Today is...  

 The Amazing Gospel of Garlic!
To use the word “gospel” is no heresy… after all, the word "gospel" just means “Good News”

by Don Jíbaro

hen I was a ten year old child in Puerto Rico sometimes I’d eat dinner at my friend’s house next door, if I happened to be there at dinner time. My friend’s mother cooked the most delicious “arroz y habichuelas colorás” that I had ever tasted. Yummee! That lady could cook! Her rice and beans needed no meat! When I asked her how did she cooked such tasty beans and if I could learn to cook like that, she said her secret was “culantro y ajo” (coriander and garlic) but the main ingredient was garlic.
I was turned on to the marvelous world of Garlic by a passage in the Bible where the Hebrews don’t want to follow Moses anymore after he has given them the Ten Commandments. Instead, they want to go back to Egypt where, as slaves, they were kept strong for making bricks for the Pharaoh's pyramids with a diet of “garlic”.

--"We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost... also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"-- (Numbers 11:5-6)

Even back then, the ancient Egyptians knew that garlic was an incredible health booster. They knew it had something special. The claims of garlic as a miracle herb are not supported by mere scientific evidence, but by people who “been there-done that”.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulbous herb of the lily family (Liliaceae) and closely related to the onion. The plant dates back 5000 years to the Middle East where it was one of humanity’s first cultivated plants. Garlic is considered a medicinal food and useful for fighting a myriad of diseases, fighting parasites, detoxification, lowering fever and relieving stomach aches, ect. It is also documented that garlic helps to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, and function as a blood thinner much like aspirin.

Allicin is the chief component of this incredible herb. The compound is a strong antibacterial agent and released when its bulbs are crushed or cut. Garlic contains 32 additional sulfur compounds and 17 amino acids. The main active components are allicin, allixin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and thioallyl amino acids1.

Prevalence of Use
According to a 2003 market survey of herbal sales, garlic is one of the top 3 best selling supplements of this estimated $5.2 billion industry. Estimated Cost/Expenditure/Reimbursement Individual garlic bulbs can be purchased for pennies or grown in one’s own garden.
Bulk rate per pound $8.39
250 100% pure garlic caplets $17.89 (Quintessence)
60 ml aged garlic extract $12.89
100- 500 mg caplets $6.99 to $8.39

So… meet the much maligned garlic…
Garlic is a member of the lily family and a close relative of the onion. The plants have flat, grayish-green leaves, which grow to be a foot or two tall. During their bloom period, the plants send up slender stalks which produce edible flowers in a round, snowy-white head. Sometimes tiny, edible bulbs show up among the flowers. The leaves, or “chives”, are an xcellent addition to salads and stews, but the part of the garlic plant revered in song and story and treasured over the centuries is the bulb. A single bulb is composed of 8 to 12 sections called cloves, which are held together by a parchment-like covering.

Historically speaking, as early as 3000 B.C. Chinese scholars were writing the praises of garlic and it is mentioned in the earliest Sanskrit writings. The sacrificial lambs of China were seasoned with garlic to make them more acceptable to the gods. Garlic was of such value to the Egyptians that fifteen pounds of it would purchase a healthy male slave. From the translations of the works of the Greek Historian, Herodotus, we know that the workers constructing the Great Pyramid at Giza lived mainly on garlic and onions. It is reported that pyramid builders, although surrounded by savage taskmasters, went on strike when deprived of their ration of garlic.

The Israelites, wandering in the Sinai desert with nothing but manna to keep them from starvation, complained bitterly at the absence of garlic in their diets. They thought longingly of spicy foods they had left behind, “the fish which they did eat, the leeks and the onions and the garlick.”

The early Sumerian diet included garlic as a mainstay and garlic is also mentioned in the Shih Ching (The Book of Songs), a collection of traditional ballads, said to have been written by Confucius.

In the eighth century, B.C., garlic was found growing in the garden of the King of Babylon.

Homer praised garlic.

The Vikings and Phoenicians packed it into their sea chests for long voyages, and in Boccaccio's Decameron a love stricken young man sent garlic to his lady in order to win her love,- and he did!

Crusaders, returning to Europe from battle, are credited with moving garlic to the continent. Marco Polo mentioned the many uses of garlic in records of his journeys.

So popular did this "lily" become in Europe that banquet guests were required to compose verses saluting it.

After being revered and loved by the common people for centuries, at the beginning of this century garlic suffered a decline and became regarded as slightly improper by the bourgeois households of both America and England. By the end of World War II it was found only in gourmet shops. Still valued as medicine, garlic has made a splendid comeback as a food flavoring in recent years. Informal postwar entertaining began to include salad bowls gingerly rubbed with a glove of garlic and even more daring, garlic bread was served. Much of this is believed to have been brought about by Americans traveling in European countries. Today whole heads are baked and served with crusty bread as an appetizer.

