The following used to be on a website called The Optimal Diet . It is
apparently gone, but I copied it to share it with you all. What was posted, came from the book Healing Foods of the Bible by Bernard Ward
- I could not have written it better myself! -
Glorious garlic! It is one of the world's most healing foods. It was being used both as a favorite food and as a powerful medicine centuries before Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness.
During their forty years in the wilderness, Moses' followers lamented: "We remember the fish we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions and the garlic." Numbers 11:5
The magic and medicine of plants states that garlic is "...a good friend" to mankind. Besides the savor it adds to foods, garlic is said to have given strength to the pyramid builders, courage to the Roman legions, and fighting spirit to English gamecocks.
Garlic's medicinal uses have been documented for centuries.
It was always a popular remedy for colds, sore throats and coughs - either eaten raw or taken as a syrup,which was made by boiling garlic cloves and water for half a day.
Physicians and herbalists prescribed garlic as a diuretic and for intestinal disorders and rheumatism.
"Colonists arriving in America discovered that the Indians knew about the healing powers of a native species of garlic and relied on the plant to treat a variety of medical problems, from snakebites to intestinal worms.
"Garlic may have helped to cure many diseases because it is a potent antiseptic. It was used in both World Wars."
Garlic and its cousin, the onion, were regarded for both health-giving and magical qualities in ancient cultures. Garlic was one of the first foods to be deliberately cultivated, although wild varieties grew in abundance.
Evidence of its healing powers is detailed in 4,000 year-old records from the ancient kingdom of Sumeria.
Depictions of garlic bulbs have been discovered on the walls of Egyptian tombs that date back to 3200 B.C. -centuries before Joseph and his brothers settled in Egypt.
During that same period, ancient records reveal that garlic was the principal ingredient in many remedies that Egyptian healers prescribed for headaches, sore throats and other complaints.
By the time of Moses, garlic was already being used as an anticoagulant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agent, as a relief for flatulence, a diuretic, a sedative, a poultice, and as a cure for internal
parasites. At least 67 different varieties of garlic and onions have been identified as growing in the Holy Land, so it's little wonder that the ancient Israelites developed a fondness for it centuries ago. It may be for health reasons that the Talmud specifies that several different foods are to be seasoned with garlic regularly.
At various times, it has been recommended as a cure-all for a vast array of ailments: arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, athlete's foot, bronchitis, cancer, candida, catarrh, chickenpox, cholera, the common cold, constipation, dandruff, diabetes, dropsy, dysentery, dyspepsia, epilepsy, fits, gangrene, hypertension, influenza, jaundice, laryngitis, lead poisoning, leprosy, malaria, measles, meningitis, piles, rheumatism, ringworm, scorpion stings, scurvy, septic poisoning, smallpox, snakebite, tuberculosis, and typhoid.
Research suggests that garlic may help protect against heart disease and stroke by lowering blood pressure. It contains allylic sulfides, which may neutralize carcinogens. In fact, garlic has been linked to lower rates of stomach cancer.
The Environmental Nutrition newsletter published evidence from five clinical trials showing that one-half to one clove per day lowered cholesterol levels an average of nine percent in people with borderline and high cholesterol.
Scientific interest in the healing power of garlic has exploded so much over the last decade that the National Library of Science now lists nearly 150 papers published on garlic's ability to maintain good health!
In various studies, garlic powder, aged garlic extracts and fresh garlic all have had positive effects in preventing cancer in animals; improving diabetes management; slowing the growth of human cytomegalo-virus (often seen in people with AIDS); preventing fatigue; and relieving stress more effectively than
the addictive tranquilizer, Valium!
As little as half a raw clove will boost the body's natural protection against blood clots, which cause heart attacks and strokes. It takes only two raw garlic cloves a day to lower cholesterol levels in heart patients. The ingredient that gives garlic its strong smell, a chemical called allicin, is also what makes it such a potent antibiotic.
In hundreds of experiments, allicin extract from raw garlic has destroyed the germs that spread such diseases as botulism, tuberculosis, diarrhea, staph, dysentery, and typhoid. One scientist reports: "Garlic has the broadest spectrum of any anti-microbial substance we know of. It's antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan and antiviral."
