"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"
THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF GARLIC
IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS
MEDICINAL QUALITIES OF GARLIC
Garlic’s medicinal value is largely in its highly volatile essential oil, so be careful in its preparation. Anciently, it was used in both healing and nutrition, as it was known to build physical strength and energy. It is a valuable nervine tonic and is especially useful in lowering hypertension; laboratory tests have proven this. It equalizes blood circulation, and it is a useful expectorant for all respiratory affections and infections. Garlic has a special affinity for the respiratory tract, beneficially influencing bronchial secretions, though it rapidly diffuses throughout the whole system.
Garlic stimulates the gastric juices and has active carminative properties to correct any fermentative and gaseous conditions in the stomach. It arrests intestinal putrefaction and infection, while stimulating the healthful growth of the friendly bacterial such as acidophilus, bifido bacterium, etc. The garlic oil is reportedly so popular in Russian medicine that it is referred to as Russian penicillin, and the hospitals and clinics have used the volatile garlic extracts almost exclusively in the form of vapors and inhalants.
The use of garlic as an antiseptic and vulnerary during World War I was sensational; wherever there is pus, it is a safe and certain remedy. Its’ antithelmintic properties and action is deadly to round-and-pin-worms. It also appears to be a powerful agent against tumor formation. 8
Several retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies have shown that individuals whose diet includes relatively large amounts of garlic, tend to develop cancer less frequently. Although the interpretation of epidemiological results is complex and always open to dispute, the cumulative evidence is significant.
In one of the best epidemiological studies, the Iowa Women’s Study, participants whose diet included significant quantities of garlic were about 30 percent less likely to develop colon cancer. This process is called chemoprevention.
The book goes onto explain garlic’s use as an insect repellant. Oral garlic is a popular folk remedy for insect bite prevention. A double blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial followed 80 Swedish soldiers and measured the number of tick bites received over each phase of the trial. The results show a modest but statistically significant reduction in tick bites attributable to daily consumption of 1200 mg. of garlic daily (type not stated).
As an antimicrobial, raw garlic extracts can kill a wide variety of microorganisms, invitro, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Thus is appears quite likely that topical application of garlic produces a local antibiotic effect. Topical effects could theoretically make it useful for intestinal infections, as well as Helicobator pylori. However, in vivo studies of garlic for Helicobactor pylori have not been promising.
Dr. Christopher’s extensive list of medicinal uses are as follows: effective against Tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, skin diseases, stomach ulcers, leg ulcers, athlete’s foot, boils, abscess, epilepsy, worms, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, pimples, carbuncles, tumors, kidney diseases, poisonous bites and stings, indigestion, catarrh, pneumonia, earache, infantile convulsions, leprosy, psoriasis, smallpox, intestinal disorders (chronic colitis), respiratory affections and infection, dropsy, sounds, aging, insect repellant, fevers, nervous and spasmodic coughs, hoarseness, whooping cough, typhus, cholera, hypertension, headaches, backache, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, dysentery dyspepsia, heart palpitation, chills, loss of weight, restlessness, diphtheria, colds, colic, pleurisy, intercostal neuralgia, dyspnea, pharyngitis, cramps, heartburn, sore throat, rhinitis, (clogged and running nose), nicotine poisoning, lip and mouth diseases (ulcers, fissures, etc.), diabetes, ague, pulmonary phthisis, sciatica, hysteria, ringworm, scrofulous sores, rheumatism, inflamed eyes, eye catarrh, chapped and chafed hands, flatulence, paralysis, neuralgia pains, retention of urine (bladder weakness), heart weakness, eczema, pityriasis, cancers, swollen glands, tubercular joints and necrosis.
Garlic has definite antithrombotic effects. In a four week, double-blind, controlled trial, 64 individuals with consistently increased spontaneous platelet aggregation were treated with either placebo or 900 mg. of standardized garlic powder daily. A significant decrease in spontaneous platelet aggregation was seen in the treated group. Similar effects were seen in a smaller trial using aged garlic at a dose of 7.2 grams daily. 8
Garlic is also useful in the treatment of hyperlipidemia. In vitro and exvivo experiments, on animal hepatocytes have found that allicin and (to a lesser extent) ajoene, s-allylcystein, and related chemical reduce cholesterol biosynthesis by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase as well as 14-alpha-demthylase. Garlic concentrates selenium in a readily absorbable form, which may practically explain its antioxidant and apparent chemopreventive properties. In addition, the sulphuric components of garlic may also directly bind and inactive reactive genotoxic metabolites. 9
by Gwen M. Porritt