What is garlic?
Garlic, botanical name Allium Sativum, is a close relative of the onion. It is known for its strong pungent smell which brings delicious and specific taste to food. its nutritional facts are:
- Rich in minerals – It contains a good amount of minerals like Iron, Manganese, Calcium, Iodine and Sulphur.
- Rich in vitamins – It has both types of vitamins; water-soluble and fat-soluble.
- It contains a compound called Allicin, which is the main reason for the health properties of Garlic.
- It is very rich in the sulphur compound which is Diallyl disulfide and S-allyl cysteine. The sulphur compound of it absorbed by the intestine and travel in the blood to every cell of the body. It is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
Health benefits of garlic:
1. Maintains heart health:
High blood pressure and high cholesterol; two are the main culprits of heart stroke. In studies, it has been found to reduce blood pressure. The sulphur compound is responsible for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Thus it is a good habit to have some clove of it regularly for the prevention of heart disease.
Other than it, lemon and basil are also good for heart diseases. Take 5-6 garlic clove with 20-25 basil leaves. Boil them for 5 minutes; take this decoction at night before sleep. Garlic is also a diuretic in nature thus if it causes an increase in urination at night then you may reduce the amount of it.
2. For cold:
Garlic is an amazing drug, especially for respiratory infection. Vapours of it are found to have decongestant properties. For best result boil 2-3 garlic clove with 100 ml of water and inhale the vapour. If kids are struck by a cold and cough, apply a small amount of its paste over the nose and massage lightly.
Earlier, tribal people used to wear a necklace with beads made of garlic cloves. This was believed to be healing against several infections because it has anti-bacterial properties.
3. For weight loss:
It is scientifically proven that regular consumption of garlic can help in reducing fat in the body. It increases BMI rate which is responsible for calories management. In various studies, it is also proven that garlic reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood. For weight loss, it should be used on a morning empty stomach. For this, take 2 cloves with lukewarm water. For best result add 1 tablespoon of honey in it.
Another important method is to crush 2 garlic clove. Then mix this paste in 100 ml of water and add 1 tablespoon of lemon. A combination of garlic and honey, or lemon is best for fat reduction.
4. Detoxification of the body:
Garlic is a rich source of anti-oxidants and is diuretic in nature. Anti-oxidants reduce the oxidative stress of the body and the diuretic property of it excretes all toxins through urine.
5. For Acne:
Sulphur and Allicin, both are anti-bacterial. For treatment of acne, you can apply a paste of garlic on the affected area. Taking 1 garlic clove with hot water on an empty stomach causes internal purification and provides inner glowing skin.
6. For hair:
Paste of garlic is a good home remedy for dandruff. Sibling of it, onion is also good for hair fall and dandruff. For best result take 10-12 cloves of it and 1 average size onion, crush them and make a fine paste. Apply this paste on hair follicles; wait till dry then rinse it off with lukewarm water. This paste of is good for all types of hair problems like dandruff, lies, fungal infection of the hair follicle, etc. This paste also promotes the regeneration of hair follicle, so it is also good for the treatment of baldness.
Side effects of garlic:
Everything in excess is dangerous. The same rule is applicable for it also. Garlic is a very strong medicine. A small amount of it is sufficient for medicinal use. An extra dose of it may cause serious side effects.
- Burning sensation on the skin
- Increase in urination
- Yellowness of urine
- It may increase chances of bleeding from the nose and other parts of the body
- General abdominal discomfort
- Hyperacidity, heartburn and mouth ulcer
- Bad breath is the most common side effect of it
- Raw garlic may cause skin irritation on application. This allergic reaction is not common but possible.
- It is safe during pregnancy if taken along with food, however medicinal use of garlic should be restricted in pregnancy. Pregnant women with placental problem or bleeding should completely avoid it.
- Medicinal dose of it during breastfeeding should be avoided, as contents in it pass through breast milk.
Garlic is a very useful herb if used with caution. A small amount of it is beneficial but the medicinal dose should always be discussed with the dietitian and Ayurveda doctor.