Protected Geographical indication. Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras.

Protected Geographical indication. Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras.

IGP Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras | Spanishes IGP Purple garlic from Las Pedroñeras | Englishen

Origin of garlic utilization

Garlic entails health

The garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an annual herbaceous plant which belongs to the lily family.

Although its origin is uncertain and it raises some controversy, it is considered native to Asia and it has been extended from there to Europe and from Europe to America, after the Conquest.

In Egypt it was consumed by the slaves who worked in the construction of the pyramids because it had attributed properties to fortify and revitalize.

For Hindus and Babylonians it was a plant with almost miraculous properties.

During ancient Greece and Rome, it was consumed mainly by soldiers, sailors and farmers. Gladiators were very fond of garlic consumption because of the libido stimulating properties they believe it had.

Galen described the garlic as the anti-venom par excellence, and Pliny recommended it as a remedy for respiratory diseases.

In the middle Ages it was already used for therapeutic purposes, usually to fight bacterial diseases.

During World War I it was used as an external antiseptic to disinfect wounds when they didn't have the usual antiseptics..

It contains nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and C.

The Aliin - pharmacologically inactive and odorless- is the most important substance in garlic, which constitutes 0, 24% of the total weight. When garlic is chopped or crushed,  this substance comes into contact with the enzyme "alliinase", which converts it immediately to its active form, called allicin, a highly volatile molecule which causes the characteristic strong flavor and slightly spicy taste of the garlic.

The Allicin, as will be outlined below, has numerous beneficial effects. However, cooking garlic destroys this compound. But it leads to the release of other compounds, such as adenosine and ajoene, which have anticoagulant properties and are supposed to reduce the cholesterol level.

The benefits of Garlic:

Its antibiotic properties were tested and verified in the late nineteenth century. Then, the basic constituents of garlic were discovered, allin, and its derivative, the allicin whose bactericidal power was discovered in the middle of past century.

Currently, Japanese scientists test their effects on patients with lumbago and arthritis. In India, they are developing studies to show that garlic has a preventive effect on the development of arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure (hypertension).

It is efficient as an antibiotic to fight many kinds of fungi, bacteria and viruses; also to control heart diseases because it reduces the blockage in the arteries. Garlic reduces blood pressure and cholesterol. Furthermore, it increases insulin release from pancreas to the blood, and it controls the damage caused by arteriosclerosis thanks to plaques formation and rheumatism.

It is also related in the prevention of certain types of cancer and to treat stress and states of depression. It is known that garlic is an antidepressant par excellence, since it increases the vitality and therefore it improves the quality of life. It keeps the mind clear and lucid.

Both the antihypertensive effectiveness of the garlic- one of the most important health issues of developed countries-, and its effectiveness to reduce risks of strokes, are perfectly proven: The main active compound of the Allicin is the hydrogen sulfide which facilitates the distension of vascular cell membranes lowering blood pressure and circulation and promoting oxygen transport by the hemoglobin of red blood cells, and consequently, producing less fatigue (stress) to the heart.

Thanks to the garlic the blood becomes more fluid, which prevents the formation of thrombus and clots. It also regulates -due to the vasodilator effect already described- the blood pressure, decreasing the number of heartbeats, preventing angina and heart attacks.

 The compounds present in garlic keep blood pressure down and their effects are similar to those of certain beta-blocker drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, as it has been proved in several researches carried out with patients. The administration of garlic reduced the average of the systolic pressure between 4 to 5 points and the diastolic one between 2 or 3.

The ability of the garlic to reduce LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein or "bad cholesterol") in blood and to form arterial plaques has been questioned; although it does have an action on platelets, garlic supplements are not recommended except under medical responsibility. The garlic, or its excessive intake, could affect the correct activity of coagulation..

Garlic helps to reduce the level of glucose in the blood so it is convenient for diabetic people.

It is recommended to people with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, to promote the elimination of toxic waste in joints and the increase microcirculation, with the consequent increase of nutrients and minerals in the bone and joints, which are good for the locomotor system..

It has been scientifically proven that people who eat garlic are not bitten by mosquitoes. This is because we are able to digest and / or metabolize the active substance that repels mosquitoes, which we sweat later through the skin.

Garlic is used topically to fight warts, being also an effective remedy taken orally. There is a long tradition in the use of the garlic in herbal medicine, where garlic has been used for hoarseness and coughs.

It increases the functioning of thyroid gland, so it is indicated for obesity and hypothyroidism.

It promotes the corticosteroids secretion by the adrenal glands. Here is the key of all its properties. It is known that The Medicine uses corticosteroids in allergic diseases, lung problems or rheumatisms.

It strengthens the defenses to deal with any kind of infection (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites).

It stimulates kidney function and it helps to eliminate toxins.