There are many plants that are widely used as health supplements. Garlic – a common plant of the onion family that you will likely be familiar with – is one such. In fact, it is perhaps one of the very first natural products that man began to realise came with numerous health benefits.
Garlic is used for many different ailments and conditions – some proven successful and others less so – that we will talk about in a moment, but it is important to understand why garlic is a health-aid, and where it can be used. Let’s have a closer look at what garlic is all about.
What Makes Garlic Special?
As with many plants that are used for health benefits – and in supplements – it’s the active compounds in the plant itself that do the trick. In garlic, these are found in the bulb. Now, everyone knows that when you cut or chop garlic it unleashes an unpleasant smell. This is because the compounds in garlic – there are more than 30 in there – are of the sulphurous variety.
Among these are three that are especially of interest to those who want to use garlic for problems with the gut and digestive tract. These are Alliin, Allicin and Ajoene. It is the first two we are mostly concerned with.
When you cut or crush garlic, this causes the bulb to release an enzyme called alliinase. This reacts with Alliin to create the primary ingredient that you want in a garlic-based health supplement: allicin. This is usually taken in supplement form and is known to be highly effective in a number of areas. If you want to know more about them you can see the best garlic supplements here in detail.
What is Garlic Used For?
In terms of health benefits, garlic is known to help with a number of ailments and conditions, and believed to be effective in some others. For example, people take garlic supplements for the following:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
The latter is important here; atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty tissue inside the arteries. Thus, garlic is often suggested as a preventer of heart disease.
There have been a number of clinical trials that have returned interesting results regarding garlic and its health benefits, and you can see some details of them in the article we linked to. It makes interesting reading and is certainly worth your while spending a few minutes with.
Further Benefits of Allicin
So, we have deduced that Allicin is the main active ingredient in garlic-based health supplements, Should you be taking it?
This is a question that can only be answered by yourself with further research. For your information, bear in mind that garlic supplements are the best way to take it. The amount of allicin created in chopped garlic is minute, so you need the higher traces you will fid in carefully prepared supplements.
In addition to the above mentioned ailments, garlic supplements have also been show to help with:
- Healthy circulation
- Heart related conditions
- Restore antibody responses
- Ringworm, tick bites and athletes foot
- The common cold
Basically, then, garlic is good for you, even if it does smell bad!
If you are suffering from gut problems or any of the above mentioned, garlic supplements are safe and may be an answer. There’s no harm in you trying one – check out the best ones and remember to look for high levels of allicin – as you may find, as many have, that it benefits you in some way, so have a look now and see which is the one for you.