Dr. Helena Rutllant, responsible for our oncology line physician and specialist in nutrition (Clínica Corachan in Barcelona) has explained in three questions why and how we should consume garlic, a medicinal ingredient.
1. What is a phytochemical?
It is a substance that is extracted from a plant which has a chemical activity, in fact, pharmacology is born from this. Rural people who used to cure with plants, food etc. using the active principle. Let’s say you have a reaction in the body which is extracted naturally.
2. How should we take garlic to benefit from its medicinal properties?
To obtain the maximum amount of phytochemicals from garlic we have to chop or cut it in order to obtain its juice, since there is a substance that is not active in the whole garlic clove, let it rest a few minutes before intake or application.
Another option is to spread it on bread, in this way we activate the active principle. If we cook it, another active ingredient appears, so depending on how you obtain its juice, we activate one phytochemical or another.
Finally, another option is to take it in tablets or capsules, in this way we make sure to take the same amount every day.
3. Why should we consume garlic more often?
Garlic is one of those ingredients that has been part of our culture for centuries but we do not pay much attention to it (possibly for the bad odour it can produce). 5,000 Years ago the Egyptians knew garlic; there are documents in which it is shown how the people who worked on the pyramids were given garlic just to have more energy and vitality. During the Roman Empire, the gladiators were given garlic because of frequent combats and the Greeks, too, gave their olympic athletes garlic as a restorative.
Some of its benefits:
- Viricide. Indigenous tribes that used it for colds. There are people who make poultices to eliminate warts (crush garlic and put it between gauze). There is an slight irritating factor in garlic which might cause a little redness to the skin.
- Vermifuge, to cure everything that are earthworms etc.
- Vasodilator. Regulates blood pressure
- Contains antitumor substances such as allicin
- Contributes to liver detox
- Collaborates with the conjugation of hepatic cholesterol
- Contains many trace elements and nutrients
- Lowers the homocysteine
- Rich in calcium, sulfur, iodine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium (related as an antitumor trace element) zinc and vitamins B group.