This book explains the cultural history of plants that are used as herbs in today’s contemporary history. The book was published in 2004 and the writers seek to demystify the role that herbs played in history. In sections addressing garlic use, they cover Egypt and Mesopotamia and features some claims from the Old Testament section of the Bible. The book further explains how garlic was viewed by many as a wonder drug. Dating as far back as man’s history, ancient Egyptians worshipped it, while Roman athletes chewed it in the belief that they would keep vampires away.
Realistically though, the author claims that garlic has antifungal properties that makes it a remedy for a myriad of health problems. Such problems include common cold, flu, acne, cholesterol, blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, stomach conditions and even acts as a mosquito repellant. Additionally, the author notes that garlic is believed to improve one’s condition while pregnant. It is also believed that impotent men can greatly benefit from garlic consumption.
Yet, with all its health benefits, the authors note that no one can deny that the Garlic odor is among the few reasons why despite knowing the health benefits of the herb, most people prefer not to eat it. The authors’ further note that the health benefits people got from the smelly herb earned it the title “Stinking rose. ” The book gives the historic use of garlic, claiming that it was first cultivated in Egypt and Mesopotamia. As evidence, the authors base their claims on the garlic remains found in the Tutankhamun tomb and Deir el Medina.
It is also believed that Roman used the herb to strengthen their laborers and soldiers, as did the Egyptians to the slaves who built the pyramids. But the book also exposes the undesirable characteristics of garlic. In one section, the authors reveal how an epode by Horace reveals that not everyone liked the taste of garlic. Describing his experience at a feast Horace wrote, “…. What is this venom savaging my frame? Has the viper’s blood, unknown to me, been brewed to these herbs…? ” Henderson, B. (2005). Natural Cancer Treatments that Work. E-book retrieved from http://www. cbkidder.
com/files/public/Neways/NATURAL_CANCER_TREATMENTS. PDF. In this e-book, Bill Henderson has compiled a comprehensive list of alternative cancer treatments. In page 64 of the book, he claims that evidence to the anti-carcinogenic properties of the garlic have been gained from extensive research based on the herb. In this e-book, the author states that it is estimated that information about garlic’s ability to cure and inhibit cancer was evident to the masses more than 3,500 years back. Around this time, Hippocrates, a Greek philosopher, claimed through one of his written works that garlic was an exceptional herb for curing of tumors.
The author further reveals that modern scientist have further evidence that compounds contained in garlic fight aflatoxin – a carcinogen mould that contaminate grains and sweet potatoes, by three different ways. They include, inhibiting aflatoxin from binding to DNA, inhibiting aflatoxin from metabolizing and increasing water soluble metabolites, which detoxify the body(Renoux, 2008). Scientists also allege that garlic stimulates the body to produce the glutathione S-transferase enzyme, which protects the body against cancer by detoxifying it off carcinogens (Henderson, 2000).
Renoux, V. (2005) The Complete Guide to Garlic Cuisine. New Jersey: Square One Publishers. In this book, Victoria Renoux offers deep and perspective insight on garlic. This ranges from the historical uses, contemporary use, health benefits and the accompanying scientific evidence alluding to the health benefits of garlic. The book reveals that the main component, which gives garlic its health potency, is Allicin. Allicin is the main biological active component in the herb. To release the Allicin component in garlic, the book states that one would have to slice or crush it.
At the slicing stage, the garlic releases the alliinase enzyme, which modifies to alliin compound and further turns into Allicin, the active element. The book claims that evidence to this was discovered by the American society for Microbiology, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. To this effect, the discovery supported the notion that although smelly, garlic has antimicrobial properties that disable various infectious organisms. The heart beneficial properties of the garlic are acquired from the Allicin, which blocks particular enzymes from the heart.
The Allicin component also guards the garlic against fungi and other parasite infection during growth and gives it the pungent smell. The author further claims that even aged garlic bulbs still have some health benefits, although not as high as the fresh ones. To prove this, the book looks at how the Chinese used to extract components from aged bulbs for thousands of years. In such, crushed garlic was placed in dilute alcohol for twenty months. During this time, the chemical properties of the herb changed and the irritating compounds that cause bad breath were converted into bio-available compounds.
Though claims state that such extracts still have anti-oxidant properties, allicin is no longer the active component, instead, water soluble sulfur components become the active ingredients. Rennoux further reveals that there are ways that people can conserve the allicin components of garlic, even though it is crushed. Such include freeze drying garlic. This is done on fresh harvested bulbs which are then crushed and preserved while still having the allicin potency. Until water is added to the crushed garlic, the allicin components are still potent.
Freeze drying the garlic and packing it in capsules ensures that the antimicrobial nature of the herb is retained. The book reveals that one this has enables the creation of capsules that break down in the stomach, where allicin is released. The author reveals that these developments have led to manufacturers packing the rich sulfur contents of garlic into garlic supplements capsules, which enables as many people to avoid the garlic breath, which earned it the name “the stinking rose” Balch, P, A. (2003). Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal.
Ed. 2. New York: Avery publishers This book gives detailed information about how one should eat good food to ensure that he/she remains healthy. Garlic is covered among the cooking aid which ensures that the body is detoxified, has good blood circulation due to the blood thinning properties it has and improved immunity. The author goes in to detail to describe the herb. He says that Garlic is a perennial plant and one of the common remedies across the world, and its health benefits were famous through folklore, more than through scientific evidence.
He even uses the bible as evidence that indeed garlic was in use in ancient Egypt. He bases his argument on the fourth book of the Old Testament where it is stated that the Jews who had been rescued from slavery in Egypt were nostalgic about eating garlic in Egypt. The author however notes that scientists were slow to embrace the realities of garlic’s health benefits until 1858 when Louis Pasteur, a scientist proved that indeed garlic kills bacteria. Later in 1983, researchers in the medical center of New York University further found evidence that garlic oil slows down the development of skin cancer.
Apart from being as strong as some anti-fungal drugs, the book notes that using garlic to treat fungal infections is safer than using contemporary medicine. It also contains a detailed list of the conditions that garlic can improve or heal. The author lists the medical conditions proven by research to improve under garlic as follows: thrush, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, vaginitis and colds among others. The book further claims that garlic treats mild but recurring infections of the skin, mouth, throat, stomach or ears
Balch claims that garlic’s biochemistry has seventy five sulfur components wrapped in the simple compact cloves. The book however reveals that not all garlic has the seventy five sulfur components factors such as the age of the garlic, form (processed or natural) and its nature (cooked or raw) determines whether an individual bulb has all the compounds. Mendham, T. (2008) Garlic Health Benefits: Summary Retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://www. garlic-central. com/garlic-health-summary. html
This article summarizes the health benefits and gives a brief description of the negative side effects that arise from the use of garlic. The author acknowledges that some of the benefits have scientific backing, where as some “remain in the realm of folklore”. He also offers some advice on the use of garlic, which includes moderation, and consulting with the doctor before a person takes to garlic consumption. Christopher, D et al. (2007). Effects of Raw Garlic Vs Commercial Garlic Supplements on Plasma Lipid Concentrations In Adults with Moderate Hypercholesterolemia Archives of Internal Medicine Vol.
167, No, 4. Retrieved February 3, 2009 This article is based on a random clinical trial based on claims that garlic lowers cholesterol levels in the body. The authors acknowledge that the efficacy of garlic on cholesterol levels have always been conflicting. Based on a study, which included 192 adult participants who w ere given either raw garlic, garlic supplements or aged garlic supplements, over a period of 6 months. The conclusion to the study as noted by the authors of this article state that there was no significant effect of the three varying garlic treatment.
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