What is garlic?
Garlic, botanical name Allium Sativum, is close relative of 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 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 Allicine, which is the main reason for the health properties of Garlic.
- It is very rich in sulphur compound which is Diallyl disulfide and S-allylcysteine. Sulphur compound of it absorbed by intestine and travel in blood to every cell of body. It is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
Health benefits of garlic:
1. Maintains heart health:
High blood pressure and high cholesterol; these two are main culprit of heart stroke. In studies it has been found to reduce blood pressure. Sulphur compound of it, is responsible for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Thus it is a good habit to have some clove of it regularly for 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 minute; take this decoction at night before sleep. Garlic is also diuretic in nature thus if it causes increase in urination in night than you may reduce 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 cold and cough, apply small amount of its paste over nose and masaage lightly.
Earlier, tribal people used to wear necklace with beads made of garlic cloves. This was believed to be healing against several infections because it has anti-bactirial 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 amount of cholesterol in blood. For weight loss, it should be used in morning empty stomach. For this, take 2 cloves with luke warm water. For best result add 1 table spoon 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 table spoon of lemon. Combination of garlic and honey, or lemon is best for fat reduction.
4. Detoxification of the body:
Garlic is rich source of anti-oxidants and is diuretic in nature. Anti-oxidants reduce oxidative stress of body and 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 paste of garlic on affected area. Taking 1 garlic clove with hot water in empty stomach causes internal purification and provides inner glowing skin.
6. For hair:
Paste of garlic is 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 luke warm water. This paste of is good for all types of hair problems like dandruff, lies, fungal infection of hair follicle, etc. This paste also promotes regeneration of hair follicle, so it is also good for treatment of baldness.
Side effects of garlic:
Everything in excess is dangerous. Same rule is applicable for it also. Garlic is very strong medicine. Small amount of it is sufficient for medicinal use. Extra dose of it may causes serious side effects.
- Burning sensation on skin
- Increase in urination
- Yellowness of urine
- It may increase chances of bleeding from nose and other parts of body
- General abdominal discomfort
- Hyperacidity, heart burn and mouth ulcer
- Bad breath is 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 breast feeding should be avoided, as contents in it passes through breast milk.
Garlic is very useful herb if used with caution. Small amount of it is beneficial but medicinal dose should always be discussed with dietitian and Ayurveda doctor.