According to the seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, garlic is "a remedy for all diseases and hurts...It is a good preservative against and a remedy for any plague, sore or foul ulcer, takes away spots and blemishes in the skin, eases pains in the ears...It is also held good in the jaundice, cramps, convulsions..."
Garlic is not less highly regarded today. Taken on a regular basis, it builds up high levels of resistance to infection within the immune system. It is antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic, as well as antibiotic. This should make it a vital part of your diet at all times, but especially when you are feeling under the weather. If you take garlic in large quantities, for example, when you feel the onset of a cold, you can often fight it off before it takes a real hold. Garlic is a great detoxifier and contains a strong dose of vitamin C, as well as the antioxidant mineral selenium. Besides having these powerful antioxidants to fight free radical, it actually leaches some of the worst toxins from the system and helps excrete them. As both free radicals and the toxins that help create them contribute to the onset of cancer, garlic is on the most potent aids to health that you can find.
The cleansing powers of garlic are formidable. It is an age-old remedy for parasites in the stomach and intestines. It is excellent for clearing respiratory ailments and is a decongestant, making it very helpful in cases of catarrh, bronchitis and asthma. It is also an unusually effective cleanser and toner of the liver.
Garlic is also renowned for its beneficial effects on the heart and the circulation. It can reduce high blood pressure - it contains a substance called allicin, which dilates the blood vessels and reduces clotting - and it can lower cholesterol levels. It thins the blood, and this helps improve the sluggish circulation that results in cold hands and feet, and also counters diseases of the arteries. Allicin is excreted through the lungs, bowels, skin and urinary system, and in the process detoxifies all of them.
Garlic contains sulphur, which helps cleanse the liver and is also believed to inhibit the growth of tumors.