herb | Integrative functional medicine blog

Why vampires hate garlic, and you should love it.


So I will get right down to the good stuff.
vampires and garlic
First off let me state that Garlic makes a wonderful health supplement for many people, but the so-called "garlic cure" is no substitute for the basics: sensible eating, appropriate exercise, taking your vitamins and living a healthy lifestyle.

Garlic should be seen as part of a healthy lifestyle - not as an alternative to it.

After you read why garlic is good for you I think you will be able to figure out why it keeps vampires away.

Personally I eat garlic because I like the taste; any potential health benefits are simply a bonus!

Garlic has long been touted as a health booster, but it’s never been clear why the herb might be good for you. Now new research is beginning to unlock the secrets of the odoriferous bulb.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that eating garlic appears to boost our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is actually poisonous at high concentrations — it’s the same noxious byproduct of oil refining that smells like rotten eggs. But the body makes its own supply of the stuff, which acts as an antioxidant and transmits cellular signals that relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.

In the latest study, performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers extracted juice from supermarket garlic and added small amounts to human red blood cells. The cells immediately began emitting hydrogen sulfide, the scientists found.

The power to boost hydrogen sulfide production may help explain why a garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer, say the study authors.
Higher hydrogen sulfide might also protect the heart, according to other experts.

Although garlic has not consistently been shown to lower cholesterol levels, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine earlier this year found that injecting hydrogen sulfide into mice almost completely prevented the damage to heart muscle caused by a heart attack.

“People have known garlic was important and has health benefits for centuries,” said Dr. David W. Kraus, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama. “Even the Greeks would feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games.”

Now, the downside.

The concentration of garlic extract used in the latest study was equivalent to an adult eating about two medium-sized cloves per day. I don’t see that as a downside. Just an excuse to eat more. In such countries as Italy, Korea and China, where a garlic-rich diet seems to be protective against disease, per capita consumption is as high as eight to 12 cloves per day.

While that may sound like a lot of garlic, Dr. Kraus noted that increasing your consumption to five or more cloves a day isn’t hard if you use it every time you cook. Dr. Kraus also makes a habit of snacking on garlicky dishes like hummus with vegetables.

Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it, added Dr. Kraus.
To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.

Garlic can cause indigestion, but for many, the bigger concern is that it can make your breath and sweat smell like…garlic.

While individual reactions to garlic vary, eating fennel seeds like those served at Indian restaurants helps to neutralize the smell.

Some of the other benefits of garlic, which is primarily due to the allicin contained in garlic. If you just can’t seem to get enough garlic in you diet, here are a couple of recommendations that I personally give to my patients.

Vitanica Professional - CandidaStat Yeast Balance Support - 120 Vegetarian Capsules
Pure Encapsulations - GarliActive 120's (Premium Packaging)
Vital Nutrients - Garlic 6000 650 mg 60 caps
Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Liquid Vegetarian Cardiovascular 4 fl oz (120 ml)

Eating garlic or taking supplements containing high levels and good quality allicin also acts as an antibacterial. In fact, that antibacterial property works great against yeast (candida albicans) infections. Part of the reason this is so great, is that garlic (or the allicin) appears to spare the good bacteria in our bodies, leaving the good stuff to build back our immune systems once the infection is gone. Garlic also acts as a great detox or chelating agent for lead, binding to excess levels of lead in our system(no, its not just from paint chips) and excreting it.

So stock up on some GOOD QUALITY garlic and keep those vampires away while living healthier.

SO WHY DOES GARLIC KEEP VAMPIRES AWAY?

The basic premise is that garlic has been know for centuries for it's healing abilities and is also believed to be an ANTI-VIRAL. Becoming a vampire was believed to be a viral infection of the blood. So by being exposed or eating garlic it would essentially kill the virus thus killing the vampire.

Happy trails!

Dr. Craig Mortensen

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