|Written by Isaac&Carmen Gutierrez|
I live next to the capitol of garlic city in, Gilroy California. The Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the largest food festivals in the United States, held annually in Gilroy. Thousand attend the Gilroy Garlic festival, sampling such diverse creations as garlic ice cream and garlic French fries and many odd creations from garlic.
Garlic has long been considered an herbal "wonder drug", with a reputation for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague! Garlic has been used throughout history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The garlic plant's bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. The bulb is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. The cloves are used for cloning, consumption raw or cooked, or for medicinal purposes, and have a characteristic, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking on many dishes.
Garlic's health benefits and medicinal properties have long been known. Today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and possibly lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to improve the immune system.
Garlic may also protect against cancer. While these garlic metabolites are in the lymphatic system they kill or inhibit cancer cells and strengthen the immune system. Once they get into the blood stream they go through the liver and help purify it and also force it to manufacture more HDL cholesterol which then reduces the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol and reduces tri-glycosides.
Some of these properties that garlic such have its antibiotic properties - have been confirmed by modern science. Garlic has been proven that it is a disease-preventive, and can be used as a natural treatment cure for common ailments such as acne, colds and flu, herpes and wrinkles due to its natural antioxidant and anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
For most individuals, garlic does not cause any serious side effects. However people who are allergic to garlic or who consume it in large quantities may suffer from stomach irritation, heartburn, or flatulence. Garlic appears to be safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. In fact, two studies have shown that babies prefer breast milk better from mothers who regularly eat garlic. Before using any herbal always consult your doctor if it is right for you.