Garlic has a pungent smell, and is good in certain dishes, but is there more too it? Why is garlic so often considered a great, healthy herb? Well, for one, it has the vital chemical compound allicin, which is a wonderful therapeutic ingredient with many medicinal qualities. The allicin compound contains sulfur, which gives the garlic its pungent savor and peculiar smell. The health benefits of garlic are innumerable. It helps fight heart ailments, fight cold, cough, and lowers blood pressure.

Garlic is the oldest known medicinal plant variety or spice in existence. Mankind recognized the curative qualities of this magic herb over 3,000 years ago. Sir Louis Pasteur, the scientist who discovered penicillin, effectively utilized the anti-bacterial qualities of garlic all the way back in 1858.

World War I medical surgeons used the health benefits of garlic juice as an antiseptic for treating war wounds. Garlic contains useful minerals such as phosphorous, calcium and iron, as well as trace minerals like iodine, sulfur and chlorine, which are also present in the cloves. In terms of organic compounds, garlic is one of the rare sources of allicin, allisatin 1, and 2.

Health Benefits of Garlic
Some of the health benefits of garlic are explained in greater detail below.

Diabetes: Diabetes can harm the kidneys, inhibit nervous system functions, cause heart disorders, and even lead to poor eyesight. The oil extracted from garlic may protect diabetic patients from these side effects.

High Cholesterol Levels: Of the two kinds of cholesterol –LDL and HDL, the former is bad for human health. Garlic, rich in the allicin compound, effectively prevents LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. All those who have high cholesterol levels should include garlic in their daily diet.

Hypertension: Garlic is an herbal ingredient for curing hypertension. When exposed to high levels of pressure, the allicin present in garlic relaxes the blood vessels. Garlic also fights against thrombosis by reducing platelet aggregation.

Digestion: Daily inclusion of garlic in your diet aids in eliminating any digestive problems. Garlic assists in the normal functioning of the intestines for good digestion. Even swelling or irritation of the gastric canal may be rectified with garlic as a treatment.

Eye Care: Garlic is rich in nutrients like Selenium, Quercetin and Vitamin C, all of which help treat eye infections and swelling.

Ear Aches: Garlic is commonly used for curing ear aches, as it has se
veral antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic properties. Garlic oil can be made at home by squeezing the juice of garlic cloves and adding it to olive oil. The mixture should be kept at room temperature for a few days, but shouldn’t be saved indefinitely, if made at home.

ntestinal Problems: Garlic clears up most intestinal problems like dysentery, diarrhea and colitis. Its role in dispelling worms is phenomenal. It does not affect the functioning of useful organisms in the intestine, which aid in digestion, but it does destroy the harmful bacteria present in the intestines.

Cold: Raw garlic is used to treat colds and coughs. At the very onset of a cold, you should eat at least two cloves of crushed garlic, which will thereby help in lessening the severity of your cold.

Infected Wounds: Garlic can be placed on infected wounds as an herbal treatment. It should be mixed with three drops of water, rather than using it in raw form, as the undiluted juice can irritate the skin.

Acne: Half the people in the world suffer from mild to severe forms of acne. Garlic may be used, along with other ingredients like honey, cream and turmeric, to treat acne scars and prevent the initial development of acne. Garlic acts as a cleanser and an antibiotic substance for soothing skin rashes.

Asthma: Boiled garlic cloves are wonderful as an alternative asthma treatment. Each night before going to sleep, a glass of milk with 3 boiled cloves of garlic can bring subsequent relief for patients with asthma. The asthma attacks may be brought under control by having crushed garlic cloves with malt vinegar as well.

Sexual Problems: Garlic has certain aphrodisiac properties, so this helpful herb can be utilized as an effectual sex rejuvenator. The health benefits of garlic are further known to enhance the libido of both men and women. People who overindulge in sexual activities should consume garlic in their diet or in supplemental form to protect themselves from nervous fatigue.

Cancer: The regular intake of garlic reduces the risk of colon, stomach and esophageal cancer. It aids in reducing the production of carcinogenic compounds, and also reduces the occurrence of tumors associated with breast cancer.

More Info on This Wonderful Herb
The health benefits of garlic were realized centuries ago by mankind. Garlic is very effective when eaten raw- either crushed or chopped. As little as one clove per day may bring vast improvement in your overall health. 2 to 3 cloves could prevent an attack of the common cold. Garlic used in cooking should be added last for more of a healthy impact.

However, consuming too much garlic is also not very good as it may cause irritation in the digestive system. Garlic should be added as a part of a healthy normal diet, it does not need not be used as an alternative to anything. The only drawback is its pungent smell and taste that leaves bad breath, but other than that, garlic is a medicinal boon for mankind!

Peace and Prosperity!

“Live in such a way that no one blames the rest of us 
nor finds fault with our work.” —(2 Corinthians 6:3)

Jibaros.Com®, Jibaros.Net® - This website all its contents and artwork is Copyright © by Orlando Vázquez, owner-designer.
All rights reserved by the respective sources. Derechos Reservados de los Autores. We do not accept any responsibility for
privacy policy of content of third party sites. U.S. Copyright Office, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Washington, D.C. 20559