A garlic clove looks like a white teardrop. Roughly 10-12 cloves make up a head of garlic. But don´t let its small size deceive you. Garlic, although small, is big on nutritional value.
Among garlic´s most memorable traits are its strong smell and sharp taste due to sulfur compounds allicin. Garlic`s uses range from simple to complex. It is used in cooking to give food its flavor, and some ancient customs believe it can ward off evil spirits. Let´s explore some of garlic´s surprising health benefits and handy hacks.
Garlic originates from the onion family (including chives and leeks) and is one of the oldest plants in the world. Garlic contains many beneficial nutrients such as:
- vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, and E
Garlic is commonly used in cooking to add flavor to food, but there are many other uses that you may not have thought about before, which may surprise you.
Interesting Facts About Garlic
There are several hundred different types of garlic (over 400).
Garlic was known as an antiseptic and cure for infections and wounds in both World wars.
California produces 90% of US garlic production.
One clove of garlic has only four calories.
China produces the most garlic globally.
Overheating garlic can reduce nutrients. Therefore, you can add it last to your food preparation.
Some ancient cultures believe that garlic can ensure healthy childbirth and protect you from evil (and of course, from evil vampires (teaser).
Although garlic is used as an herb it is actually a vegetable.
Garlic offers a long list of benefits not only for health but for skin and hair as well. Some distinct benefits are it inhibits the accumulation of distinct types of plaque in arteries and contains anti-microbial, antifungal, and antibiotic properties.
Other benefits include:
- fights inflammation
- lowers heart disease (reduces LDL cholesterol)
- may prevent Alzheimer´s disease and dementia
- improve cognitive health in the elderly.
- reduce blood sugar levels
- promotes gut health
- may reduce the risk of cancer
- improve bone health
- improve hip osteoarthritis
- fights common cold and its symptoms
- kills intestinal worms
- improves digestion, liver and gallbladder issues
- can improve hypertension
- supports thyroid health
- prevent food poisoning
- supports cellular health
- can strengthen fingernails (topical use)
- maintain healthy weight
The selenium and sulfur content in garlic helps boost blood circulation for optimal hair nourishment. Garlic cleanses hair follicles, fortifies them, and prevents clogging to control hair loss. Garlic helps to calm a troubled scalp and treats issues like dandruff.
Garlic can regrow and strengthen existing hair, making it excellent for your hair. Raw garlic is rich in vitamin C, which is necessary for promoting healthy hair, and boosts collagen production which can stimulate hair growth. Keratin can increase circulation and help prevent hair loss/ hair thinning, which allows your hair to grow stronger.
If the smell of garlic on your hair worries you, let me put your mind at ease. You should always add other ingredients to reduce the smell of garlic and the possibility of skin irritations. You can also use as little garlic as you prefer because garlic is such a potent vegetable that a little goes a long way.
Hair loss reversal with coconut oil and garlic
- Crush two garlic cloves and add to warm, not hot, a tablespoon of coconut and castor oils respectively. Adding other ingredients to garlic can significantly reduce its scent.
- Apply to the scalp area.
- Leave on for a half hour.
- Wash with shampoo and condition your hair.
Overnight garlic-infused oil
- Crush 2 garlic cloves.
- Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Add 1 tablespoon of castor oil (olive oil is also okay)
- Mix well.
- Apply to the scalp.
- Massage your scalp for 3-5 minutes.
- Put a heat cap over it.
- Leave in for 20-30 minutes.
- Shampoo and condition your hair.
Garlic and ginger (hair growth)
- Blend fresh garlic and ginger into a paste.
- Heat paste in olive oil or coconut oil.
- When the pulp becomes brown, turn off the heat. Discard pulp.
- Apply oil to the scalp and massage for 5 minutes.
- Cover the head with a shower cap.
- Leave in for 30 minutes.
- Shampoo and rinse out.
Other Helpful tips
Garlic for foot fungus
Crush a generous amount of garlic to put enough water for a foot bath. You can add 1-2 teabags of green tea to battle the athlete’s foot.
Dry Alternative for feet
If you do not want to submerge your feet into the water, you can rub some garlic-infused oil (from the recipes above) using a cotton swab.
Eliminate toothache with garlic
It is a natural way to fight pain. Make a paste with garlic clove and apply it to the affected area/areas. It is perfect for emergencies if you cannot wait until the next dental appointment or after your dentist’s operating hours. You should always see your dentist if you have a toothache.
Garlic can stop ear infections
For minor ear infections, a few drops of warm garlic-infused oil can do wonders to relieve pain.
Remove splinters with garlic
For painful splinters. You can take half of a garlic clove. Smash it with a knife so that the juices can come out. Place it on the finger, put a band-aid on top of it, and leave it overnight. The next day not only will the splinter be gone but also the swelling and redness will disappear.
Garlic as a wart remover
You can also apply garlic to warts and insect bites.
Garlic as a natural pesticide
If you have a garden, consider using garlic as a natural pesticide. Garlic can also ward off mosquitoes.
There is a difference between garlic-infused oils, which you can make naturally and safely at home, and garlic essential oil. The essential oil is more potent and can irritate the skin more than when using infused oils.
All tips given in this article are with garlic-infused oils only. Garlic is naturally safe to use in moderation however, too much garlic, especially in capsules/supplements, can pose some unpleasantries such as dizziness, diarrhea, upset stomach, odor, and sweat, and increase the risk of bleeding (especially for people on blood thinners).
Garlic is a potent vegetable with fantastic health benefits and can offer other handy uses. One of its major sulfuric compounds is allicin, which is full of health benefits. Garlic can also help stop hair fall out and can heal wounds.
There are many benefits to using raw garlic, but there are also some nasty side effects from too much garlic, such as foul breath/odor, dizziness, and an increased risk of bleeding in some people. So eating the right amount of garlic is vital.
You should never get all of your nutrition from one source. A healthy lifestyle includes a diet rich in various fruits and vegetables; variety, not exclusivity is key.
Fruits and vegetables offer us many benefits, and when you know how beneficial they are, it is the hope that you value and appreciate them even more.
Garlic in moderate amounts can complement and boost your health.
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