Garlic: properties and benefits of a natural antibiotic

Garlic is widely used in the kitchen and has beneficial properties. Cultivated all over the world because of its aroma and taste that it gives to dishes. To grow a crop of garlic, no special experience is required. The bulbous plant, known since ancient times, is grown in our gardens as an annual, propagating by dividing the cloves of the head of garlic.

Features of garlic

Garlic contains many nutrients such as mineral salts (magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iodine and iron), vitamins (B1, B2, A, C and PP), as well as some active ingredients that are beneficial for health.

Cultivated since ancient times, it is able to improve the taste of many dishes and have a positive effect on health. Now garlic is widespread in many varieties, with special characteristics.

Growing this plant does not require special skills, but it is important to choose the right variety for a particular climate, and plant it at the most suitable time of the year. Garlic develops a bulb underground, and from it grow long green leaves with a fragrant smell.

The bulb of garlic consists of cloves located at the base of the bulb.

Bulb of garlic

There can be a different number (from 6 to 25), which are protected by a shell, the color of which can be either white or light purple.

There are two types of garlic: spring and winter, each of which has its own taste, storage and planting conditions. Spring garlic does not “shoot”, it multiplies only with cloves. Winter throws arrows where garlic seeds ripen.

Note! Winter garlic is more popular. It is easier to care for and has excellent yields. Autumn sowing usually produces larger bulbs and higher yields.

The benefits of garlic

Garlic is a medicinal plant that has long been used as a medicine in many home remedies. It helps the body fight all kinds of infections, both viral and bacterial, and also has antiparasitic and antifungal effects.

Garlic has a very strong antiseptic effect against numerous pathogenic microbes and is a strong antibacterial agent. It can be used as a natural remedy in all cases where microorganisms cause inflammation and infection in the human body, to combat many seasonal ailments such as coughs, colds and flu. Another advantage of garlic: it helps the body strengthen the immune system.

It must be consumed raw, otherwise the beneficial substances deteriorate and become inactive due to the temperature of cooking or drying.

Additional Information! Medicinal consumption of raw garlic: 3 cloves per day for 3 weeks to have enough beneficial active ingredients.

Regular consumption of raw garlic has several positive effects on cardiovascular health:

  • able to lower blood pressure;
  • has a thinning effect on the blood;
  • dilates blood vessels and arteries;
  • fights bad cholesterol.

In fact, this antihypertensive agent has a cleansing effect, especially in relation to blood flow. Due to its ability to thin the blood and facilitate circulation, it has a beneficial effect on the entire cardiovascular system, even toning the heart muscle.

According to some studies, it may slow the development of complications from diabetes, an additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease. For preventive purposes, they strengthen the immune system, which is necessary to protect the body from various types of cancer.

Benefits of garlic for the digestive system in traditional folk medicine:

  • disinfectant properties are useful for eliminating ulcers that affect the intestines;
  • stimulates good digestion, intestinal flora;
  • prevents bloating due to fibers that prevent the production of intestinal gases;
  • protects the liver from various toxic substances (drugs, pollution);
  • help the liver break down and remove carcinogenic particles;
  • has a laxative effect, useful for constipation.

In case of gastrointestinal problems such as fermentation and flatulence, garlic is an excellent ally and is also effective as an antidiarrheal and antispasmodic agent, aiding digestion in general.

Thanks to its richness in antioxidants (allicin, flavonoids, vitamins E and C), garlic helps fight the harmful effects of free radicals that cause the aging process. It also has diuretic properties due to its high potassium to sodium ratio. Therefore, it should be consumed to avoid water retention in the body.

Other uses of garlic in traditional medicine

Regular use of raw garlic is good for health, but there are other ways to reap its benefits, in the form of various lotions, compresses, poultices.

  • garlic poultice is used as a strong antibiotic against acne and pimples, resulting in their drying.
  • strengthens nails and hair;
  • infusion of garlic – for colds;
  • garlic with milk is great for coughing;
  • a garlic steam bath is effective for respiratory tract infections;
  • garlic oil to combat hair loss.

Although garlic is a widely available and safe food item, no matter how healthy a food is, if it is consumed in excess, it can harm the body. The most common symptoms when eating large amounts of garlic are gastritis, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and diarrhea.


When to Avoid Garlic?

Often what makes us refrain from eating garlic is the heaviness of breathing due to the release of allicin, digestive problems and nausea when consumed in large quantities.

Garlic: side effects.

The smell of garlic is very strong, its aroma is very characteristic, and can leave a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath. It is these substances that make it a very useful superfood for the body. To reduce bad breath, you can:

  • chew on a coffee bean or mint leaf after eating;
  • eat an apple as it helps to freshen up the mouth;
  • remove the innermost part of the garlic, which will make its flavor less pungent;
  • use garlic as a condiment along with aromatic herbs and olive oil.

Circumstances under which it is not recommended to eat it

The blood pressure lowering properties of garlic are very beneficial for those suffering from hypertension. However, those who are prone to low blood pressure should not exceed their garlic intake.

If you have thyroid problems, which can affect your iodine intake while taking your medication.

Garlic thins the blood and improves circulation, but some medications can cause side effects.

People suffering from gastritis or ulcers should avoid it. Also, garlic can interact with certain medications, and it is therefore a good idea to see a doctor if there is any doubt about this.

How to grow garlic at home

Finally, garlic is useful not only for our body, but also when it is grown next to other garden plants. It can protect them from attack by harmful insects and prevent some plant diseases.

Garlic can be planted in autumn or early spring. Autumn is planted from October to mid-December. It tolerates frosts and harsh winters and produces green leaves in spring that can also be eaten. It needs cool weather for proper development. Without a period of cold, the heads of garlic do not divide into cloves, and it looks like an onion. Medium heads of garlic are best suited for planting.

Garlic is grown from individual cloves. Each clove grows into a full head. Plant garlic in a sunny location in well-drained soil. On heavy clay soils, as well as on poor sandy soils, garlic does not develop well.

Plant garlic in prepared soil. Before planting, the site is carefully cultivated to a depth of at least 10-15 cm so that the soil is loose. You can improve the soil by adding decomposed organic matter, such as garden compost, a few months before planting.

Only the best cloves are selected for planting, which have a healthy and strong appearance. They will ensure the productivity of plants.

Planting garlic

Plant with the pointed end up, at a distance of 15 cm from each other, leaving 30 cm between rows. Autumn plantings are covered with a layer of weed-free mulch. Cut grass, leaves or straw will do. This helps prevent sudden fluctuations in soil temperature. In early spring, carefully remove the mulch from the sprouted leaves.

Excess and stagnant water are the worst enemies of garlic, which rots easily under these conditions. Water it if the weather is dry, and weed between the rows so that the plants do not overgrow with weeds during the growing season. Periodically apply organic mulch, such as grass clippings, to keep the ground cool and moist. When the garlic is ripe and its leaves begin to turn yellow, stop watering completely so that the bulbs harden.

Important! To get large heads of garlic, it is necessary to prevent the plant from flowering. Therefore, cut the arrows of garlic as soon as they begin to give buds.

Collection and storage of garlic

Depending on the region, the garlic harvest can take place from July to September. Garlic planted in autumn will ripen in late June or July, and spring plantings will be ready by autumn. When the leaves of the plant are completely dry, you can start collecting the bulbs. To extend the shelf life of garlic cloves, leave them to air dry for a week.

How to store garlic

After drying, clean the remaining soil, cut off the leaves and store in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. It can also be stored in a warm, dry place for up to three months. Avoid storing garlic in plastic bags, as the bulbs rot quickly.