Fondly known to herbalists as "the stinking rose,"Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for centuries for a variety of health concerns
ranging from treatment of skin conditions to fighting infection. Today, research shows that garlic contains more than 200 phytochemicals
that have protective health benefits, such as regulating blood pressure, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, enhancing immunity
and working against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Garlic contains several vitamins and minerals that support health, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and selenium. It's also rich
in sulfur-containing compounds - allicin,alliin, ajoene - that help reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties. These unique compounds
(along with enzymes, minerals and amino acids) make garlic a powerful medicinal that helps reduce the risk for chronic diseases where inflammation
is an underlying factor, such as heart disease and cancer. Though generally safe for most adults, taking a garlic supplement can cause heartburn, upset stomach, an allergic reaction, and breath and body odor
(common with raw garlic). Because it can impair the body's ability to form blood clots, garlic should not be taken if you're preparing for surgery or
have bleeding disorders. Be aware that garlic supplements (powder, capsule, extract or oil) can vary significantly because allicin (the active ingredient) is sensitive to how
the supplement is prepared. For example, aging garlic to reduce its odor also reduces the allicin present and compromises the effectiveness of the
product. Check with your holistic physician about the benefits garlic may have for you and which formula will work best for your needs. Resources Ayaz, E. & Alpsoy, H.C. "Garlic (Allium sativum) and traditional medicine." Turkiye Parazitol Derg. 2007;31(2):145-9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17594659 World's Healthiest Foods: Garlic. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Garlic. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/garlic/ataglance.htm Medline Plus. Herbs and Supplements: Garlic. (Includes information on garlic interactions with other drugs) https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/300.html Xiong, XJ., Wang, PQ, et al.,"Garlic for hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials." Phytomedicine. (2015 Mar 15) 22(3):352-61.
doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2014.12.013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25837272
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Because herbs come from nature, many people believe they're safe to take at any time. But, that's simply not true. In fact, many herbs
should not be taken while trying to conceive or during pregnancy and post-partum, while breastfeeding. The constituents of plants -
phytochemicals and other active compounds - can interact with hormones that circulate during the prenatal period and as the fetus is developing.
Some herbs can stimulate the uterus to contract. And, if you have other health conditions for which medication is prescribed, there is
potential for a drug-herb interaction...
Commonly known as NAC, N-acetylcysteine is an amino
acid that supports critical functions and helps
fight infection. Our body manufactures NAC
using the cysteine from the foods we ingest. Sources
include most meats and certain plants, including
broccoli, red pepper and onion. Bananas,
garlic, soy beans, linseed (aka, flax seed) and
wheat germ also contain cysteine.
The splitting pain of an earache: while mostly common
in children, adults can also be affected. We all know
the itchy, scratchy, stuffy, feverish, achy feelings
that come with a sore throat and a head cold, but ear
pain is probably the worst. It starts with an overworked
immune system, affecting one of our most vulnerable
systems - the respiratory tract - which includes the
mouth, throat, nose and ears.
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