Today’s protagonist on the Superhuman Food Pyramid is that ordinary little bulb called garlic.
The fact that garlic and its medicinal uses have been described by Hippocrates, generally recognized as the father of Western medicine, says a lot about the spice’s healing qualities. From ancient Egypt to ancient China, garlic and its various beneficial effects have been recorded. This common spice has been part of human medical and culinary history for almost 7,000 years.
Some people are put off by garlic because of its strong smell and equally powerful taste. But once you get past that, it will be easy to see how this spice can provide numerous advantages in your quest to become Superhuman.
Just what is it in garlic that makes it so special? Take a look and find out.
Garlic contains a lot of polysulfides or sulfur containing compounds. It is mostly these substances that enable the wonderful therapeutic properties of the spice. From fighting infections to controlling hypertension garlic polysulfides act and work in the body to give you Superhuman health.
Allistatin – This is a compound that is quite abundant in most plants classified under the Allium genus and garlic is one of the shining examples of such plants. Studies have shown how this substance is effective against fungi and bacteria like staphylococcus.
There are cases where crushed fresh garlic has been used to prevent infection in burn injuries. The spice has also been used as an alternative solution against bacteria that have developed resistance to pharmaceutical antibiotics.
Allicin – Besides being an antibacterial along with allistatin and other sulfur compounds, this substance is revealed to inhibit a protein that contracts blood vessels called angiotensin II. Allicin thus helps decrease high blood pressure.
Hyrdogen sulfide contained in your red blood cells play a role in signaling your blood vessels to dilate. Besides the direct action of compounds like allicin, polysulfides in garlic mitigate hypertension because once metabolized they increase hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells.
Ajoene – This is another compound that helps maintain cardiovascular health. It’s said to have anti-clotting properties because it keeps platelets from forming unnecessary clots that could block veins and arteries.
The sulfur containing substances in garlic so far mentioned are the more prominent ones. There are others that provide additional benefits like thiacremonone for example which inhibits inflammation. Many of the garlic polysulfides actually also work as antioxidants that bind the free radicals that damage tissue which in turn leads to diseases.
Among the various nutrients that garlic contains, Vitamin C and selenium are some of the more plentiful. Selenium is an important factor in how your body produces glutathione peroxidase which is an antioxidant enzyme.
Another internal material whose production is stimulated by garlic is ferroportin. This is a protein that helps iron to circulate throughout our system. The spice can thus help your body maximize its use of this important mineral nutrient.
Garlic Practical Uses:
There are probably a thousand or more recipes that have garlic as an ingredient in one form or another. This spice is available dried, powdered and of course whole and fresh. You can use any of the available ways garlic has been packaged for your dishes but whole and fresh bulbs will always provide the most flavor, aroma and health benefits.
Crushing, chopping or chewing raw garlic actually releases the beneficial sulfur containing compounds of the spice like allicin. It is in fact recommended to leave the crushed or chopped garlic alone for a few minutes so that more of those healthy substances are allowed to build up.
While garlic capsules are certainly convenient, the same principle is true if you plan to use the spice for purely therapeutic purposes. Here are a few garlic concoctions you can prepare in the kitchen.
- Add finely chopped garlic cloves in boiled water to make garlic tea. Set the proportions according to your own taste and add ginger or lemon juice to make it more palatable.
- Make your own garlic honey syrup by combining 1 clove of chopped or crushed garlic with a tablespoon of honey.
- Add a clove or two of garlic along with other fresh fruits into a juicer to make a potent tonic drink.
- A cup of chopped garlic mixed with 2 cups of grain alcohol can make some garlic tincture. Keep the mixture in an airtight re-sealable jar for 2 weeks and shake the jar once daily for that duration. After that period you can drain out the garlic and start using the tincture.
Garlic essential oil as well as raw cloves can be used to disinfect small wounds. If you’re going to use fresh garlic, mash the cloves thoroughly and mix it water to form a paste. Spread the paste on a piece of gauze, apply the gauze on the wound, and then wrap the whole thing with bandage. Be sure all the utensils you’ll use to prepare this have been sterilized.
In the next post, I’ll tell you how you can use ginger in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about how to use garlic, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on how to use garlic.