Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Garlic and the Digestive Tract

Garlic’s lofty reputation has also developed from its effectiveness as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. According to Better Nutrition, even one clove a day has been proven to aid digestion and reduce bacterial infections including cholera, dysentery, and strep.

Dr. Paul Sherman, a behavioral scientist at Cornell University, believes humans have evolved a taste for spicy food like garlic because the foods are better at killing the germs that cause spoilage. After studying 5000 traditional spices from thirty six countries, he found that the seasoning got spicier as the climate got hotter (since food spoils faster in hot climate). Furthermore, when he examined forty three spices for their ability to kill bacteria, garlic and onions killed all thirty types of bacteria that cause problems in the digestive tract.

Recently, a bacteria named Helicobacter pylori has been attributed to stomach ulcers. In a study done by Chicago University, out of thirty herbs, garlic was one of the most effective in impeding fifteen different strains of helicobacter. The garlic compound called ajoene is mostly responsible for treating stomach ulcers. Garlic is so effective it has been awarded by Herbal Information Center the exalted name,

“Wonder Drug among all herbs.”

With garlic’s protean remedial properties, one may wonder if it really is a panacea.


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