Garlic & Its Antibacterial Compounds – A Healthy Choice

Throughout the centuries, garlic has been mentioned as being a useful agent to combat infectious diseases. Indeed, if you trace back to the ancient Greek civilization, Hippocrates is attributed with the notable saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Garlic was a common entity in the ancient civilizations of India, China, Japan, Egypt, Greece and Rome. It also had a significant part during the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe, and in early America, Native Americans put garlic in a certain tea to combat flu symptoms. Herbalists would stock soups and other foods with garlic, and they would put garlic compresses on people’s chests to cure cold symptoms and chest conditions. Today, current studies have shown the powerful capabilities of garlic.

The Amazing things of Allicin

Allicin, the active antibacterial compound in garlic, reshapes the capability of bacteria to recreate and prevents the organisms from spreading. A lot of research has been tested on the anti-microbial responses of garlic, and the outcomes have been good.

In a study administered at the University of Ottawa, researchers tested some natural health products that had garlic in them and fresh garlic extracts. They placed the garlic products and the extracts in opposition to three types of commonplace bacteria:

  • Enterococcus faecalis – A culprit for meningitis
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae – The cause of gonorrhea
  • Staphylococcus aureus – Although it isn’t always pathogenic, it can cause skin infections, respiratory infections and food poisoning

The products that contained the increased volumes of allicin were the most successful at getting rid of these various types of bacteria.

Another study that demonstrates the powerful influence of garlic’s antibacterial effects was done at the University of California, Irvine where garlic juice was tested. Garlic juice was put to use and tested against a mixture of pathogens, and this included strains of bacteria that were resistant against antibiotics. Not only were the results of the tests productive in combating these pathogens, but the tests were still rewarding when the juice was diluted.

When garlic is consumed in company with prescription medications, it can make the drugs work better. Rutgers University tested garlic and two common antibiotics to ward off Staphylococcus aureus (gram-positive) and Escherichia coli (gram-negative), which are two strains of bacteria that are resistant against antibiotics. The bacteria were killed since the garlic was able to increase the two antibiotic medications’ potency.

Making Use of Garlic in Your Cooking to Gain Its the Perks

It’s important to indicate that cooking garlic destroys the allicin, so the most effective way to get the active compounds in garlic is to eat it raw. A good way to combat Escherichia coli in your cooking is by using raw garlic as a rub for all meats- the allicin in the garlic will help assist in killing those bacteria. The same can be used with salads- putting raw garlic in dressings may help with spoiled spinach or lettuce.

If you want to make it an addition to your cooked food, you can crush it or cut it and leave it out for about 10 minutes. That way you can still eat it alongside your baked, sauteed and roasted food. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, yet a clove of raw garlic with your food each day is much more worthwhile. Always remember to eat raw garlic with your meal to avoid stomach issues and bad breath, and you can always eat some raw parsley after if you’re concerned with your breath.