The Root of all Good: Garlic

pexels-photo-26673Today, our Staff Writer & Managing Editor Diana Williamson presents the wonderful uses for the ancient herb: garlic.

Garlic, you may love it or hate it. But if you knew how this ancient herb can jumpstart your immune system, you may start doing like the Italians, and add a bit to everything. There’s a reason it’s been used for thousands of years.

The “father of Western medicine,” Greek physician Hippocrates, (circa. 460-370 BC), prescribed garlic for everything from parasites, fatigue, respiratory ailments to poor digestion. Olympic athletes in ancient Greece were given garlic to help with their performance.

It’s been called “one of the world’s healthiest foods” for its ability to fight off Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, bronchitis, dysentery, colic, diabetes, tuberculosis, hypertension, fever, coronary heart disease, brain tumors and cancer.

Garlic is also known to repel moles and rabbits in the garden. It is grown year-round in mild climates and pollinated by bees and other insects. China is the world’s largest producer, followed by India. The United States grows most of its garlic in Gilroy, Ca which calls itself the “garlic capital of the world,” and celebrates each year with a festival.

A California restaurant “The Stinking Rose” celebrates garlic by putting it in practically everything on the menu. Garlic butter to dip your dinner rolls, garlic entrees and even garlic ice cream to finish your extravaganza. You will leave happy as a lark and smelling to high heaven, but you’ll be so satisfied you won’t care. Just don’t plan an important interview for the next morning.

It’s advised to eat garlic raw to get the most benefit from this hardy root. Heat reduces the anti-inflammatory effects. Garlic can be stored in oil; however, one must make sure it doesn’t spoil which can result in deadly botulism. When purchasing the bulbs, make sure they are clean, white, and firm, not soft or spongy.

When you consider all the goodness that garlic has to offer, it’s easy to put up with some of its “unfortunate side effects.” Bad breath and pungent body odor can result from the consumption of garlic. It’s been said that drinking milk while consuming garlic can neutralize some of the effects. The best solution? Have your comrades enjoy garlic with you so no one will be able to smell it!

And if you hang it in your windows or rub it on your keyholes, according to many European cultures, you will ward off bad spirits and demons, including vampires.

So all in all, a little garlic will go a long way.