Garlic has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Sanskrit records show it's use about 5000 years ago and it has been used in Chinese medicine for at least the last 3000 years. Over these years it has been considered an herbal "wonder drug" with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold to the plague.
Modern science has found garlic to be medicinally useful in many ways to include the following:
* Increases cardiovascular health.
* Has antimicrobial properties.
* Is high in antioxidents
* Promotes lipid lowering and improves cholesterol profiles
* Promotes anti-bloodclotting activities
* Has antineoplastic properties
* Aids in weight loss
Garlic has a high amount of sulfur-containing compounds. One in particular, allicin, is responsible for many of the health benefits of garlic. You can increase the amount of allicin by crushing or chopping your garlic raw. Dried garlic preparations must be enteric coated because stomach acid breaks down the allicin. Finally, because allicin is indirectly deactivated by heat, cooked garlic will be less powerful medicinally.
Garlic taken in normal amounts rarely causes side effects. There are a few people who are allergic to garlic. Symptoms include skin rash, high temperature and headaches.
With all the health benefits, garlic is the perfect compliment or addition to any nutritional plan. So add a dash of garlic to your palate. It not only adds distinct taste but a spice of health to your life too.
Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge nutrition and fitness ideas go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com