Garlic is a member of the lily family and is considered one of the most studied and used herbs on the planet. This herb's properties are very distinctive and impact your body system and tissues.
Garlic is probably best known for adding flavor to foods, but is so much more. This herb has been used over the years for preventing many diseases and cleansing our bodies of toxins. It strengthens immune systems, and prevents and treats bacterial and fungal infections.
There are literally thousands of acres of garlic being grown in the United States today. Its popularity stems from its distinctive taste as well as the fact that it offers many health benefits. There are very few herbs that rate as high in effectiveness as garlic. Researchers are constantly finding new benefits from this plant.
The Benefits of Garlic:
This herb offers antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, and is extremely effective in the treatment of the flu and herpes simplex. Adding garlic to foods during the winter months can ward off colds, coughs, and reduces congestion for those suffering from bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections.
In capsule form, it is used to treat yeast infections, and topically to treat athlete's foot. Crush garlic and apply it directly to cold sores, it will bring down the swelling and pain. Crushing garlic releases more allicin than aging garlic. Allicin gives garlic its very distinctive odor, and is used as an active ingredient in many medicinal formulas.
Garlic is used to lower blood pressure, and reduce high cholesterol, as well as preventing heart disease, hardening of arteries, and even heart attacks. These benefits have been supported by clinical studies, and garlic may even slow down the development of atherosclerosis and reduce blood pressure.
Garlic has been used in preventing various cancers including colon cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, rectal cancer, and breast cancer. It has been used to treat enlarged prostates, diabetes, allergies, and osteoarthritis.
Diabetes, high cholesterol, breast and lung cancers, and leg pain are a few ailments that studies have not yet proven to provide relief or cure using garlic.
Other issues such as corns, warts, prostate cancer, high blood pressure in pregnant women, or the common cold also require further research. At this time, there is not enough evidence to say one way or another if garlic contributes to relieving these conditions.
The most obvious effect is causing bad breath! Anyone who has been around someone who just ate garlic can testify to that! This could be why many people choose to take garlic in the form of capsules or pills. Eating fresh garlic can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, cause heartburn, body odor, diarrhea, stomach burning, nausea, vomiting, and gas. Usually these symptoms are caused when ingesting raw, natural garlic.
To read more about garlic and its uses, side effects, interactions and warnings, click here.
Sage is another very popular herb used in cooking, and offers many medicinal benefits as well. The leaves are used for medical purposes including digestive disorders, stomach pains, bloating, heart burn, diarrhea, gas, and appetite loss.
Sage is considered safe in the average amounts used in foods. Taken orally or applied topically in medicinal form, it's considered safe as long as you don't exceed four months. It is not recommended to take High Levels of Sage for a Long Period of Time. Some chemicals in Sage can cause seizures, liver damage, or damage to the nervous system. This is caused by a chemical in the plant called thujone. The amount of this chemical depends on the species of plant, harvest time, and other factors. If unsure, always consult with experts on sage and with your doctor.
For more information about salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage), click here.
The leaves of the Ginkgo plant are used to create extracts that are used in many medicines. It is often used for memory loss in Alzheimer's, and conditions arising due to poor blood flow to the brain in older people. Some of the symptoms include concentration, mood changes, hearing disorders, vertigo, memory loss, and headaches. Ginkgo is also used for thought disorders related to Lyme disease and depression.
The Ginkgo Biloba is the longest living tree in the entire world and can live for thousands of years. In 2600 BC, ginkgo was used for asthma and bronchitis.
This herb has shown abilities of improving blood circulation that, in turn, benefits the brain, ears, legs, and eyes. It has potential at slowing down Alzheimer's by affecting changes in the brain and thoughts. Alzheimer's and various other dementias have shown modest improvements when the extract is taken orally. Some clinical tests show conflicting findings, and therefore it might only benefit certain stages or certain people. Improving thought processes and memory loss are more significant with older people not suffering from dementia. Younger people have shown the best results in memory improvement.
The Ginkgo seed contains elements that may kill bacteria and fungi. The downside, is that the seeds contain a toxin that can cause seizures and loss of consciousness. Studies have shown that diabetics who have damaged retinas have shown significant improvements to their color vision with ginko.
Ginkgo Leaf Extract is most likely safe when taken orally in normal doses. There could be some minor effects including an upset stomach, headaches, allergic skin reactions, dizziness, constipation, and a heavier heartbeat. As with all herbs, check with your doctor before using this herb if you have a condition that might conflict with its usage.
To read more about Ginkgo plant and its uses, click here.