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The Many Benefits of Garlic

HEALTH TIP: The medicinal powers of garlic have been used by herbalists for centuries. As a matter of fact, there has been more written about the wonderful benefits of garlic than any other food source known. Its history dates back 3,500 years. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was the first to write that garlic was an excellent medicine for eliminating tumors. The Codex Ebers, an Egyptian medical papyrus dating to about 1,550 B.C., mentions garlic as an effective remedy for a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, headache, bites, worms, and tumors.
Recent studies on garlic have shown that it kills insects, parasites, bad bacteria, and fungi. It also eliminates various tumors, lowers blood sugar levels, lowers harmful fats in the blood, and prevents clogging of the arteries. Researchers have also shown that allicin (the organic compound which gives garlic its aroma and flavor) acts as a very potent antioxidant.

It has been discovered that the diallyl disulfide in garlic reduces the formation of carcinogens in the liver. (Cancer Research, 1988; 48:23) Dr. Sujatha Sundaram, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, found that diallyl disulfide caused human bowel cancer tumor cells to shrink and die when transplanted into mice. The first scientific report to study garlic and cancer was performed in the 1950’s. Scientists injected “allicin” (an active ingredient in garlic) into mice suffering from cancer. Mice receiving the injection survived three times longer than the other mice. Many studies have shown that “allyl sulfur” (another active ingredient in garlic) is effective in preventing cancer and tumor development. In addition, ajoene, another major compound of garlic, has been shown to induce apoptosis in human leukemic cells. (Dirsch VM et al, Molecular Pharmacology, March 1998)

Painful ear infections and earaches drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices every year. Erase earaches with “garlic oil”! Because it is easy to keep a supply of fresh garlic in the refrigerator and extra virgin olive oil on the countertop, it is simple to make a home remedy to treat ear infections and earaches. How do you make the remedy? To whip up your own garlic oil, simmer 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic in ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil for 3 minutes. Strain and then refrigerate for up to 10 days. To use the infusion for an ear infection, ask the individual to lie with the painful ear facing upwards. Drop a few drops of the warm oil infusion into the ear and gently place a piece of cotton in the ear to keep the oil from running out. Have the individual lie like this for at least 10 minutes. The treatment can be repeated as needed for several days, if necessary. Do NOT place liquids in an ear if you suspect there may be a broken eardrum.

This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription drugs, say experts at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria. Garlic also contains vitamin A which helps to repair damaged cell tissue in the ear and to strengthen the auditory nerve. For an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in the ear canal.