Garlic is one of the oldest known healing herbs. Its healing effects can be summarized in several categories:

INFECTION—Garlic has been shown to be antibiotic, antiparasitic, antiviral, and antiprotozoan. It has been used to treat E. Coli infection,

herpes virus, open wound sores and yeast infection.

BLOOD PRESSURE AND CIRCULATION— Studies show that garlic lowers serum cholesterol by 15%; it lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and raises good (HDL) cholesterol. It reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and also lowers blood pressure.

CANCER—Research indicates that garlic has antitumor and anticancer activity. Garlic has also been shown to reduce the damage from radiation and radiation treatments and environmental exposures which can cause cancer.

OTHER MEDICAL PROBLEMS—Garlic has been shown in clinical studies to reduce blood sugar levels, which should be beneficial to diabetics. European studies indicate that garlic can eliminate heavy metals such as lead from the body. Garlic protects the liver cells from oxidation damage and helps to detoxify the liver. Indian researchers gave garlic ointment to leprosy patients in a controlled study, and those receiving garlic showed improvement. AIDS patients’ studies indicated that those who took a clove of garlic a day for three months showed increased immune system functions.

Modern herbalists recommend garlic for colds, coughs, flu, fever, sore throat, bronchitis, ringworm, intestinal worms; for problems with cholesterol, liver, bladder infections, gallbladder, and digestive disorders; and for other problems such as poison ivy, poison oak, nettle stings, athletes foot and to ward off mosquitoes. Given to dogs, garlic repels fleas.

HOW TO TAKE IT—Garlic is best taken raw; cooking destroys some of the healing activity. Use fresh garlic in salads or crush it on bread. Do not swallow whole cloves of garlic without chewing or crushing because you will not have the antibiotic activity. Chew garlic with an apple to lessen the sharpness and burning. To eliminate garlic breath, chew it with parsley. Any mint flavored chewing gum will mask its odor. Health food stores and supermarkets sell garlic oil in capsules and deodorized garlic oil in capsules or tablets.

SAFETY—Garlic is safe even in large amounts, 12 cloves per day. However, before you start taking garlic in large amounts, you may want to consult your doctor first particularly if you are taking any blood thinning medications. Garlic is a natural blood thinner.

Nursing mothers should not eat garlic because it enters into the mother’s milk and could cause colic to the baby.

Obviously, people who are allergic to garlic should not eat it.

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