Garlic has been one of the most valuable foods on this earth, being used since biblical times and has been mentioned in the literature of the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans and Babylonians. The workers in the pyramids ate garlic on a daily basis for strength and endurance and basically survived on a diet of garlic, bread and water.
Garlic can lower ones blood pressure and also dilates the blood vessels which greatly improves blood circulation. It also thins the blood by inhibiting platelet aggregation, which can reduce the chance of getting blood clots and can also aid in heart attack prevention. Garlic can also aid in digestion and is very useful for many diseases and illnesses. It is a powerful immune system stimulant and an awesome antibiotic. Garlic is great for the heart and colon and is effective in the treatment of arthritis and circulation problems.
Garlic can be eaten fresh, in supplement form or used to prepare garlic oil which contains an amino acid derivative called alliin. When garlic is consumed the enzyme alliinase, which converts alliin to allicin is released. This has a powerful antibiotic effect as it exerts an antibacterial effect estimated to be equivalent to one percent of that of penicillin. Because of its antibiotic properties, garlic was frequently used to treat wounds and infections to prevent gangrene during World War 1.
Here are some interesting facts about garlic:
- Over 90% of the garlic grown in the USA is grown in California.
- The pungent flavor of garlic is caused by a chemical reaction which occurs when the garlic cells are broken. This flavor is most intense shortly after chopping or cutting. This chemical reaction cannot occur after the garlic is cooked, which is why smoked garlic is sweet and nutty rather than pungent.
- Garlic was once used to treat acne, warts and toothaches.
- The smell of garlic can be removed by running your hands under cold water while rubbing a stainless steel object.
- Garlic has also been used to infuse vodka and is an ingredient to make cocktails.
- Is a great source of vitamin C.
To make your own garlic oil, add peeled and whole garlic cloves to a quart of olive or canola oil to an airtight container. You can experiment by finding the number of garlic cloves that will give your oil the degree of flavor that you like. You can keep this refrigerated and will last you up to one month before you have to add fresh oil. This garlic oil is great for sautéing, salad dressings, or a variety of other ways.