Garlic is a wonderful healing herb and, unlike many of the other herbs, it tastes great and can be incorporated into a variety of meals. Garlic has been used for over 5000 years as a healing herb and has strong antibacterial, and antiviral properties. But it's health benefits extend well beyond it's infection fighting properties. It is also reputed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as help protect against heart disease and stroke.
And the benefits of garlic don't stop there. A recent study has shown that taking a garlic supplement once a day can reduce the risk of getting a cold by 50% and help you gain a speedy recovery if you do happen to catch one. In fact, I tried this out recently when I felt a sore throat coming on - I toasted a piece of bread and added some raw crushed garlic to it. It was a bit pungent but I woke up the next day good as new! Aside from colds, garlic has historically been used as a remedy for infections, athletes foot, worms, respiratory ailments, some cancers of the stomach, colic, ear aches, bladder problems and high blood pressure.
Garlic is jut plain good for you too! it is loaded with vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, B and C, selenium, potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium. But in order to reap the benefits, you must prepare it in a certain way. Researcher say it is the allicin that is released when garlic is crushed. If you are trying to serve yourself a garlic herbal remedy by adding garlic to your foods then make sure you crush it a bit ahead of time and don't add until the final 5 minutes of cooking. This will give the allicin enough time to develop and will insure you don't cook all the garlic health out of it.
Cooked garlic will not have as much benefit as raw and whole garlic cloves have little benefit at all. Another way to incorporate garlic into your meals without cooking is to make a garlic bread where you crush the gloves into a paste and toast bread - butter the toasted bread and spread the garlic on it - Yum!
Garlic can have an affect on blood clotting, so don't start taking supplements unless you discuss it with your physician first especially if you are on blood thinning medication or due to have surgery in the near future.