Meet The Herb | Garlic

Feb 8, 2021

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Last updated on December 7th, 2021 at 02:41 pm

Allium sativum| Garlic

Today on “Meet the Herb” we will be learning all about the amazing benefits of garlic, which are readily available everywhere and super affordable.

Garlic is a part of the allium family and the main beneficial compound of this plant that makes it antifungal, and antibacterial are allicin and diallyl sulfides.  Garlic is universally known and recognized for its health-promoting benefits. Garlic is not only one of the world’s most versatile culinary herbs, but also one of the greatest medicinal herbs.  It is useful for everything.

meet the heb garlic 4

What is garlic good for?

Heart Health
The sulfur content in garlic helps stimulate nitric oxide production in the blood vessels.  This process helps relax and improve the blood vessel’s elasticity, and therefore helps lower blood pressure.

Digestive Support
Garlic is a very well-known vermifuge and is often used in treating intestinal worms (aka parasites) in humans as well as animals.  Consuming garlic on a regular basis can also help to “awaken” a sluggish digestive system.

Immune Function
Garlic stimulates the body’s white blood cell production, which boosts immune function.  The volatile oils in garlic, are antibiotic.  This makes garlic very useful in treating colds, coughs, and other infections.

Blood Sugar Regulation
Eating garlic regularly helps to lower homocysteine (an amino acid), which is a risk factor for diabetes, as well as heart disease.

Supports Detoxification
Garlic contains sulfhydryl, which is very helpful in removing toxins such as heavy metals from the body.

Cancer Prevention
Garlic has been recognized for helping in the prevention of certain cancers – such as breast cancer, and lung cancer.

What about all the parts of the plant?

Dried Garlic Bulbs
Dried garlic bulbs contain an abundant amount of antibiotic, antifungal, and sulfur compounds, as well as allicin, alliin, and ajoene.

Fresh Garlic
Fresh garlic has the same compounds and benefits as dried garlic, but with delicious and edible stems.

Wild Garlic
Generally, only the leaves and flowers from wild garlic plants are eaten.  These parts of the plant are easier to digest than the garlic bulb portion.  Wild garlic leaves contain chlorophyll as well as adenosine.

Garlic Scapes + Flowering Stalks
The garlic scapes are simply immature flowering stalks that have the same benefits as mature garlic, but with a milder flavor.

Garlic scapes are generally harvested in the spring and summer and can be such a lovely addition to any salad.

How to get the most from garlic?

Use the leaves from the wild garlic plant.  Use a sprinkle of the leaves in salads, pestos, and soups for a little extra boost of flavor.
Fresh is best.  It is always best to choose fresh garlic instead of bottles in water or oil.  Why? The beneficial compound called allicin degrades drastically when bottled.
Try black garlic if available.  Fermented black garlic has twice the number of black antioxidants of white garlic.  Black garlic is known for not leaving bad breath after eating it.
How to cook it?  Unfortunately, cooked garlic doesn’t have the same amount of allicin as raw garlic, but it still keeps some of the compounds intact.  Simply let the crushed or sliced garlic sit for about 10 minutes to allow the allicin compound to settle in before cooking.
Fresh garlic.  Is lovely cooked in the same way as cooking leeks, or added to soups, omelets, and salads.
Eat garlic raw.  Simply scatter some raw garlic over some cooked vegetables.

Garlic Breath?

If you are trying to avoid garlic breath simply try eating a few springs of parsley with your garlic.  You can also chew some fennel, anise, or dill seeds after a garlic-rich meal.


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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