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Facts about garlic

  • Studies around the world have shown garlic to be beneficial in fighting heart disease, cancer, diabetes, infections and other illnesses.
  • Crushed garlic can be used as a dressing for external wounds. It was used extensively and successfully in The Second World War for its antibiotic and antiseptic qualities.
  • Garlic contains a wide range of trace minerals. These include copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, germanium, and especially selenium. In addition, garlic contains many sulphur compounds, vitamins A and C, fibre, and various amino acids.
  • The mature garlic plant produces a bulb, sometimes called a head of garlic, with numerous individual cloves inside the paper-like wrapper. An individual clove when planted will reproduce an entire bulb after about 9 months.
  • The use of garlic dates back to the early Egyptians, over 5,000 years ago. Egyptian slaves downed tools when their daily ration of garlic was removed, thus becoming the first ever known labour strike. Six bulbs of garlic were discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
  • All varieties of garlic (and there over 450) are members of the Lily family.
  • Fresh garlic is generally odour-free until crushed.
  • It is the polysulphide allicin, as well as other substances such as adenosine and ajoene, that are key to garlic’s health benefits.
  • The amount of allicin garlic can produce does not depend upon the cultivar. It can vary by as much as twenty-fold and is dependent upon soil and climate conditions. Generally speaking, Chinese garlic has the potential to produce the most allicin.
  • Allicin dissipates over a period of ± 48 hours, therefore crushing fresh garlic is the only sure way of ensuring allicin will be present.

 

 

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