Garlic has got to be my number one favorite herb. There are many health benefits to garlic, both when eaten fresh or in the form of garlic supplements.
Garlic may have antibiotic properties, and I frequently serve garlic laden chicken broth when any of my family is ill. I also recommend it when someone asks me what natural herbal remedies are available for home use.
Another property in garlic may help reduce blood pressure. 1 person out of every three in the U.S. has high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Unfortunately, not everyone who has the problem knows it.
Taking garlic supplements does not negate the need for prescription medications if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is just another tool in the battle.
It is always advisable to ask your health care professional before starting any supplement program. This is especially true if you are taking blood thinners, as garlic can have the same property. It is also recommended that you stop taking garlic supplements at least one week before any surgery for that reason.
It has long been thought that garlic may also reduce cholesterol. While studies using garlic are inconclusive, the idea is that its antioxidant properties may help in keeping LDL cholesterol down. Most researchers do not think it is a natural cholesterol lowering agent.
Taking a garlic supplement may be useful, but I prefer to use it fresh. The sulfur compound in garlic is what gives it the bad reputation it has for garlic breath, but it is how garlic works. I don’t know if the manufacturers have removed the compound when making garlic supplements, or just masked them, but I prefer to err on the side of getting full benefit of the pungent herb.
When paired with other herbs, garlic can be an even more powerful ally in maintaining health. In dealing with cholesterol, foods high in the omega fatty acids, such as salmon, the addition of garlic may be even more helpful.
On page 5 of my new e-book, Herbs for Human Health, there is more information on herbs that may help with high blood pressure. Page 35 is the beginning of information on many different herbs, including those which can raise (or lower) blood pressure.
The recipes begin on page 57. Making your own supplements can be a more affordable option in these tough economic times.
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