Garlic, Allium sativum, belongs to the Alliums family, which comprises some 700 species. Garlic is among the earliest known medicinal plants. The Babylonians [c.3000 BC] are said to make profuse use of garlic. The Jews love garlic, and when they were deprived of it in the wilderness, they grumbled: “The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to it! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost-also cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite: we never see anything but this manna!” [Num.11: 4-6] Garlic would surely restore their lost appetite.
Garlic was widely consumed in ancient Greek and Rome. Aristotle recommended garlic for those who wish to remain strong and healthy. The Roman soldiers were fond of planting garlic in vegetable pots near their abode since they believed that eating garlic would improve their fighting spirit. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, prescribed raw garlic for bronchitis. The tomb of the Egyptian king, Tutankhmen, was said to contain six bulbs of garlic, perhaps to ward off dangers on his way to the other world.
There are many myths and legends about garlic. One Muslim legend said when Satan left the Garden of Eden after the fall; garlic sprang up from his left footstep and onion from his right. In the 17th Century Europe, garlic was believed to ward off vampires and make moles jump out of the ground.
Greek athletes were given garlic to chew before competitions in Olympic Games to make them run faster or excel. In ancient Greek, those who smelt of garlic were not allowed to enter the temple of Greek gods.
In the middle ages, physicians used a mask smashed with garlic when treating patients with infectious diseases. In Ayurvedic medicine, garlic is called rashona, meaning, “lacking one taste.” This refers to the fact that garlic possesses all the other five tastes, namely, pungent (root), bitter (leaf), astringent (stem), saline (stem), sweet (seed), but “lacking in one taste,” sourness.
When garlic is eaten, its odour impregnates all the body secretions: breath, sweat, urine, belches, saliva, and even the milk of breastfeeding mother. The peculiar smell of garlic is due to the presence of diallyl disulphide, an enzyme derived from alliicine, which is a by-product of alliinase.
Garlic contains alliin, niacin, and vitamins A1, B1, B2. As volatile substances, alliin and diallyl dysulphur easily permeate all body organs and tissues, making it impossible to hide the smell. The body organs, which benefit most from garlic, are the organs of elimination such as the lungs, bronchi, liver, kidneys and the skin.
Methods of applying garlic
Swallow four cloves of garlic three times daily, the same way as you swallow tablets or capsules. This is by far the simplest and most convenient way to take garlic. It also solves the problem of the smell. However, note that anything less than the stated 12 cloves daily will give very little therapeutic effect.
Method two: Mash three bulbs of garlic and soak in one bottle of hot water overnight. Drink a glassful thrice daily.
Method three: Blend 10 bulbs of garlic with two bottles of honey. Please do not add water. Drink two dessertspoons three times daily.
Medicinal properties of garlic
Antibiotic: Garlic is one of the most effective natural antibiotics there are. It is scientifically proven that garlic works powerfully against the following bacteria: Escherichia coli, which causes intestinal dysbacteriosis and urinary infections, salmonella typhi, which causes typhoid fever, shigella dysenteriae, which causes bacillus dysentery, staphylococcus & streptococcus, which cause inflammation of the genital organs, damaged sperm cells, and skin infections and blemishes. Unlike synthetic antibiotics, garlic has no side effect whatsoever.
Hypolidemic: Garlic is found to lower noxious cholesterol level in the blood. This makes it indispensable for many Nigerians who consume a lot of fat, palm oil, and butter. Over-consumption of palm oil is partly responsible for cases of high cholesterol level in Nigerians today, thereby increasing the risk of heart problems. God has given us garlic as a remedy for this ailment.
Anti-diabetec: Combined with other herbs, garlic has proved useful for lowering blood sugar. Those who are afraid of developing diabetes because of the fact that their parents are diabetic should make friend with garlic, as it is very good prevention against diabetes.
Anti-tumour: Garlic strengthens the blood cells that protect the body against a microorganism. If these cells are weak, the body becomes prone to viral infections, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, pneumonia and cough. Garlic also destroys cancerous cells in the body. It is no wonder that the people of central Asia, who are reputed to be great consumers of garlic, live longest and recorded the lowest incidence of cancer.
In Nigeria, cases of cancer, especially of the breast, are increasing daily. I wish to suggest that our women should take garlic as much as possible. Garlic will act as good prevention against cancer as well as help in dissolving cancerous tumours.
Anti-hypertensive: Garlic has been a beckon of hope for hypertensive patients all over the world. It not only helps to regulate blood pressure but also helps to keep it normal.
Worms: Garlic is very good against intestinal worms. Follow method two or three above. Garlic is also good for Indigestion, as it promotes catabolism [waste excretion]. Follow any of the three recipes above.
For various illnesses such as bronchial infections, diarrhoea, general weakness, tiredness, lack of appetite, arthritis, convulsion and epilepsy, garlic is your best bet.
Smokers and alcoholics can also benefit immensely from garlic. I have used garlic therapy to treat many smokers and alcoholics, and the result has been impressive.
In the first place, garlic takes care of the ailments often associated with drinking and smoking, namely, hypertension, kidney and liver problems and lungs infections. Garlic helps to overcome the urge to smoke or drink, perhaps because of its peculiar odour. For smokers, I often recommend chewing three cloves of garlic three times daily, while drinkers blend garlic, carrot and honey and water together. The dosage is one glass thrice daily.
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