Why Was This Ancient Spice Given to Slaves Building the Pyramids?


Posted By Dr. Mercola | September 28 2011

Med Info has assembled studies that list more than 150 beneficial effects that garlic can have on your health.

The studies show that garlic:

  • Inhibits cholesterol accumulation
  • Reduces risk for heart attack and stroke
  • May be effective against drug-resistant bacteria
  • Lessens cadmium-induced liver damage
  • May have protective effects against cancer

According to one of the studies linked on the site, garlic may also help fight multi-drug resistant tuberculosis:

“Alternate medicine practices with plant extracts including garlic should be considered to decrease the burden of drug resistance and cost in the management of diseases. The use of garlic against MDR-TB [multi-drug resistant tuberculosis] may be of great importance regarding public health.”

Saffron is another spice making headlines, as there is increasing evidence to suggest that it may be an effective means of managing Alzheimer’s disease. A study found that saffron had an effect similar to the drug donepezil in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s after 22 weeks — and had fewer side effects.

Another study found that dietary supplementation with vitamin E and folic acid, as well as ALA, DHA, and GPC, could aid in decreasing oxidative stress in mouse brains.

According to FYI Living:

“… [T]his reveals that such dietary supplementation also helps improve cognitive performance in the normal mice. This study is a significant step towards development of newer preventive nutritional therapies in the elderly who are susceptible to cognitive decline and related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It also enables an understanding of the involvement of oxidative stress and other molecular mechanisms that lead to age-related loss of cognitive abilities.”

Dr. Mercola’s Comments

If you want a simple way to increase the disease-fighting power of your meals, be generous with your use of high-quality herbs and spices. There is no shortage of research showing that these foods are among the healthiest you can consume, and the best part is they taste wonderful and are relatively inexpensive, so they’re a “secret weapon” that just about everyone can take advantage of.

When it comes to using herbs and spices, you really can’t go wrong as long as you choose those that appeal to you and “agree” with you. But I want to highlight two in specific that are showing great therapeutic promise, one that you’re already familiar with — garlic — and one that you may not be — saffron.

Garlic: One of Nature’s Most Impressive Foods

Garlic has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries. In ancient times, Greek and Roman soldiers ate garlic before going off to war, and it was reportedly given to the slaves who built the Egyptian pyramids in order to enhance their strength and endurance.

It also happens to be one of the most heavily researched plant foods around. At GreenMedInfo you can find 133 studies involving 153 different conditions that garlic may benefit. Among them:

Atherosclerosis High blood pressure Cancer Gallstones
Ear infections Mercury poisoning Diabetes Low immune function
MRSA High triglycerides Candidiasis Ulcerative colitis
Wound healing Stroke Heart attack Bacterial infections

As you can see from the wide range of conditions it impacts, garlic exerts its benefits on multiple levels, offering anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell.

An Infection-Fighting, Heart-Protective, Cancer-Preventive Powerhouse

Researchers have revealed that as allicin digests in your body it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts faster with dangerous free radicals than any other known compound. This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume.

Garlic is also a triple threat against infections, offering antibacterial, antiviral andantifungal properties. Not only is it effective at killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, but it also fights yeast infections, viruses and parasites.

Garlic also helps relax and enlarge the blood vessels in your body, improving blood flow,especially to your heart. This can help prevent conditions like high blood pressure and life-threatening events such as a heart attack or stroke. Garlic also inhibits the formation of plaques in your arteries, and prevents cholesterol from becoming oxidized, a condition that may contribute to heart disease.

This powerhouse food is also known to help increase your protection against at least five forms of cancer: breast, colon, ovarian, prostate and esophageal. In one study, the more often participants ate vegetables from the allium family, particularly garlic and onions, the lower their risk of certain cancers became. Part of this effect may be due to garlic’s ability to increase tissue activities of phase II detoxification enzymes, which are necessary to help your body excrete chemicals and other toxins.

Interestingly, the allicin in garlic is so powerful it has even been found to help weight loss in rats fed a fructose-rich diet — which is virtually guaranteed to make most people gain weight. Animals being fed only the fructose-rich diet gained weight, but those whose diets were supplemented with allicin did not, and some even lost weight. Of course, this does not mean you can eat all the fructose you want and then eat a couple of cloves of garlic and expect to lose weight … but it does give you an idea of just how far-reaching garlic’s benefits appear to be.

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2 Responses

  1. americani says:

    Thanks for this great article on the benefits of garlic.
    God Bless America; In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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