Garlic is known all over the world as an herb used to add flavor to a wide array of food and dishes. The herb is also a popular medicine used to treat and prevent many diseases and conditions that negatively affects the body’s overall health. Garlic, scientifically known as Allium Sativum, is a species in the genus Allium, the same to which onion belongs. The plant is a bulbous one which means it has a short stem with fleshy leaves that serve as storage for food during the plants’ infancy stage. The Allium is widely grown for commercial usage but can also grow wildly if soil and weather conditions are ideal. The plant grows up to 4 feet in height and its bulb is the widely used part of the Allium.
How to use Garlic?
The most popular use of the valuable and versatile garlic is as a kitchen spice due to its pungent flavor. The cloves can be used whole, crushed or grinded and used to season meat, fish, rice, bread and a whole assortment of other foods. If you can manage the pungent taste then you can eat the raw clovers to for its medicinal benefits. Garlic tea is a popular as a remedy for the cold, coughs, bronchitis and in the lowering of high blood pressure. Garlic tea is easy to make; simply crush a couple clovers and allow them to steep for a few minutes in a cup of hot water. The tea may be sweetened with honey but be aware that this might not be the tastiest tea you have ever had. A secret way to add all the numerous health benefits of garlic to your diet without the punget taste, is to add a clove to your smoothie. Yes, I know, you are thinking no way! But it will be masked in all the other flavors – I like to add a clove to my banana, blueberry, peanut butter smoothie weekly.
Health Benefits of Garlic
The main active compound found in garlic is the sulfur compound named allicin, which is produced when the garlic is crushed. Allicin is an antibiotic and antifungal compound which inhibits the ability for germs to grow and reproduce within the body. Garlic is known to have antioxidant properties and promotes hearth health, healthy blood circulation and boosts the immune system to void off infections. The herb can also help to reduce cholesterol levels and even contains an anti-cancer agent named germanium. Garlic also helps to loosen the buildup of plaque from the artery walls and serves as a blood thinner in a similar way in which aspirin works. Garlic is certainly an herb to add to your diet as it is known as an excellent herb for creating and maintaining overall health.