vigour. Garlic has been found in ancient Greek temples and Egyptian pyramids. Medical texts from ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome, Egypt, India and China all recommend prescribing garlic. Hippocrates was known to use garlic in his treatments, and early Olympians used garlic as a performance enhancing remedy. Garlic has several names, describing it's powerful healing potency; including ‘Russian penicillin’, ‘natural antibiotic’, ‘vegetable viagra’, ‘plant talisman’, ‘rustic's theriac’ and ‘snake grass’ (1, 2).
brings down high blood pressure, reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, and possibly helps fight cancer. Allicin, the active ingredient in garlic is also used therapeutically to help fight small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Interestingly, these health promoting benefits have been primarily found in raw garlic. Once garlic is cooked, it has been shown to lose all healing properties….unless we make one little change in the way we prepare it.
How to reap the benefits in cooked garlic
kept separated in whole, intact garlic. Alliinase, like other enzymes, is heat sensitive.
Therefore, when we cut garlic and immediately throw it into a hot dish, the alliinase will not have the time to turn alliin into allicin. But, if we crush garlic then let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before we put it in our hot dish, we can cook garlic and still reap all the health benefits! Allicin is not heat sensitive, and once allicin is made, it will not be destroyed by cooking. With this simple kitchen trick, we can cook our garlic and still reap all its benefits (9).
Jo Robinson, author of "Eating on the Wild Side" discusses this tip as well as many others in her beautifully written and informative book.
Lindsay Rusk, R.Ac., fmp
Lindsay Is a Registered Acupuncturist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Health Investigator, Paleo Enthusiast, and Blogger.
Join the Tribe!
Sign up for my monthly newsletter to stay up to date on current health related topics.