Star food: garlic

Garlic is an anti-coagulant and helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. it also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
The history of garlic
Garlic is part of the Liliacaea family, which also includes onions, shallots, leeks, chives and spring onions. It is native to central Asia, and its cultivation began in China, Mesopotamia (modern Turkey, Iran and Iraq) and Egypt thousands of years ago. Garlic has a long reputation as a health-giving food, used both to prevent and to cure illness. In Egypt, as early as 2600 bce, workers building the pyramids were given garlic to keep them strong. Ancient Greek soldiers ate the herb to improve their strength and increase their resistance to infection. In Europe, garlic has long been used to protect against disease – 16th-century monks took it to ward off the plague, and its use was widespread during the cholera epidemics of the 19th century.
The properties of garlic
The principal active ingredients found in garlic are a volatile oil called allicin, released when the bulbs are crushed, and several sulphur compounds, released when garlic is steamed or boiled.
Recent scientific research has shown that allicin is a powerful anti-coagulant. It inhibits blood-clotting and helps to break down existing clots, allowing the blood to flow more freely and reducing blood pressure. Garlic suppresses the production of cholesterol in the liver and increases the rate at which dietary cholesterol is expelled from the body. As a result, it is extremely useful for those who suffer from high cholesterol levels, thrombosis (obstructive blood clots), heart disease and other circulatory problems.
Allicin has potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and raw garlic is effective in relieving the symptoms of colds and respiratory infections, such as nasal congestion. It is also useful in combating digestive system infections and controlling the balance of bacteria in the gut, as well as helping to repel parasites, such as intestinal worms. Boiling a head of garlic in milk and drinking the resulting decoction every morning is a remedy for intestinal parasites.
Recent research has suggested that Diallyl sulfide, a component of garlic, may help to prevent the growth of certain malignant tumours.
Garlic as a cure
A traditional European folk custom involved placing a head of garlic in a small bag and tying it around a child’s neck as a protection against colds or flu. Fixing the bag around the abdomen was thought to protect against worms. Scientists have now discovered that some of the sulphur compounds found in garlic can indeed be absorbed through the skin.
For maximum therapeutic value, at least two raw garlic cloves should be eaten every day. For many people, however, this is unpalatable: odourless garlic supplements can provide a useful additional source of this important food. If you are worried about bad breath, try chewing cardamom seeds, parsley leaves or a few roasted coffee beans to help disguise the smell.
Garlic can also be used to great effect in tinctures, drinks, soups and sauces. To make a garlic tincture, soak 50 g of garlic in 250 ml of strong vodka; leave it to macerate in a sealed opaque bottle for two weeks. Strain the mixture, pressing the garlic with the back of a spoon to extract all the remaining liquid. Add up to 15 drops to a small amount of water and take twice a day to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, to combat colds and chronic bronchitis or as an antiseptic for the digestive system. Keep the tincture in an airtight bottle, away from light, and it will last for up to two years.
Peel the cloves from the heads of garlic and boil in the water for 20 minutes. Add the sage and season with salt and pepper. Leave to infuse for a few minutes.
Place the rye bread in a large dish, and pour the olive oil over the bread.
Pour the garlic and sage soup over the bread. Sprinkle with the parsley or chervil and serve immediately.
garlic and sage soup:
4–5 heads garlic, peeled
2 litres water
Approximately 10 sage leaves
Salt and pepper
3 or 4 thick slices of rye bread
150 ml cold-pressed olive oil
To serve: fresh parsley or chervil, finely chopped
acupuncture London
PJ Cousin M.B.Ac.C
Mobile: 07720773890
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About us, clinic details

Acupuncture at Cure By Nature
95 Replingham Road
London SW18 5LU

tel: 020 88751101

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Appointment available Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Acupuncture London

Acupuncture at Kensington Therapy Centre
211-213 Kensington  High Street London W8 6BD

Tel: 020 7376 1199

For a map
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Appointment available Thursdays only

Pj Cousin is a full member of the British Acupuncture Council and of the Unified Register of herbal Practitioners

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Free 20 minutes consultations available:
Call 02088751101
Pierre jean cousin is the owner and manager of Cure By nature, a well established London acupuncture and complementary practice in Replingham road, Southfields he also works as an acupuncturist and herbalist at the London Kensington Therapy Centre.

London Acupuncture at Cure By Nature: clinics of acupuncture and complementary medicine at 95 Repligham Road london SW18 5LU and 211-213 kensington High Street London W8 6BD