Garlic is perhaps the herb with the oldest known reputation for its health-giving properties. Egyptians were fond of being buried with items that had been important to them, and in the tomb of El Mahasua dated 3750 BC were found cloves of garlic. Chinese records show they were using garlic over 3,000 years ago. When Columbus arrived in America in 1492 he found the Indians using garlic. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used garlic to treat pneumonia and supporting wounds. Obviously something used by so many for so long must have some rally great benefits, and modern science is proving that the ancients knew what they were doing.
Garlic has volatile oils in it which contains such things as allicin, ajoene and methyl allyl trisulfide. All are very potent and active compounds with great benefits to mankind. For example, it has been shown that just one milligram of allicin is as potent an antibiotic as 15 standard units of penicillin. The first person to scientifically document on the antibiotic properties of garlic was Louis Pasteur in 1858. It was used in World War I to prevent gangrene and in World War II was called Russian Penicillin.
The antibiotic properties of garlic have been scientifically demonstrated against such organisms as: Aeromona, bacillus, brucella, citrobacter, Escherichia, hafina, klebsiella, proteus, providencia, salmonella, straph, strep and vibrio. It has shown to be effective against Candida albicans, the dreaded yeast. Over 20 fungi are destroyed by garlic including the one which causes athlete’s foot. American and European doctors found it effective for tuberculosis in a high percentage of cases. Cryptococcal meningitis is a normally fatal disease caused by a fungus, yet when doctors in China treated 11 patients with garlic over a period of several weeks, all survived. In Japan and Romania separate research programs have shown garlic is effective at protecting against the influenza virus. We can clearly see that garlic is a potent antibiotic.
Garlic has been used for centuries by European and Eastern cultures to eliminate parasites and worms. The American Indians used it for the same. Recently researched in America, Europe, Japan and Russia have shown that the allyl sulfide and allicin of garlic are the active ingredients against hookworms, pinworms, tapeworms and roundworms. Direct application of garlic oil to the skin is known to eliminate ringworm.
The antibiotics and antihemophilic properties alone would earn garlic a position of high honor and respect in the world of health giving herbs, but there is even more that this marvelous herb has been shown to do. Again and again modern scientific studies have shown that garlic lowers cholesterol. It lowers serum triglycerides and cholesterol for those who are vegetarians as well as those who eat meat. It has also been found that garlic lowers blood pressure due to the prolonged relaxing effect on the arterial muscles. Another major problem which leads to atherosclerotic plaque, heart attacks and strokes is the tendency of the platelets and red blood cells to stick together in clumps and form clots. Ajoene is a substance found in garlic which has been shown to inhibit prostaglandin. This allows the blood to flow unrestricted, even in the tiniest capillaries. It’s easy to see why people who get lots of garlic in their diet seem to have better all-around health than those who don’t.