Source: The Saigon Times
Garlic has been used to prevent and cure some illnesses
Garlic (Allium sativum) is grown throughout Vietnam, especially on Ly Son Island off the central province of Quang Ngai, for its edible bulbs. In traditional Vietnamese medicine, garlic is considered good for the liver and the stomach. It is therefore used to relieve fever and phlegm, detoxify the body, kill bacteria, facilitate urination, and treat dysentery, indigestion and constipation.
People around the world have used garlic as an antibiotic to treat dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid fever, pharyngitis and boils. The bulb is also used to cure bites of insects or snakes. The antibiotic property of garlic has been proven by Louis Pasteur, a famous French scholar, since 1858. Studies show that garlic, with its allicin, a chemical compound obtained from the bulb, can kill intestinal parasites without any side effect.
Garlic, especially the fresh one, is used to prevent influenza thanks to its alliin, a natural constituent of fresh garlic. It is also used to relieve sore throat, runny nose, coughing and phlegm. In Poland, the bulb is used to treat asthma and pulmonary inflammation for children.
Mediterranean people, though having a big amount of meat, have rarely suffered from cardiovascular diseases. Apart from the healthful effect of wines, this is believed to come from their regular intake of garlic. Later studies show that intake of a few cloves of garlic every day can help lower the cholesterol level in the blood. This can also help turn LDL cholesterol (considered as bad cholesterol) into HDL cholesterol (good). Intake of garlic has also been proven to lower the blood sugar.
Garlic has long been used to lower high blood pressure in Vietnam, Japan and China. The bulb can help boost the vasodilation, thus facilitating blood circulation and reducing high blood pressure.
Garlic can also help prevent the formation of blood clots, which may cause heart attacks or strokes. Ajoene, a chemical compound found in garlic, is as effective as aspirin in reducing the formation of blood clots. However, the use of garlic is much cheaper and has almost no side effect.
Garlic is believed to help prevent certain cancer. The allicin, a powerful antibiotic and antifungal compound, can inhibit the development of cancerous cells and prevent free radicals from destroying healthy cells.
Garlic soaked in rice wine is a trendy drink in Vietnam nowadays, especially for middle-aged and elderly people. Regular and moderate intake of this garlic wine is believed to give rejuvenescent as well as anti-aging effects. This wine is also considered an aphrodisiac though it has not yet been proven by competent researchers.
Garlic is now available countrywide in the form of a food supplement or a functional food that is good for health. It is wise to consult your doctor before using these garlic products.