Lets talk about garlic and it’s healing properties for the body. Garlic is a member of the lily family and it’s cousins; onion, leek and chives all have powerful healing properties for the body as well. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants dating back as much as 5000 years ago, so you know it has to be legit. Garlic’s most powerful healing properties thus far; come from the sulphur containing compounds it possesses. These compounds are most healing to the body when chopped by hand and eaten raw or cooked at a low heat and for little time (5-15 minutes.) The sulphur containing compound’s help reduce inflammation throughout the body, but specifically in our blood vessels. These compounds are important for the health of our cardiovascular system; they reduce oxidative stress, thus reduce the blood vessels from becoming inflamed. Many sulphur compound’s such as allicin have been shown to help reduce high blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, prevent certain cancers and prevent heart attacks.
The most well known healing properties of garlic are definitely it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. I use raw garlic on a daily basis to prevent a cold or stomach flu, but when you are under the weather, adding raw garlic to your food will help increase the strength of your bodies immune system and hopefully reduce the length of time that you are sick. Garlic has been known to kill unwanted yeast (Candida) overgrowth in the gut as well.
What to look out for when buying garlic
You want your garlic bulbs to be firm and do not contain any mould on them, I like organic garlic much better than conventional, because it is much stronger, easier to peel (usually) and the cloves seem to be bigger and more desirable. Please, please do not buy prepared garlic in a jar or already peeled garlic. They contain very little nutrients and it tastes horrible. By chopping your own fresh garlic you get to not only practice your knife skills but you also release the enzymes that convert alliin into allicin; one of the extremely powerful sulphur compounds that makes garlic so healthy. Do not buy garlic bulbs that have green vines coming out from the top. This means that the garlic is old and will not contain the healing properties that you want and it does not taste as good as fresh garlic. If you do have garlic that contains the little green tops, just remove them; as they are hard to digest.
So the next time you go buy fresh garlic think the following; heart health, immune support, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and cancer prevention. Why wouldn’t you start eating more raw garlic?
Here are a couple of recipes that contain raw garlic that I think you may like