Can taking a daily clove of garlic lower blood pressure? Here are some facts on how it works.
The alliin compound becomes allincin (one of about a 100 sulphur compounds). The chemicals contained in garlic are stable as long as the cloves in the bulb aren’t damaged, but when we take our daily clove of garlic or two and crush, bruise or chop them, an enzyme called alliinase reacts with another compound called alliin, instantly producing the sulfur compound allicin which is the cause of the herbs` smell, taste and therapeutic properties.
There are protective health benefits from taking a daily clove of garlic. You can combat the onset of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases with the powerful compound allicin in garlic. Hypertension is known to be lowered by several actions of this compound. As an antioxidant, it has the ability to fight free radical damage, caused by high blood pressure and other problems such as acidosis, (a result of the pH balance in the blood and other organs being too acidic).
t also has blood thinning properties, helping to keep the blood platelets from being too sticky, clotting, and sticking to artery walls which can cause high blood pressure and heart attack. Adding to the free flow of blood is the fact that it`s a very good vasodilator, opening wide the blood vessels, in effect, reduces blood pressure. The herb has the side benefit of being a diuretic too.
Instead of eating a daily clove of garlic raw, you may wish to take it in supplement form. Look for 4000 mcg of allicin per capsule with enteric coating which saves the therapeutic enzymes. A word of warning as usual: If you are taking blood thinning medication such as aspirin or warfarin, see your doctor first before taking garlic. I will mention more of its side effects further on in this article.
What Does Modern Research Show Us?
Can a daily clove of garlic help keep cholesterol at bay?
Well, modern research is ongoing seeking to tap into it’s therapeutic potential in reducing the risk of heart disease, but it has been said recently that there is no tangible, scientific evidence that a daily clove of garlic or two can lower it.
Also in 1992 a long term study was conducted where concentrated garlic extract was given to people with high cholesterol and another group were given anti-cholesterol drugs. The report said there was no choice between the two.
I don’t know if that proved that the garlic had as good an effect as the drugs, or that the drugs were just as ineffective as the garlic. What I do know is that doctors who are in favor of nutritional treatment, encourage garlic therapy with other cholesterol lowering supplements, and research has shown that the level of plaque formation associated with age is brought down and even has seen to regress after garlic therapy.
The problem of earlier trials have been due to their small scale, but what would happen if they were pooled together and re-examined? Two doctors from Oxford University, England did just that.
Dr. Christopher Silagy and Dr. Andrew Niel studies the collective results from 16 trials involving 952 patients and saw there was a 12% reduction in their cholesterol with the administration of garlic powder after a month. See the book The Healing Power of Garlic by Paul Bergner, page 120, Garlic Lowers Cholesterol.
Side effects are minimal with taking a daily clove of garlic depending on the individual. Some may have sensitive stomachs and may experience nausea, but it usually passes. Strong breath odor is another problem but this is worse it the garlic is chewed. Burns may also happen when garlic is applied direct to the skin without diluting it in a base oil.
If you consume a bulb or more then side effects can be quite alarming but are soon rectified when the dose is greatly reduced. The following list are the main side effects if taken in high doses.
- skin burns
- bad breath
If normal doses prove much too irritating for your stomach, try aged Kyolic garlic from Japan. It`s the mildest garlic but still good for blood pressure. This particular garlic is sliced and aged in vats to preserve the sulphur components.
You will find it odorless which is an added benefit. That means your breath remains fresh!
Kyolic does not contain many of the health benefits associated with garlic. For instance, the natural antibiotic properties.
A Little History
Garlic, from the Anglo-Saxon name Garleac – meaning, spear leek, has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating as far back as 1600 BC in Egypt.
The Greek Historian Herodotus records that it was prized by the Ancient Egyptian pyramid builders to enhance strength and endurance. The Israelites longed for the garlic they used to enjoy when in captivity in Egypt. The Holy Bible Numbers 11:5
It is still grown in Egypt, but the Syrian variety is more popular now. The Greek scholar Pliny the Elder noted 61 various diseases that were treated using garlic therapy.
As we move through time, in the last 2 world wars, garlic was used to heal the wounds of the soldiers. Further research into the possibility of a cancer cure is also being investigated.
How to Take It
You can take it down with milk, water or juice after chopping it fine.
I learned to eat it raw, first, as a salad dressing served up with avocado. The dressing consists of 3 parts virgin olive oil to 1 part wine vinegar, a daily clove of garlic, crushed, and fresh ground black pepper, with or without a dash of mustard. Vigorously shake it all up. Very delicious!
When using oil with garlic, watch out for botulism, an infection caused through consuming bacteria from stale garlic in oil. When making this dressing, be sure to add some kind of acid. Lemon juice can also be used. Refrigerate and consume in a day or two. This serves as a tasty aperitif, poured into half of an avocado. A great potassium rich food for high blood pressure.
HOW TO GROW GARLIC
Your daily clove of garlic can be supplied from your own garden. It is easy enough to grow. The only real problem that can present itself is water logged earth that can cause the bulbs to rot. Planting in a raised furrow will help to drain the soil on days that are rather wet.
Plant in October to harvest in spring. (garlic is a hardy plant. The winter will not destroy them.)
1. Pick an area of the garden that is exposed to as much sun as possible. Dig a raised row of earth and make a shallow furrow in the center, along its length.
2. Mix in some sand or organic matter to help with drainage, and add some fertilizer.
3. Buy a good bulb from your supermarket, preferably Spanish Morado. This is the usual kind found in supermarkets. It is a small, white, compact bulb.
4. Remove the outer skin and carefully separate the cloves, not bruising them, and soak them for at least 30 minutes before planting.
5. Place each clove 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) apart, root side down, and cover the tips with 2cm of soil (1 inch of soil).