Garlic has been used for thousands of years to treat many different ailments. It has been noted that the properties of garlic have the ability to lower cholesterol in certain situations. Some studies have proven that garlic does lower high blood pressure. However, these studies are inconclusive as to the effectiveness of garlic to lower blood pressure.
Some side effects associated with high blood pressure include heart attack, ulcer, and dry mouth. These side effects tend to occur with raw garlic rather than cooked garlic. Also, people who are hypertensive should avoid garlic as a supplement or on the table any time after a heart attack or stroke. If the patient already has a bleeding disorder, avoid garlic as a supplement or on the table at least one month prior to a surgery or other dental work.
The active ingredient in garlic is allicin, which is a sulphur compound. Allicin is believed to be the reason for the health benefits of garlic. Allicin is formed from all parts of garlic plants, specifically the veins, leaves, bark and stems. It is this active ingredient that gives garlic its allicin properties. The most recommended garlic preparations are the fresh ones trimmed of their skins and the powder made from grinding the garlic. This powder is usually mixed with olive oil, honey and rose water.
One of the more interesting ways of eating garlic to lower blood pressure is by using it as a dietary supplement. There are a few preparations available on the market today that contain allicin. These preparations were created by Dr. Norman Becker, M.D. of the New York State Department of Health. He introduced a program in 1970 called “platelet rich plasma” which was later used in hospitals all over the U.S.
According to the study, eating raw garlic has been found to lower blood pressure in laboratory rats by 22%. In addition to this, the researchers claim that the allicin present in raw garlic prevents formation of nitrosamines in the blood stream. Nitrosamines is believed to be one of the cardiovascular risks caused by excess fat.
However, studies on health benefits of garlic and its side effects have been controversial. Some believe that garlic has some very real health benefits, while others say that the claims are unfounded. For example, we heard about a study where children who were given garlic daily developed resistance to stomach infections. Another study says that garlic can lower blood pressure but the subjects had to take an aspirin to get the same result.
Although there have been many scientific studies on the health benefits of consuming raw garlic, the jury is still out about the safety of such consumption. If you decide to include it in your diet, make sure to check with your physician first. They may suggest you start taking supplements or other treatments instead of adding it to your diet. Another point to remember is that most of the garlic that we eat today comes from the leaves of plants that are more than a hundred years old. These old plants contain high levels of chemicals called saponins that can build up in our systems and cause serious side effects.
However, most of the studies suggest that you may enjoy the health benefits as well as the side effects if you add garlic to your diet. If you want to avoid getting sick, then you should take the necessary precautions. Raw garlic may not be very pleasant, but it’s better than no garlic at all. A well-designed controlled trial is clearly the way to go.