Some researchers say that one medium-sized garlic clove has as much antibacterial power as 100,000 units of penicillin. Japanese scientists have distilled an antibiotic medication called "kyolic" from raw garlic.
Because it was used so commonly as an antibiotic by Russian army medics during World War II, it became known throughout all Europe as the Russian "Penicillin". An astonishing 500 tons of garlic were trucked into Moscow to combat one influenza epidemic in the 1950s.
European doctors still prescribe garlic to ward off colds, pneumonia, whooping cough and a wide array of intestinal disorders.
A natural ingredient in garlic called alliin is changed into the antibiotic substance, allicin, when it is chewed, chopped or crushed. Western medical experts are now studying reports that the Chinese used high doses of garlic to cure cryptococcal meningitis, a disease that is often fatal. The Chinese doctors way that it works by boosting the body's natural immunity.
In the U.S. several researchers are studying exactly what effect garlic does have on the immune system. In one study, AIDS patients who ate at least a clove of garlic a day for three months significantly improved their immune functions, which the disease severely damages. In some patients, chronic herpes sores were completely eradicated; in others, cancer cells were destroyed.
Animal tests in Japan indicated that fresh garlic might be an effective weapon against a form of breast
cancer. Another finding from the same study suggested that garlic was probably a better antioxidant than Vitamin E, one of the top antioxidants known to slow the aging process.
At the M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston, Texas, investigators looked at sulfur compounds from both garlic and onions and concluded their ingredients blocked the formation of carcinogens that lead to colon cancer.
Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute has announced that the sulfur in garlic is high on its list of potential natural "chemopreventatives."
A study at Bombay Hospital's Research Center in India, found that those who ate several garlic cloves daily (depending on the size of the person significantly reduced the risk of potentially deadly blood clots -even in patients who already suffered from coronary disease. In even smaller doses, garlic drastically reduced cholesterol levels -on the average from 305 to 218 over a 60-day period.
Researchers at Loma Linda University in California achieved equally dramatic results when they tested Japan's garlic extract, kyolic. An ounce a day (approximately eight to nine cloves) reduced dangerous LDL cholesterol from 10 to 50 percent and boosted the production of HDL cholesterol, which the body needs for good health.
Hypertension is a modern affliction that the people of biblical times probably didn't have to deal with. There is now ample proof that garlic has a near-miraculous ability to lower high blood pressure. The British Medical Journal "The Lancet", recently reported that studies conducted in Eastern European laboratories showed that garlic produces a systolic blood pressure drop of 20 to 30 points and a diastolic drop of 10 to 20 points. That's more than enough to bring even the most severe hypertension to manageable levels without drugs.
Dr. Eric Block, head of chemistry at State University of New York at Albany, recently extracted a compound from garlic which he named "ajoene".In Spanish, "ajo" is garlic. He found that ajoene prevents blood clots from forming. " As an antithrombotic agent, *ajoene* is at least as potent as aspirin," he said. For years medical experts have prescribed limited doses of aspirin to prevent or dissolve dangerous blood clots. Early test also indicate that ajoene has few of the unwanted side effects of anticoagulant drugs.
Many doctors are now going back to ancient folklore and home remedies that call for garlic as a decongestant and an expectorant in the treatment of common colds and chronic bronchitis. Like chili peppers and other hot, pungent foods, garlic works by turning on the body's natural "fire-fighting" faucets to cool the heat. This provokes the lungs and bronchial tubes to produce more fluids - which in turn thin the mucus and help flush it out of the body.
While cooking may destroy or reduce the allicin and weaken the garlic's potential, most of its therapeutic benefits remain. Cooked garlic still lowers blood cholesterol, for example, and works as a decongestant and cough medicine.
Whether in cooked, raw or in extract form, garlic may be one of the most potent natural healing foods we have. The ancient people of the Bible knew that basic fact of life. Some of our scientists are just rediscovering it!
Taken from "Healing Foods of the Bible"----- By Bernard Ward