Not just a popular seasoning, garlic is also powerful, natural therapeutic spice. Research indicates it may help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, and lower heart attack risk by reducing risks of blood clotting. Raw garlic is a potent antibiotic that is especially active against fungal infections. Watch as Dr. Weil explores the benefits of this distinctive medicinal and culinary herb.
Video Transcript: Spices With Dr. Weil – Garlic
Garlic is an old world plant, but it’s widely used throughout the world. We have fresh garlic here, this is dried garlic. I almost always use fresh garlic; I love it in cooking. One thing that’s important to know is that the active principle that does all the good things in garlic is called allicin, and it’s not present in garlic in this form. There’s an inactive precursor that turns into allicin when garlic is crushed and exposed to air. So it’s a good idea when you use fresh garlic to mash it, chop it and let it sit for a bit before you add it to the food, or use it. Garlic is an excellent all-around tonic, it’s good for the cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol slightly, and it has antibiotic effects, antifungal effects. I think it is generally health protective, a very good thing to use. I can’t imagine life without garlic. I tend to add it near the end of cooking because almost anything you do to garlic including drying it or preparing it in supplements, or cooking it lowers the allicin content and potency. So I think fresh garlic is the best way to use it and then to add it near the end of cooking. And I like some raw garlic in things like salad dressings. A very good thing to eat at the onset of a cold; really helps the body fight respiratory infections.