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What Allicin Can Do for You
PHILLIP DAY: Now winter is upon us, you might have need of Nature's little garlic miracle to treat everything from the common cold to chronic fatigue syndrome and pneumonia. Allicin is the extract of garlic that does all the things you hear garlic doing. Today scientists have stabilised this most ephemeral of compounds to produce a remarkable natural antibiotic capable of treating everything from warts to MRSA. When allicin is combined with beta-sitosterol, a powerful natural statin is produced. Below are some interesting articles and further research on this most intriguing of compounds.
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INDEPENDENT RESEARCH ON THE
You may have heard that garlic provides some heart health benefits - especially for management of high blood pressure. But you may have also heard that garlic studies tend to vary widely in their results - some showing benefits, others not.
New research suggests a reason why those results are varied, and why garlic actually IS a heart healthy dietary choice.
But garlic has a unique characteristic. When you crush a garlic clove, a cascade of chemicals is released, activating the components of garlic that are believed to provide healthy benefits such as protection against bacterial and fungal infections, blood clots, and high blood pressure.
Recent laboratory research at the University of Alabama in the US reveals the likely mechanism that makes garlic a heart helper. And according to a HealthDay News report, the UA team began their research just as you might begin making a pungent marinara sauce: They crushed the garlic.
The published study (in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) is a bit weighed down with highly technical chemistry jargon. So I'll do what we laymen do: I'll keep it simple. After exposing human red blood cells to crushed garlic, the UA tests showed that the cells converted garlic-derived components called organic polysulfides into hydrogen sulfide, a molecule that protects blood vessels by reducing inflammation and relaxing vessel walls.
IT'S ALL IN THE PREPARATION
According to Dr David Kraus, the lead UA researcher, if garlic is not prepared properly its benefits are negligible or lost altogether. And the key, apparently, is in the crushing. Dr. Kraus told HealthDay that he and his team not only crushed the garlic used in their study, they allowed about 15 minutes for the resulting chemical cascade to fully take effect.
Dr. Kraus also noted that some garlic trials have tested the vegetable as an LDL-lowering agent. Such research is bound to fail, he says, because the trials are looking for garlic activity that he calls "impossible." Another nutrition researcher confirmed this, telling HealthDay that hydrogen sulfide has no effect on cholesterol.
Of course, the UA study only gives us an insight into
the effects of properly prepared fresh garlic. But according to Simon
Mills and Kerry Bone in their textbook on botanical medicine, "Principles
and Practice of Phytotherapy," when garlic is dried in powered
form at low temperatures, the garlic enzyme allinase and the active compound
alliin remain intact, converting to allicin in the digestive tract, which
is the same chemical chain of events that follows the crushing of a garlic
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NEBULIZED ALLICIN FOR PNEUMONIA
This technique exposes all the respiratory membranes
to the Allimax's anti-viral, fungal and bacterial affects.
Send patient home with the remains of the Allimax,
instructing them to gargle five times a day using five drops in ¼
cup of warm, but not hot, water.
The pneumonia patient came in complaining of malaise,
lungs "heavy", mildly productive cough with yellow-greenish
sputum, mild sore throat, and frontal headache. His temperature was 99.
His throat and nasal mucosa were red and he had a slight amount of yellow
nasal discharge. Moist rales in all lung fields.
After the Allimax treatment I gave him a prescription
for antibiotics and told him to fill it if he felt worse over the next
few hours or was not better in 24 hours. I called him a few days later
and he said he felt great and never filled the antibiotic prescription.
OTHER AREAS OF RESEARCH: