There is much debate as the the medicinal value of garlic. Although garlic has been used for hundreds of years to cure everything from athletes foot and the common cold, to heart disease and cancer, most of the recent studies have not properly controlled for the presents of alliin and ajoene - the two compounds that contain the most health benefits -- so the results, not surprisingly, are inconclusive. To me, it would also make sense that different garlic varieties and how garlic grown and harvested are likely to impact the amounts of these two compounds present in the garlic. So, where does that leave us? Multiple scientific studies have shown that garlic can lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, reduce high blood pressure, help coronary heart disease, help with muscle cramps after exertion, and cure many different types of fungal infections -- such as Athlete's foot and middle ear infections. Plus, there is some thought that garlic can also help in the reduction of certain cancers -- like colon and stomach cancer. And the anti-bacterial properties of garlic are accepted. So, what to do? Throughout the garlic health controversy -- one thing seems pretty clear - that the health benefits depend on the consumption of whole, fresh garlic -- and lots of it. You can breakdown the garlic into its components and try to bottle it into a nice little pill -- but then, you might be missing something. So, just eat the real thing. But, I think you should make sure it the best tasting "thing" you can find. Personally, I love the taste of good garlic (emphasis on "good" - not that stuff you get in the grocery store!) All the better that it might also be good for me, too. I think the Spaniards have the right idea -- start the day with a few cloves of fresh, raw, delicious garlic, a huge drizzle of fresh extra virgin olive oil, and whole grain bread. As I found out years ago when I returned from my studies in Spain -- the better the ingredients, the better the outcome -- in more ways than one. So, keep the vampires at bay -- for a long, long time. Eat Garlic! Live Well! (c) ChefShop.com, 2010 Keywords: Anselmo's, Hard Neck Garlic, Bailey Roc, Brown Tempest, Anselmo Rose
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