10 Surprising (And Remarkable)Things You Didn’t Know About Garlic 

Garlic, that pungent provocateur, is renowned for elevating cuisine to dizzying heights of deliciousness while also ensuring any vampires in the vicinity keep their distance (and that your significant other does the same).

But there’s much more to this pungent bulb – called the “stinking rose” – than meets the nose.

Here are 10 astonishing things about garlic that aren’t widely known:

1) What! Garlic . . . an Aphrodisiac? 

Yup. Dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman has uncovered an intriguing fact:  garlic possesses a compound called “allicin” that increases blood flow in sexual organs. Think of it as a botanical counterpart to Viagra.

But that’s not all.

There’s a captivating twist to this garlic tale. Sequential studies published in the research journal Appetite revealed that men who indulged in a hearty dose of raw garlic or opted for garlic capsules made their bodies much more appealing to women than those men who didn’t eat garlic.

Researchers had the men wear cotton pads under their armpits for 12 hours to capture sweat and body odor. The women in the study then sniffed the pads and regarded the body odor of the garlic eaters to be more attractive and masculine than the non-garlic eaters.

2) Awesome Immune-Boosting Secrets 

Garlic, a natural powerhouse of nutrients, contains a slew of vitamins and more than 100 biologically active compounds including alliin, allicin, alliinase, and unique sulfur agents.

These compounds stimulate your immune system to kill as many as 39 different bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and tapeworms. It also acts as an antioxidant to protect your body from free radicals. Based on research studies, garlic was reported to be more effective at destroying a wide variety of dangerous pathogenic bacteria than penicillin and tetracycline.

Vancomycin, a powerful antibiotic used in many cases as a last-resort medication,  appears powerless against some resistant strains of enterococcal bacteria (VRE).

Garlic, however, can inhibit this superbug – but without the serious side effects of  VRE.

Even yeasts like Candida succumb to the powerful effects of garlic.

Additionally, garlic destroys tumor cells in the stomach, colon, breast, prostate,  and other parts of the body.

Garlic’s sulfur compounds even detoxify heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum.

But we’re not done. Garlic also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol to help prevent heart disease and blood clots.

3) Warts Be Gone! 

Yes, garlic even works on warts. Here are two options:

Place a small piece of diced garlic on a wart and cover it with a band-aid. Replace the garlic and band-aid every 24-48 hours. Do this for 5-7 days and your wart should vanish. Or mix one crushed clove of garlic with 1/8 cup of olive oil. Apply that mixture to the wart daily and cover with a bandage. Continue until the wart disappears.

4) Maximize Garlic’s Health Benefits 

To attain the maximum health benefits from raw garlic, chop or crush the cloves before eating or tossing them into your food.

Next, and this is most important, let the chopped or crushed cloves sit for about 10  minutes. This enables the phytochemicals in the garlic to produce allicin. Allicin is what gives garlic its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties.

If, however, you quickly cook the chopped garlic or add it to an acid-based solution such as lemon juice without letting the cloves sit for 10 minutes, you lower garlic’s potency and health benefits.

5) Ditch Your Pesticides 

Planning to grow a garden in your backyard? Prepare a garlic spray to ward off insects. It’s easy!

Toss a couple of cloves into a blender along with 8 oz. of water. Pour this natural mixture into a spray bottle and spray your plants or veggies daily to repel most insects.

You can also use garlic spray in your yard or around small pools of stagnating water to repel mosquitos, ticks, flies, mites, and fleas. These insects don’t like the taste or smell of garlic.

An interesting tidbit . . . garlic won’t make the list of the “Dirty Dozen” – the infamous list of 12 fruits and 12 veggies that contain the highest level of pesticides.  Garlic always contains extremely low levels of pesticides because it naturally keeps most pests off – no doubt due to the strong odor and taste.

6) An Incredible Discovery in King Tut’s Tomb 

Many cultures throughout history have highly valued garlic for its medicinal properties.

