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PostSubject: Garlic Remedies for Health Conditions   Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:33 pm

Garlic Remedies for Health Conditions
By Cathy Wong, About.com
Created: October 12, 2009

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board

What Is Garlic?

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a plant closely related to onions, leeks, and chives. Extracts of the bulb and clove are sometimes used medicinally.

Uses for Garlic

In herbal medicine, garlic is typically used to treat or prevent these conditions:

•Heart disease
•Cancer
•Infections
•Colds


Benefits of Garlic

Research suggests that garlic may help fight the following health problems:

1) High Cholesterol

A number of studies have shown that regular intake of garlic may lead to moderate changes in cholesterol levels. In a 2009 review that analyzed the results of 29 clinical trials, for instance, researchers found that garlic appears to reduce total cholesterol to a modest extent. A study published in 2000, however, indicates that although garlic is superior to a placebo in lowering total cholesterol levels, the use of garlic in treatment of high cholesterol is of "questionable value."

2) High Blood Pressure

Garlic preparations are more effective than a placebo when it comes to reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension, according to a 2008 review and analysis of 25 studies. However, another review (published in 2009) concluded that garlic should not be recommended as a blood pressure-lowering remedy for hypertensive patients.

3) The Common Cold

Garlic may help fend off colds, suggests a 2001 study. For 12 weeks during cold season, 146 volunteers took either a daily garlic supplement or a placebo. By the end of the study period, 24 colds were reported in the garlic group, compared to 65 in the placebo group.

4) Colorectal and Stomach Cancer

In a 2001 review of 19 studies on garlic consumption and cancer incidence, researchers found that regular intake of garlic (in raw, cooked, or supplement form) may help prevent stomach and colorectal cancers.

Is Garlic Safe?

While garlic is generally considered safe, possible adverse effects include:

•Upset stomach
•Headache
•Fatigue
•Diarrhea
Since garlic thins the blood, it's important to discontinue use at least seven days before undergoing surgery. Garlic may also interact with a number of medications, including insulin, anticoagulants, immunosuppressive agents, and protease inhibitors.

How to Use Garlic

Garlic supplements (as well as topically applied garlic oils, often used in treatment of ear infections) are sold in many health food stores and drugstores. Eating chopped or crushed raw garlic may also offer medicinal benefits.

_________________
Jungian astrologer Cathy Pagano writes,
"Do we use our remarkable creativity and imagination to keep the old king propped up, or do we let him die so new life and a new philosophy about life can emerge?"
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