Denver - Design District - Alameda and Broadway
368 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
A (stinking) rose by any other name is… garlic!
This good4usm kitchen staple is also a powerful ally of health. Packaged in each little clove of garlic are compounds that research has shown reduce inflammation and oxidative damage; fight viruses, bacteria, fungus, and parasites; helps keep the cardiovascular system healthy; and supports healthy detoxification.i ii
Crushing or chopping garlic releases enzymes that create allicin, one of the major biologically active components of garlic, which quickly breaks down into a variety of organosulfur compounds. These compounds are what give garlic its uniquely pungent smell, and its unique health benefits. Having garlic breath is actually a good thing!
In 1858, Louis Pasteur wrote that garlic killed bacteria, but he only confirmed what thousands of years of history already knew. Garlic’s use as a medicine goes back to the time of the ancient Sumerians (2600-2100 BC) and was an invaluable medicine for nearly every ancient civilization from China, India, and Tibet to Egypt, Rome, and Greece. It is purported that 18th century French gravediggers drank wine mixed with crushed garlic to protect themselves from the plague and garlic is said to have saved a thousand citizens in Marseille from the spread of plague. In the pre-antibiotic era of WWI, garlic paste was used in the battlefields as a wound dressing for injured soldiers.iii Protect your children and save the bees! In a twist of irony, garlic itself is registered with the EPA as a natural pesticide (it repels certain insects and birds) and does not “compromise human health or environmental safety.”iv Unfortunately, there are 50 synthetic pesticides that are commonly used on conventional garlic crops.v Pyrethroid, glyphosate, and neonicotinoid are just three of the 50. Pyrethroid is an insecticide that has been linked to behavioral and neurodevelopmental issues in children,vi vii neonicotinoids are a family of insecticides implicated in colony collapse disorder in honeybees, and the herbicide glyphosate has been associated with a slew of human health problems, most recently coronary artery disease.viii The best way to avoid these pesticides is to go organic.
The compounds in garlic have extensively been researched in relation to cardiovascular health, and the findings should make anyone’s heart sing. The organosulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to increase nitric oxide production, improving endothelial function; reduce the risk of blood clots and atherosclerosis; decrease triglyceride levels and blood pressure; and provide antioxidant protection to the blood vessels.ix x xi xii Bring on the garlic breath for cardiovascular health!