Considered a food / medicine, garlic is used both for its culinary and therapeutic virtues. Its reputation is second to none in terms of benefits, especially if you use the one made of pink skin and if you consume it raw. However, it is contraindicated in certain conditions and should not interact with certain medical treatments. If you are concerned by one of the disorders mentioned in this article, you must reduce or even stop your consumption of garlic.
The origins of garlic
Originally from Central Asia, and cultivated in Egypt since antiquity, it is a plant used for more than 5,000 years. In Ancient Rome, sixty-one diseases were treated with garlic whose pods were crushed to act as an antiseptic in the treatment of wounds. In Greek medicine, it was used as a dewormer and to treat asthma.
Nowadays, garlic is also used in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, treatment of excess cholesterol and hypertension. In local application, it helps to overcome warts and treat fungal infections of the skin. However, it should be applied with caution because it can cause burns.
The benefits of garlic
Garlic acts as an effective antidiarrheal and an intestinal anti-inflammatory that neutralizes infections and worms. Consumed regularly, it helps defend the immune system through its preventive actions.
It is an effective expectorant whose antibiotic action relieves colds, bronchitis and asthma. In case of high fever and dehydration, avoid consuming it because it tends to heat the body.
From a nutritional point of view, garlic contains 64% water and 27% carbohydrates. It is rich in sulfur amino acids such as cysteine and methionine, vitamins B, C, K and E as well as provitamin A. It has a high content of minerals and trace elements such as sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron, zinc, manganese, copper and silica.
From a therapeutic point of view, it is composed of sulfur substances including allicin up to 60%. It is a natural antibiotic, an antimycotic and an antioxidant; this substance is released when the garlic is crushed or cut.
In order to benefit from the benefits of garlic in an optimal way, it is advisable to slice or crush it thirty minutes before use to promote the formation of sulfur compounds (active ingredients responsible for the therapeutic effects).
According to the World Health Organization, it is “clinically proven that garlic is used as an adjunct to dietary measures to lower blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides)” and acknowledges that ‘garlic can be helpful for moderate hypertension’.
However, the consumption of garlic is contraindicated in people with particular conditions.
The contraindications of garlic
People suffering from gastric problems should consume the garlic in moderation or even stop it because it can accentuate certain disorders such as gastric hyperacidity, chronic gastritis, ulcer of the stomach or duodenum. If you want to use garlic as a condiment or natural remedy, it is advisable to consult your doctor before.
Regarding people who are on anticoagulant therapy, who are about to undergo surgery or who have just undergone one, the consumption of garlic is risky because it partially inhibits blood clotting, especially if it is mixed with blood. other anticoagulant plants such as gingko or ginseng.
Used for therapeutic purposes, garlic in large quantities may interact with thyroid medication because of its high iodine content and unbalance treatment for diabetes because of its hypoglycemic effects (reduced levels of glucose).
During pregnancy, garlic can be consumed in the kitchen but not for therapeutic purposes because of its anticoagulant effect mentioned above. As for breastfeeding women, it should not be forgotten that substances that give garlic its pronounced odor also pass into breast milk.
The sulfur compounds found in garlic are removed through the mouth and lungs and cause bad breath, which is characteristic of garlic eater.
If you suffer from any of the disorders mentioned above, be sure to reduce or even stop your consumption of garlic as this can have serious consequences on your health. In case of doubts or complications, consult your doctor.