Before the advancement of medical science, and introduction of innovative medicines, our ancestors trusted the wonders of nature to stay fit, and healthy. One of the potent therapeutic medicine that has been used since ages was “Garlic”. Owing to the health benefits of Garlic, it is touted for its remarkable abilities to fight against numerous ailments easily. The Oil obtained from crushing, and soaking its cloves in oil, as “Garlic Oil”, was considered to be one of the best ways to obtain all the benefit of garlic in an easy way. In this article, we will look at the therapeutic value, and health benefits of Garlic oil in detail.
Garlic : A Magical Herb in Your Kitchen
Originated in Central Asia, Garlic (scientific name: Allium sativum L.) has been used as a conventional medicine since time immemorial. Garlic belongs to the onion family. It is widely cultivated throughout the world for its health benefits, and distinctive taste. Garlic is diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant, and expectorant. This plant is used for the efficient treatment of cough, cold, and tuberculosis since ancient medicine.
Its extracts have shown wide range of antiviral, insecticidal, antifungal, antiparasitic and antibacterial activity. Garlic Oil have abundance of sulfur-containing compounds in it that makes it a potent therapeutic treatment for a wide range of diseases. The sulfur compounds present in garlic enter into the digestive tract of the body and exerts potential biological effects.
Nutritional composition of Garlic
Garlic is a low-calorie ingredient that has a lot of nutrition in it. Here is a break-up of its nutritional composition:
A single clove of garlic is 3 grams in weight. It comprises of following nutrition as:
- Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
- Fiber: 0.06 grams
- Selenium: 1% of the DV
- Calorie: 4.5
- Protein: 0.2 grams
- Carbs: 1 gram
It also contains decent amounts of copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B1, and iron too. It also has trace amounts of several other nutrients that you need on a daily basis.
Health Benefits Of Consuming Garlic
From treating a severe ear infection to strengthening the defense mechanism of a person, garlic oil provides several advantages to a person. It not just helps in controlling hypertension, but also relieves from toothache. Find out more about its health benefits below:
1. Reduces Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is the driving force behind cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, and heart attacks. Garlic has amazing antioxidant properties that prevents oxidative damage of cells due to free radicals. Consuming 4 garlic cloves a day helps in normalizing elevated blood pressure in people. In a few cases, high dosage of garlic is also used as a medicine that enhances blood pressure / hypertension in people.
2. Improves Cholesterol Levels
Another important health benefit of Garlic is that it has an amazing ability to reduce the possibilities of heart diseases in a person. Consuming 3-4 cloves of garlic daily on an empty stomach can reduce bad LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in a person by 10–15%. Garlic oil is also beneficial at enhancing the blood circulation, and elasticity of blood vessels. It reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
3. Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Garlic is effective in increasing antioxidant enzymes in the body that assists protective mechanisms of the body. Its high dosage significantly lowers oxidative stress, and lowers chances of occurrence of brain ailments such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Heals Fungal Infection
Garlic is noted for its incredible antifungal property. It has exemplary properties that restricts the development of fungal species such as Penicillium funiculosum, and Candida albicans. Garlic oil penetrates deep into the fungal membranes and damages fungal vacuoles, and mitochondria.
Garlic in oil form and other types of formulations is effective in treating various types of foot, skin, and ear fungal infections that includes candidiasis, tinea pedis, superficial mycoses, and otomycosis. It has the ability to change the expression of specific genes that performs fundamental regulatory functions in the body.
5. Remedy For Wounds, and Skin Diseases
Garlic oil possess remarkable antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, wound healing and fibrinolytic, attributes that can even be used as an alternative for conventional antiseptics, and antibiotics. The high amounts of sulfur in Garlic Oil increases the rate of build-up of new tissue tissues in the body, and increase blood supply to wounded areas.
Garlic extracts are capable of healing a wide range of skin conditions that includes acne, atopic dermatitis, fungal infections, psoriasis, wrinkles, scars, and other aging signs.
6. Boosts Immunity
The different formulations of Garlic like Garlic oil show immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory effects. The presence of sulfur in the oil strengthens the defense mechanism of the body. Due to its consumption, antibodies in the body brings about the anti-inflammatory effect that helps in the prevention of inflammation in the body.
7. Prevents Neurodegenerative Disorders
Garlic oil has two main types of organic sulfur compounds in it that includes diallyl disulfide, and diallyl trisulfide. These compounds reduce the oxidation of cells and deposit of cholesterol in the body. Scientists have proven that “lipid peroxidation” is a critical factor that leads to aging. Excess lipid, or cholesterol gets oxidized in the body and form clots, or amyloid plaques in the heart, bloodstream, and brain.
8. Induces Hair Growth
Topical application of Garlic oil helps in arresting hair loss and curing Alopecia. Though both of these hair issues can be caused due to a variety of reasons such as environmental triggers, nutritional deficiency, genetics, existing hair disorder like scarring Alopecia etc. This oil is enriched in hair essential minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, and iodine.
Adequate supply of these minerals helps in the development of hair tissues. Garlic oil has the necessary nutrients that stimulates hair growth, prevents infection, improves blood circulation on scalp and nourishes hair follicles. By this 4-step action, Garlic oil promotes healthy, and nourished hair from root level.
