Free Health Benefits of Garlic Essay Sample
Garlic (Allium sativum), is a plant species in the onion family. It's closely related to leek, onion, chive and shallot. The garlic bulb is the part of the plant that is commonly used but also the flowers and leaves are edible. Garlic is characterized with a spicy, pungent scent. Throughout history garlic has been used for both medicinal and culinary purposes and has been dubbed the "wonder drug". It has a strong reputation in folklore and is credited with preventing everything from flu, common cold and to some extent a Plague!
In the recent past garlic has gained massive popularity in the United States as statistics show that over 61 million dollars was spent by Americans in the purchase of this wonder drug. Larry King has credited it as being, "clinically proven to promote blood circulation and a robust cardiovascular system." Such assertions sound promising to the 60 million Americans with heart disease hence the cause for its high demand.
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Research has proved that garlic consumption has various health benefits which include the containment and treatment of:
There are numerous factors that can be blamed for heart disease just as there are uncountable benefits that garlic has in treating and preventing it. Garlic helps to keep our hearts in check through the lowering of cholesterol levels in our bodies. It prevents our LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises the HDL (good) cholesterol levels hence preventing building up on arterial walls. In addition it has been discovered that it protects the aorta by giving it the elasticity it needs. Stiffening is due to smoking, poor diet and age. A research was conducted where adults aged between 50 and 80 were administered to 300mg of garlic powder on a daily basis for 2 years. Researchers found out that the stiffening in the aorta reduced significantly to those participants who took garlic.(Tattelman pg .103 ).
Garlic also benefits the heart as it has the ability to thin our blood therefore assisting in the control of blood pressure. Thinning is achieved through the chemical called ajoene which thins the blood and prevents clots from forming. A study was conducted on 152 people who suffered from arteriosclerosis and researchers discovered that high garlic powder doses reduced the concentration of arterial plaque which is a primary cause of hypertension. Over the 48 months in which the research was conducted it was also noted that it reduced the concentration of existing plaque.
Research has been conducted over the years on how cancer is affected by consumption of garlic, since garlic supports a healthy immune system which is a necessary requirement to fight cancer in a person. Through the studies, it has been ascertained that garlic has an ability to decrease the chances of formation of cancerous cells. Garlic is able to block compounds which cause cancer, and reduce the enlargement of tumor cells. It is helpful in blocking bladder, prostate, stomach, oesophagal and breast cancer. Diallye disulphide and s-allycystein are compounds formed when garlic is crushed and are important as they prevent carcinogens from attaching to breast cells therefore preventing breast cancer. Included to the sulfur contained in garlic, are the ajoenes which have been noted for their "antitumor" abilities.
Many people suffer from acne at some point in their lives and they turn to creams and facial washes which only enable companies to make a fortune. There are many reasons that can be associated with acne which include stress, diet and hormones. Garlic when used in conjunction with other treatments, can cure acne. Garlic works as it has blood cleansing and antibiotic properties. When using garlic, one needs to crush and chop it up to assist in the release of the active compounds.
From the olden days garlic been used for its anti-bacterial properties. Louis Pasteur found out that when bacterial cells were exposed to conditions saturated with garlic they died. Other cases where it was used as an antibiotic include world war two, where it was used to treat those soldiers wounded in battle. In addition Albert Schweitzer used it to treat cholera and typhus. Garlic is also known to have antifungal and antiviral properties as well. It's highly effective against recurrent yeast infections, intestinal parasites and it slows the growth of candida albicans. It also helps in stimulating T calls which help in fighting infections.
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This is one of the most common ailment that garlic has been credited to treat. Studies have shown that garlic gives our natural defense system a boost by improving the immune system and in the process it conserves the levels of antioxidants in our system. Such studies include one carried out where 146 people with cold ailments were supplemented with garlic and placebo for 12 weeks. The participants recorded the symptoms daily and in the end, the group which was supplemented with garlic was healthier, reporting only 24 people with a cold while the group supplemented with placebo had 65 colds. (Blumenthal , pg . 6) this proved that garlic improves our immune system and that is why many people testify that by consuming raw garlic the sniffles which are associated with the onset of a common cold are immediately eradicated.
Garlic has been hailed since ancient times and in folklore as an aphrodisiac that helps in dealing with impotence. Studies have proven this legend as credible since garlic helps to keep arteries and veins youthful but this is only one way in which it assists in controlling impotence. Garlic has compounds that help people who suffer from low levels of nitric oxide synthase as it stimulate the production of this enzyme which is essential to obtain an erection.
During pregnancy the mother and the child may benefit from consuming garlic. Garlic supplement may help babies who are at a risk of low birth weight to gain weight.
The list of the health benefits of garlic is endless. Continuous research is being carried to try and show the association between learning, improved memory and garlic. In addition to this, it is being researched upon how garlic helps in the prevention of stress induced hyperglycemia.