A perennial plant from the genus Onion began to be cultivated in Central and Southeast Asia 5 thousand years ago. The locals used this vegetable as medicine, but did not eat it because of the pungent smell.
In antiquity, the plant was cultivated by the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Arabs and Jews. The product is mentioned in the mythology and various beliefs of these peoples. People defended themselves with garlic from evil spirits, calculated witches.
In China, garlic was called “dragon’s tooth” because of its appearance, as well as “smelly rose” because of its strong smell.
What is useful for garlic
The main advantage of the product is the phytoncides contained in it. These are volatile substances that inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi and stimulate the growth of protective microorganisms. This property of garlic also helps it to fight parasites in the intestine.
Garlic is an excellent antibacterial and antiviral agent that stimulates the immune system. It is a strong antibiotic, so it is often used for neutralization, disinfection of animal products.
In addition, the plant has antioxidant properties – it removes free radicals that “oxidize” the cells of the body, accelerating the aging process. Also, in moderate amounts, garlic is a protection against liver diseases: it stimulates the regeneration of its cells, promotes the elimination of toxins.
In addition, garlic contains vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, selenium, manganese, iodine.
CPFC in 100 grams of garlic:
- 149 calories;
- 6.5 grams of protein;
- 0.5 grams of fat;
- 30 grams of carbohydrates.
When he is dangerous
Despite all the benefits that garlic carries, there are also contraindications to its use. For example, it can not be consumed often, and it is also worth refraining from taking it on an empty stomach and at night.
In its raw form, garlic can cause harm. It strongly irritates the mucous membrane of the digestive tract: both the stomach and especially the intestines. In people with gastroduodenitis, irritable bowel syndrome, the product can cause a serious reaction up to the breakdown of the stool.
It is not necessary to use garlic drops for the nose. According to doctors, such a “drug”, on the contrary, will make way for viruses, since irritation of the mucous membranes will lead to a decrease in the local protective barrier.
In large quantities, garlic is harmful to pregnant women, as it can provoke premature birth. When breastfeeding, it is better to avoid this product, since the substances contained in it can change the taste of milk, and the baby may refuse to breastfeed.
How it is used in medicine
People have long used garlic as a means of lowering blood pressure. It kills “harmful” cholesterol, which provokes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, reduces the tension of the walls of blood vessels and promotes active blood flow.
Selenium in garlic helps the body to protect itself from cancer, and also helps to preserve the health of the thyroid gland. Vitamin B6 affects the work of the central nervous system – it contributes to the production of serotonin, which is popularly called the “hormone of happiness”.
Garlic also helps in the fight against colds. It is generally believed that people who use this product catch a cold much less often than those who do not eat it at all.
Many companies also produce supplements based on the plant – garlic in capsules. Their advantage is the absence of an unpleasant smell.
Application in cooking
Not only cloves are consumed for food, but also leaves, flower stalks, “arrows” of green garlic. They are marinated, fried, baked as a seasoning. Soups are also cooked from the plant. To increase immunity, tinctures are made from garlic in water or milk, mixed with honey.
- 4 garlic heads;
- 1 tablespoon sunflower or olive oil;
- salt to taste.
Remove a thin layer of husk from each head of garlic, and cut off the top so as to expose the cloves. Put a sheet of foil on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. On it – garlic heads. Add salt and oil on top. Then wrap the garlic in foil and send it to bake at a temperature of 200 degrees in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
How to select and store
A good product should have hard and dry teeth. The most delicate taste has medium-sized heads. If garlic is already sprouting, it is not worth buying it, since there are much fewer useful substances in it. Besides, it will deteriorate faster.
The plant should be stored in a dry, dark place at room temperature in a box or bundle. In the refrigerator, it can rot from humidity.
How to use it correctly
The plant can cause harm if taken raw. It is right to eat garlic in the composition of ready-made dishes. You can take fresh or dried. Bake with it or cook. Rub all the products that you cook with cloves. It is good to chop garlic before cooking and let it lie down in its raw form. This will only make it more useful, since the formation of substances in it increases in the air, because of which it is so appreciated. The product prepared in this way should be used for cooking, but in no case raw.