Garlic was an important part of ancient Greek medicine and used throughout antiquity for various purposes beyond flavor enhancement of meals.
Ancient medical texts are full of garlic’s prescribed medical applications, as well as other ways it was used, which may surprise you.
Hippocrates, the revered ancient Greek physician whose oath is still used by physicians to this day, prescribed it for a variety of conditions including pulmonary ailments and abdominal issues. He did this to aid in the release of the placenta and to treat sores, among other ailments.
There is evidence that during the earliest Olympics garlic was fed to the athletes before they competed as a performance-enhancing agent or an ancient version of doping.
Garlic has been unearthed at numerous excavations of ancient Greek temples, including well-preserved bulbs at Knossos in Crete — the center of the Minoan civilization.
This food was an important part of the military diet of almost all Greek city-states’ armies and was fed to soldiers when they went to war. It was believed to be associated with strength and stamina and correlates to the uses for athletes.
Beneficial for immunity
Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs, according to a study. Specifically, when it is crushed, chewed or sliced, it produces a compound called allicin. This compound is thought to give garlic its immune-boosting properties.
The allicin compound in garlic actually originates from alliin. But the alliin becomes allicin when garlic is chewed or crushed. Because allicin is unstable, it quickly converts to other sulphur-containing compounds. And those compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
Studies have demonstrated that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place, as well as the duration of sickness. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms.
Bottom line: Regularly eating garlic may help prevent the common cold or the flu. And if you do get sick, eating it can mitigate the severity of symptoms and help you recover faster.
Grill garlic at home and begin healing your body in 24 hours!
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