Garlic has been used for thousands of years as a general stimulant and health sustaining plant. Garlic is most suitable in reducing cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure and generally protecting against heart disease. Garlic contains the chemicals alliin and alliinase, which are stored separately within the garlic plant. Crushing, chewing or digesting garlic releases these two substances, which react together to form garlic's active chemical, allicin.

Garlic has many benefits, but most importantly it:

  • lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
  • energizes the mechanisms which break down blood clots
  • normalizes the blood pressure
  • improves general well-being
  • eases the flow of blood through the small arteries of the tissues

Use garlic in cooking, but if you decide to try garlic supplements make sure you choose preparations which deliver enough allicin. This should be standardized in order to provide the same quantity of alliin and alliinase every time. Cultivation of the garlic plant is also important. Chinese garlic is considered to be stronger than garlic from other countries. Follow the directions on the package because garlic tablets may need to be taken three times a day in order to maintain the active ingredients in the blood.

The odor of garlic is due to the formation of allicin. If you wish to avoid smelling of it, choose preparations which don't allow the mixing of the two ingredients until the tablet is well down in the bowel, so the odor can't escape from the mouth. That is the theory. In practice, though, somebody with a good nose may still be able to pick up the scent.

General facts on garlic (real or alleged)

  • one clove of garlic contains 1-4 calories
  • garlic can help reduce infections
  • it is a good antioxidant
  • it boosts blood circulation to the nail bed
  • it eases digestion
  • it can help ward off mosquitoes
  • if rubbed on the teeth, it can improve toothache
  • it can make warts disappear

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