By Claudia Guy, ND & Lydia Patel
Garlic has been used as a culinary spice and medicinal herb for more than 5,000 years, and it’s been an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Garlic is great for your health because it’s a single herb with a multitude of benefits. Throughout history, the primary use of garlic was for its antimicrobial properties.
Consuming raw, unfermented garlic in therapeutic dosages can irritate the gastrointestinal lining and cause the well-known offending odor from your breath and skin. When garlic is aged (fermented), the offending odor is significantly reduced and garlic can be consumed in therapeutic dosages. I like using garlic to ward off “unfriendly microbes” – parasites, fungi, mold, bacteria, and yeast – from the body. As an immune support, I recommend garlic taken as a prophylactic in the winter months.
For those with chronic sinusitis, upper respiratory infections and ear infections, garlic can be part of a therapeutic approach. Garlic also has wonderful benefits for the cardiovascular system. I often suggest aged garlic to help lower cholesterol already in normal range, prevent oxidation of LDL (the “bad cholesterol”), and protect the arteries, keeping them clear and flexible. Aged garlic can help keep blood pressure in check and support blood flow through the arteries.