9. Increases Lifespan
Garlic Oil is also effective in improving the longevity of a person. By preventing the life-threatening risk factors like blood pressure, and cholesterol diseases like heart attack, dementia, Alzheimer’s etc., Garlic helps a person to live longer.
The exemplary ability to fight against infections makes it beneficial for elderly people or those with dysfunctional immunity system. By preventing the causes of severe ailments, Garlic Oil help you to live longer.
10. Improves Athletic Performance
Garlic is a “performance enhancing” substance that not just lowers fatigue, but also improves the work potential of employees. As per a study conducted on heart patients, it was found that those who took garlic oil for six weeks had shown an increase in their exercise capacity, and 15% reduction in their peak heart rate.
11. Detoxify Heavy Metals
Sulfur compounds present in garlic safeguards our body against any form of damage due to metal toxicity. It is beneficial for people who are exposed to heavy metals like lead. Garlic oil reduces levels of lead in the blood by around 19%. It is also capable of lowering several other signs of toxicity that includes blood pressure, and headaches.
12. Calms Toothaches
If you are having toothache, then Garlic Oil can help you relieve from this discomfort. The effective phytochemicals present in this oil when consumed heals several issues of the oral cavity. Some of them includes soreness in mouth, sore gums, toothache, and oral ulcers.
Garlic has got a wide spectrum of antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It can assist in relieving you from gingivitis, and preventing the build-up of dental plaque by restricting development of oral bacteria.
13. Eliminates Gut Pathogens
Garlic oil has a remarkable action in destroying gut bacteria. It shows amazing antimicrobial activity that inhibit gut bacteria that can be the reason for food poisoning too. Various Sulphur compounds such as the allicin present in this oil inhibits growth of gut pathogen like Helicobacter pylori. These pathogens cause gastric cancer and various other gastrointestinal disorders.
14. Possesses Antiviral Activity
Anti-viral activities of Garlic Oil are impactful in destroying a wide range of viruses that includes influenza B virus, Human Cytomegalovirus, Herpes simplex virus type 2, Herpes simplex virus type 1, vaccinia virus, Parainfluenza virus type 3, human Rhinovirus type 2, and vesicular stomatitis virus. All these viruses infect, and harms the body. They are sensitive towards extracts of Garlic.
Experiments have proved that allicin, a Sulphur compound in Garlic prevents frequent attacks of cold. It enhances the action of Natural killer-cell of the body. Phytochemicals in Garlic strengthens the immunity system in the body that destroys virus prone cells in the body. It also inactivates dangerous viral genes and improve the secretion of neutralization of antibodies in the blood.
15. Has Insecticidal Properties
Garlic oil is an effective repellant against blood-sucking parasites in the body. Its topical application on the skin provides protection against female feeding sandflies. Garlic oil is also seen to reduce the reproduction ability of mites. The oil is effective in reducing activities of beetles, spiders, mites, and other similar species. It acts as a better acaricide in comparison to rosemary oil, and jojoba oil.
16. Improves Bone Health
Consumption of Garlic Oil is also good for bones. It reduces loss of bone density in the body by improving secretion of estrogen hormone in females. Garlic Oil raise estrogen hormone levels in women, and contributes towards maintaining the right bone health. Foods such as onions, and garlic are beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Side Effects Of Garlic Oil
Consuming entire garlic pods can trigger adverse effects in the body. Garlic has phytochemicals as allicin that can harm the liver when consumed in excessive dosage. The bioactive ingredients in Garlic extracts like oil can cause below symptoms in a person:
- Coagulation dysfunction
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gastrointestinal dysfunction
- Irritation to wounds
People who are consuming blood-thinning medications to treat their bleeding disorder should communicate with their doctor before raising their garlic intake.
How to include Garlic in your meal?
Garlic is known for its delicious aroma, and taste. Addition of it in paste form, powder form, or oil form complements savory dishes, that includes sauces, and soups. Garlic Oil is a healthy and highly satisfying dressing.
How To Make Garlic Oil At Home?
Having known the various benefits of Garlic oil, let us now see how you can prepare it.
- Crush ten medium-sized garlic cloves.
- Transfer them to a ½ liter to 1 liter capacity of airtight glass jar.
- Add around 2 cups of olive oil in it. Add herbs such as thyme, parsley, and rosemary for added aroma.
- Your herb infused Garlic Oil is ready. Seal this jar tightly and store it inside the fridge for around three to five days.
Things To Consider When Using Garlic Oil At Home
There are a few important things that you must know to use the garlic oil in the right way.
- Don’t use homemade garlic oil after five days as it can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and can be unsafe for consumption.
- If you wish to increase the lifespan of the oil, then freeze it. This way, you can use the oil for up to 1 year.
- Do not store this oil at room temperature as it can lead to botulism, a type of food poisoning.
How To Store Garlic Infused Oil?
- It is advised to store Garlic oil at cold temperatures. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight. By doing this, your oil retains its flavor, and quality for a longer time. You can even use amber colored glass jars for the storage of oil to prevent direct contact from light.
- Ensure that the glass jar you use is hygienic, and made from food grade material.
Garlic Oil shows outstanding therapeutic value. Since it is non-toxic, this oil can be easily used for topical application, and ingestion. You can use this versatile oil in preparing several types of dishes. So, include garlic oil in your lifestyle and reap its health benefits.
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