Avoid These Mistakes When Using Garlic Medicinally

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Most people know about garlic’s powerful healing powers and, at this time of year, garlic is the perfect natural antibiotic. Adding garlic to your daily health routine can help you in numerous ways, if you know how to take it correctly.

That’s right, garlic can work virtual miracles, but you need to take it correctly. If you expect garlic to do its job and keep you healthy, you need to use it wisely, otherwise its health benefits will be limited.

Keep reading to find out the most common mistakes people make when consuming garlic for medicinal purposes, as well as the proper way to add it to your diet:

 

1.  Using Supplements

Many people want to keep themselves “kissably fresh,” so rather than eat fresh garlic, they take pills instead. Although this is commendable, pills just won’t do the job in this case. To really activate the healing compounds in garlic, you need to eat raw, slightly crushed garlic. Nothing, not a pill, powder, or capsule, can ever match the therapeutic potential of raw garlic.

Yes, the phosphorus gas that gives garlic its smell does disappear after garlic has been dried, processed, or when it is heated, but the health benefits disappear with the smell. If you are struggling to chew raw garlic, try reminding yourself that by chewing it you are consuming something proven to be just as effective as penicillin.

 

2.  Cooking Garlic

If what you want to do is to spice up your meals, then by all means, add garlic to your meals! However, if what you are looking for are the medicinal benefits of garlic, don’t add it to your food. Heating destroys garlic’s active ingredient, alllicin. This compound becomes activated when raw garlic is crushed and chewed. The more you heat garlic, the more medicinal benefits it loses, so add garlic to your meals last and cook it as little as possible.

To get the most health benefits out of garlic when you want to cook with it, crush the garlic first. Wait about 10 minutes, and then add it to the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking time. Crushing the garlic encourages the formation of alllicin, making it more stable and heat resistant.

 

3. Not Consuming Enough

If you want to fight infections naturally, or boost your heart health, you need to consume sufficient amounts of garlic. One tiny clove is probably not enough to get you the benefits you are looking for. For medicinal purposes, two or three average to large sized cloves should be consumed each day. Many people state that consuming 3 large cloves of slightly crushed garlic killed their infection in a matter of days.

 

4. Using Old Garlic

This is a bit tricky since garlic is dried before use, but be sure you buy some fresh cloves that haven’t been hanging around the store a great deal. Truly fresh garlic has a green strip that runs directly in the center of the cloves. Organic is always the healthier option. Try growing some at home; it’s super easy to do and then you can rest assured that you will always have a fresh, organic supply on hand.

 

5. Not Keeping Your Gut Flora Healthy

You will need to keep your gut flora healthy to stay healthy and avoid infections. This means eating plenty of yogurt, fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut, along with miso and kombucha. You should also be taking probiotics. A healthy immune system starts in your gut, so be sure you keep feeding your body the healthy bacteria it needs.

 

SEE ALSO: Why Health Eating Does Not Always Get You What You Want

6. Not Eating Healthy

All the garlic in the world won’t stop you from getting bacterial infections if you continue to fill your body with junk foods, fast foods, and toxic, processed foods (Read tips to stop terrific junk food cravings) . Eating these types of foods is counterproductive to the well-being of your immune system. Eating a mostly plant-based diet filled with some healthy, natural fats such as seeds, nuts, and avocados is the best thing you could do for your body.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Common Questions about Garlic

 

1. Should I consume it on an empty stomach?

If you can consume garlic on an empty stomach then do so, but for many people, this tends to cause irritation and might even cause gastrointestinal upset, including gas and damage to your gut flora. You might want to start slowly and allow your body to become accustomed to it over time. If you find that your stomach is upset when you consume garlic before eating, then go ahead and eat it after you have breakfast.

 

2.  Is garlic a natural aphrodisiac?

Garlic does improve blood circulation in the body, so it’s feasible that consuming garlic could increase blood flow to the genitals, but there are no known studies on this matter. Couldn’t hurt though, now could it? Find out proven natural aphrodisiacs.

 

3. What do I do about my breath afterwards?

If you find that brushing your teeth and using mouthwash is not enough to remove that garlic smell, try chewing on some fresh parsley afterwards. Many people find that it removes all traces of the smell within minutes.

 

4. Does garlic have any side effects?

Other than some not so kissable breath, garlic has no known side effects.

Garlic has been used medicinally for more than 3,000 years. Isn’t it time you started reaping all the benefits this tasty herb has to offer?