Garlic is antibiotic and antiviral
Embraced by herbalists for centuries, garlic has more recently been accepted by the scientific community as an antibiotic and antimicrobial. And now, some proponents are claiming that garlic also contains antiviral properties.
Jon Barron, author of “Lessons of the Miracle Doctors,” is making the call to consider garlic one of the options to enhance the body’s ability to fight off the ‘flu virus. Barron recommends garlic and other natural antivirals as a way to ratchet down the strength of the virus, allowing the immune system to take over a smaller amount of viral attack.
Phytotherapist David L. Hoffman, past president of the American Herbalist Guild and co-author of the “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants,” lists garlic as an antibiotic, antiviral, an antifungal and an expectorant. Although conclusive evidence of garlic’s antiviral properties has yet to be determined, preliminary studies have been positive.
Plants do not have immune systems to defend themselves against the bacteria, fungi, viruses and yeasts that attack them. Their defence is direct chemical warfare. Their weapons are antibiotics, antivirals and fungicides that they manufacture internally.
In the case of garlic, one of the main active ingredients is a thiosulfinate compound called allicin. The manufacture of allicin is triggered by the release of enzymes by breaking the cell walls of the garlic plant. Allicin is the pungent, hot, stuff that makes garlic smell.
In addition to allicin, garlic contains over 100 other beneficial nutrients. These include beta-carotene, folate, beta-sitosterol, ferulic acid, geraniol, oleanolic acid, P-coumaric acid, rutin, quercetin, thiamine, niacin, vitamin c, cysteine, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and others.
More health benefits
Garlic directly attacks bacteria and viruses. It also stimulates the body’s natural defences against foreign invaders. Garlic is reported to be more effective than penicillin against typhus disease, and works well against strep, staph bacteria, and the organisms responsible for cholera, dysentery and enteritis.
It is generally regarded as a preventative measure for colds, ‘flu and other infectious diseases. Furthermore, scientific studies have shown that garlic stimulates the production of the liver’s own detoxifying enzymes which neutralize carcinogens and other environmental toxins. It has also been used to rid the body of intestinal parasites and to treat digestive infections.
Researchers have been studying the anti-cancer properties of Garlic since the 1940’s. It appears that the herb may prevent cells from turning cancerous by enhancing the body’s mechanisms for removing toxic substances. Garlic’s phytochemicals are believed to enhance immunity and the National Cancer Institute (January 1992) reported that people who ate the greatest amount of onions and garlic had the lowest incidence of stomach cancer. Other types of cancer have also been reported as lower.
“Let thy food by thy medicine and thy medicine be food,”
(Hippocrates around 400 B.C.)
Health information is not a substitute for good diagnosis,
and a doctor should be consulted when illness is present.