Origin: Native to Central Asia, Garlic has been used for food, medicine, an aphrodisiac, money, and magic potions, for over 5,000 years. The name Garlic is derived from Garleac, an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "spear leek." It belongs to the lily (Liliaceae) family.
Garlic’s birthplace is believed to be West China, around Tien Shan Mountains to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Garlic lovers carried the pungent herb into Egypt, Pakistan, India, and China. Garlic was hung over the doors of shop or home to ward off the evil eye. The Egyptian tombs were home to garlic bulbs along with the departed.
The slaves on the great pyramids were paid and feed with Garlic. During the Nile flooding, Garlic crop failure resulted in one of the only two documented Egyptian slave riots.
In order to enter the temple of Cybele, Greeks had to pass the garlic breath test. The Greek athletes, warriors, maidens and pregnant ladies for strength and protection from evil powers. People also used to hang garlic clove pendants around their neck to protect themselves from horns of bulls, witches, black plague etc.
Tibetan monks, widows, and adolescents were banned from consuming this healthy herb. This historic bulb is written in ancient Egyptian, Greek, Indian and Chinese writings, Bible, Talmud and Quran. The medicinal texts of Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, and European talk about using garlic to treat many ailments such as impotence, scorpion bites, heart disease, etc.
In the Vedas – the Indian holy book – garlic is titled as medicinal plants. The Arabic school of medicine also considers garlic as a remedy. The age old Ayurvedic School considers Garlic as a rajasic food because of its benefits and medicinal properties.
Scientifically: A study shows that garlic extract can decrease the sickness and flu by 60%. It boosts the function of the immune system and can fight common flu. Human studies have found the garlic supplements can reduce the blood pressure in the people suffering from hypertension. It can also lower LDL cholesterol in humans and prevents them from cardiovascular diseases.
Allicin is the main component of Garlic that is responsible for the pungent smell and flavor. Allicin generates antioxidants as soon as it comes in contact with a free radical. Allicin also pumps up garlic with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic characteristics.
It is rich in Sulphur and thus is therapeutic for skin allergies and acne. It contains magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, and selenium. All of this shouts that is a great source for the skin.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants that fight cell damage and aging. This antioxidant property of the spice also decreases the risk of Alzheimer and dementia. The sulfur compound present in garlic may help in detoxifying heavy metals in the body. It is also beneficial for bone health as it increases the estrogen levels in females.
Garlic works as an excellent exfoliator removing dead skin cells and the top layer of damaged tissues. It washes off any bacteria that can cause acne on the skin. In addition, Garlic use can give you those long beautiful hair you have been dreaming off. The reason being it is Vitamin C boosts collagen production that stimulates hair growth.
Keep in mind, never to rub Garlic directly on acne as it can shoot up redness and cause skin burning. On the flip side, when consumed it can cure redness and irritation.
Usage: Garlic is widely used as condiment or seasoning because of its pungent flavor. Garlic cloves are consumed raw or used in cooking with various dishes. The green garlic is often used in soups and hot pots in Southeast Asia. Garlic has various nutrients and minerals that make it the right choice for skin and hair.
Below are some DIYs with Garlic:
- Make a paste of 2 garlic cloves. Mix it with 2 tbsp of honey and 1tbsp of olive oil. Apply around the acne and boils. Wash it off after 10 minutes to get rid of acne.
- Take 8 cloves of garlic and make a paste. Mix it with the hot olive oil and heat the mixture until it turns pale. After that strain the oil and discard the pulp. Massage your scalp with the garlic infused oil and wash it off after 30 minutes to get glossy hair.
- To reduce stretch marks, take some mustard oil and heat it. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic. When you can smell the garlic, remove from flame and let it cool down a bit. You can use it when it’s still warm. Massage in a circular motion on the affected areas. And let it dry.