Garlic found in caves suggests that ancient man may have used this pungent herb more than 10,000 years ago. Some scholars, however, believe garlic originated in Central Asia roughly 6,000 or 7,000 years ago, where it served as both food and medicine.

Trade merchants journeying from Central Asia eventually introduced garlic to  Egypt.

According to ancient medical texts, Egyptians were using garlic more than 5,000  years ago to treat various health maladies. They also gave garlic to the slaves constructing the pyramids for endurance and health.

That may explain why archaeologists discovered garlic cloves in the Egyptian pyramids and even in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (King Tut).

Since garlic was highly valued during King Tut’s reign, an Egyptian could buy a healthy male slave for 15 pounds of garlic.

Garlic is even mentioned in the Bible. As recorded in the Book of Numbers  (Numbers 11:5), the Hebrews also savored garlic during their Egyptian enslavement.

While wandering in the desert for 40 years after fleeing Egypt, the Hebrews complained to Moses that they missed the foods they ate while in captivity,  including garlic.

7) It’s Greek to Me! 

Ancient medical texts reveal that garlic was also used for medical treatments in  Rome, China, and India. The Greeks got in the act too.

The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, prescribed garlic for various health disorders, including infections, wounds, leprosy, and digestive conditions.

Greek athletes consumed large amounts of garlic before competing, and Greek soldiers ate garlic before going into battle.

Meanwhile, Greek brides showed their love of this herb by carrying bouquets of garlic instead of flowers, while Greek midwives hung garlic cloves in birthing rooms for protection from evil spirits.

8) What the Four Thieves Did During a Medieval Plague 

Fast forward to the years 1347-1352. That’s when the Black Death plague struck  Medieval Europe killing an estimated one-third of the population. It was caused by a bacteria spread by biting fleas and rats.

Garlic came into play when four thieves who ransacked the homes of dead victims protected themselves from the plague with a concoction of vinegar mixed with garlic, herbs, and spices. Allegedly, they never contracted the disease using what is now known as Four Thieves Vinegar.

9) This French Scientist Discovered Something Known All Along 

In 1862, French scientist Louis Pasteur created the process of pasteurization which calls for boiling and then cooling liquid to remove bacteria. He also created vaccinations for anthrax and rabies.

But he made an equally important discovery in 1858. That’s when Pasteur was commended for his discovery that garlic juice killed certain bacteria. He was also lauded for noting that garlic had antiviral and antifungal properties as well.

Of course, ancient civilizations already knew this. Nonetheless, Pasteur confirms what was known for thousands of years.

10) Russian Penicillin Anyone? 

During World War I antiseptic materials and antibiotics used to treat wounded soldiers were in short supply. Thank goodness, garlic was available.

The Russian army used garlic in the absence of antibiotics to treat and disinfect wounds their soldiers incurred on the Front Line. They continued using it throughout the war because garlic proved highly effective in killing bacteria and disinfecting wounds.

The Russian doctors relied so extensively on garlic that it became known as the  Russian Penicillin.

The Russians, however, weren’t alone in using garlic to treat wounded soldiers.  The British also used garlic poultices during WWI as a main antiseptic for treating wounded troops.

Years later, during WWII, the Russian army again used garlic in place of antibiotics. They knew a good thing when they “smelled” it.

Funky Flavor, Fantastic Benefits 

Sure, garlic gets a bad rap for giving you stinky breath. But here’s how you can get rid of or minimize the smell: Eat parsley, cilantro, fennel seeds, mint, or peppermint. These foods can help mask the smell.

I hope you agree that despite the risk of garlic breath, it’s well worth making garlic a part of your life and diet, especially when you consider all of its amazing and versatile benefits . . .

  • Adds great flavor to many cuisines and dishes
  • Comes with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties to improve your  health
  • Kills candida
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Prevents heart disease and cancer
  • Wards off insect pests

So give this potent, health-boosting bulb a chance. And who knows, it might even improve your love life.

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