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GARLIC: IT’S HISTORY, USES AND HEALTH BENEFITS (PART TWO)

Type of Garlic

The name garlic was derived from the Old English word garleac. Literally, interpreted, the latter means “spear leek,” making reference to the lanceolate shape of the plant’s cloves. However, there are two main types of garlic: hardneck and softneck.

Garlic, Ready for Export

The hardneck varieties produce a flowering stalk which is surrounded by underground cloves and are considered to be more flavorful and easier to peel than softneck, making them the best choice of most chefs. However, the hardneck garlic does not store well.

The Softneck varieties also called silverskin, generally do not flower and form seed, but often produce bulblets on their stem.

They are considered to be more productive and easier to grow than hardneck varieties. Under proper conditions softneck varieties can be stored from six to eight months. Most of the garlic found at supermarkets is of the softneck type.

The Soil, Weather and ph level for Garlic

Garlic grows best in a sunny location in soil that is well-drained yet moisture-retentive and relatively high in organic matter. Well-rotted manure or compost is an ideal soil amendment to improve the latter in garden soils.

Garlic prefers a soil pH of between 6 and 7. Liming is recommended if the pH falls below 5.8.

Garlic: Minerals and Vitamins

A single clove of garlic can gives 4 calories, but the minerals are Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Sulfur, Selenium and Germanium with Vitamin B1 – Thiamine, Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin, Vitamin B3 – Niacin, Vitamin B5 – Pathothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 – Folate, Vitamin C, Protein Fiber, and only 1 gram of sugar for 100g of garlic.

Garlic as Herbal Supplement

These days garlic is used as an herbal supplement to help prevent heart disease, lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and to boost the immune system.

Some evidence exists that eating garlic regularly may also help protect against certain types of cancer, Please consult your family physician before initiating a garlic treatment regimen.

Garlic and Bacteria

In 1858, Louis Pasteur wrote that garlic killed bacteria. As he maintained, it was effective even against some bacteria resistant to other factors. He also noted that garlic killed Helicobacter pylori.

The antiseptic properties of garlic were confirmed in the keeping down of cholera (in 1913), typhoid fever and diphtheria (in 1918) in Beirut (Tucakov 1948).

Albert Schweitzer, the famous physician and humanitarian, used garlic in Africa to treat amoebic dysentery.

Garlic later attained a status as a folk remedy, and was no longer taken seriously by scientists, medical practitioners or researchers until two decades ago, when garlic research blossomed in laboratories worldwide.

One of such researches, concluded that garlic may have direct benefits against the “seven major diseases of our time” hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipemia (high cholesterol), heavy metal intoxication, infectious diseases, free-radical damage, cancer and immune deficiency diseases.

 French phytotherapist Lekrek used garlic as a preventive remedy with success during the great pandemic of influenza, the so-called ‘Spanish fever’, in 1918.

During the epidemic of influenza in America during 1917 and 1918, people wore a necklace of garlic when going out in public.

Garlic and Vampires

Garlic was also believed by some culture to have the power to ward off vampires (Mindell, 1994). Transylvanian peasants draped garlands of it over their doorways to banish these fanged devils and evil spirits, and garlic cloves were hung around the necks of young girls throughout Europe to protect them from the vampire’s deadly kiss.

According to legend, the three things vampires feared the most were sunshine, the cross or crucifix and garlic. (It must work. Have you seen any vampires lately?), Even if you don’t believe in vampires, garlic would protect you from a lot of pathogens.

It contain vitamins, a lot of trace metals, fiber, selenium and many others. It has been used as an alternative medicine for many years. There are a lot of advantages in using garlic, on a daily basis.

Consumption of Garlic

In eating of garlic, you should not consume just one clove and expect garlic to wave its magic wand and cleanse your body. It has to be taken in moderate amount, continuously to get the medicinal advantages of the bulb.

For a few medical conditions (Please consult your family physician before initiating a garlic treatment regimen) garlic would provide an instant relief and for a few, it would take more time that the medicine prescribed by the doctors. Thus, garlic is an alternative medicine, which has to be used along with the doctor’s medicine for major medical conditions. Do you need supply of Garlic?

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