All about Allium Sativum (Garlic)
Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about 5,000 years ago. It is said that the original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance-enhancing” agents used in sports. the people of ancient India valued the therapeutic properties of garlic and also thought it to be an aphrodisiac.
Numerous cuneiform records show that garlic has been cultivated in Mesopotamia for at least 4,000 years. The use of garlic in China and Egypt also dates back thousands of years. Well, preserved garlic was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun (c. 1325 BC). It was consumed by ancient Greek and Roman soldiers, sailors, and rural classes (Virgil, Eclogues ii. 11), and, according to Pliny the Elder (Natural History xix. 32), by the African peasantry. Garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on the piles of stones at crossroads, as a supper for Hecate.
Benefits of Garlic
- Garlic could fight common clod and sickness
Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system. One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo. The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group. Another study found that a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) reduced the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61%. However, one review concluded that the evidence is insufficient and more research is needed.
- Garlic could reduce blood pressure
Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases. Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. In one study, 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period.
- Garlic improves cholesterol level
Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol. For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplements appear to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10–15%. Looking at LDL (the “bad”) and HDL (the “good”) cholesterol specifically, garlic appears to lower LDL but has no reliable effect on HDL.
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