sensitive to heat and will burn easily, especially when sauteing. Expose the garlic to heat just until the oil sizzles and then remove it. When cooking garlic with onions, start the onions first. They will take longer to cook.
Garlic is classified as both an herb and a vegetable. It can be found in products ranging from ice cream to dry rubs; the versatility of this herb is seemingly endless.