The Unique Healing Properties of Garlic
Garlic has many healing properties, but the most research has been done on its potential to help reduce heart disease. Garlic has been intensively studied, and numerous large studies have shown that taking supplements that mimic fresh garlic can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels without hurting beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. Garlic appears to act by blocking the liver from making too much LDL cholesterol.
There is also some evidence that garlic can mildly lower blood pressure by dilating or expanding blood vessels. Garlic also helps prevent blood clots (see above pic) – and therefore reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke – by decreasing the stickiness of platelets, which are tiny disk-shaped bodies in the blood that are necessary for blood clotting. When platelets are too sticky, they form clumps that can adhere to artery walls and contribute to clogged arteries.
Garlic has also been shown to reduce pain and other symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis. And it reduces the size of some cancerous tumours and helps prevent some cancers, particularly those in the intestines.
One of the oldest uses of garlic, however, is as an antibiotic. Garlic kills a range of microbes, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and can be effective against such conditions as athlete’s foot, thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth), vial diarrhoea, and the ulcer-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori.
Trudie’s Wild Garlic Soup
The following fab recipe was sent to me from one of my lovely clients – Trudie H.
2 (roughly 275g) medium potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 (about 150g) medium onion, chopped
1 Litre vegetable stock
4 big handfuls (about 200g) of wild garlic leaves, chopped (see tip)
100ml double cream
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When foaming, add the potatoes and onion, then toss until well coated. Season. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil, then add the wild garlic and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Immediately liquidsie the soup with a hand-held stick blender, then return to the pan, stir in the cream, taste and season. Serve hot with crusty bread.
PER SERVING 291 kcal’s, 17.8g fat (10.8g saturated), 3.7g protein, 16.4g carbs, 3.8g sugar, 1g salt, 3.3g fibre.
Trudie says that if you can’t get wild garlic you can use spinach or watercress – just as yummy!! It can also freeze.