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Archive for September, 2006

Garlic, The Bushman’s Remedy

Posted by Oze Parrot on 28th September 2006

Garlic is a perennial plant of the genus Allium and is closely related to the onion, shallot, and leek. Also called the “stinking rose”, Garlic has been noted since the dawning of time for both it’s culinary uses and medicinal purposes.

Garlic Bulb and CloveGenerally, the form of Garlic that is mostly consumed by the public is “allium sativum”, which put simply means, cultivated Garlic. There are two varieties of this type of Garlic, softneck and hardneck Garlic.

Softneck Garlic is easier to cultivate than the hardneck variety and can also be stored for longer periods. Softnecks can be readily identified by the white papery skin covering the bulb and the number of cloves that make up the bulb. Young shoots of the Garlic plant can be marinated or added to sauces and served as an appetizer.

Garlic has a very hot, pungent flavor when crushed and eaten raw, however the potency of the herb, is diminished by cooking. No matter how you prepare a Garlic dish though, the distinctive taste will be quite apparent and it’s follow on effects for those who eat it will also be present. These days however, diners will accept the odor of garlic because it enhances the taste of most dishes and because of the fact that it is considered to be beneficial to one’s health.

Garlic has long been referred to as the “Bushman’s Remedy” and is widely used by farmers and stockmen as protection against winter colds and ‘flu. Their belief in the defensive qualities of the herb is backed up by Louis Pasteur’s studies, from the nineteenth century, which demonstrated that Garlic killed bacteria under laboratory conditions. Modern studies have confirmed that Garlic definitely has antibiotic properties that effectively combat infections.

The human body does not build up any resistance to garlic, as it does with antibiotics, this makes Garlic a much more effective weapon against many infections.

Australian Bushmen are also aware that Garlic is effective in protecting them from mosquitos bites. A number of commercial garlic sprays have appeared on the market that once sprayed on the body form a protection for mosquito bites.

By eating Garlic, the compound allicin is released into one’s body and this eventually seeps out through the skin’s pores. Consequently, any mosquitoes that do come along will be confounded by one’s body odor and pass by in order to seek a more succulent morsel.

Garlic has had a long reputation for reducing an individual’s blood pressure and it does appear that there is evidence that garlic does reduce blood pressure. Garlic sulphides may be responsible for this or, it could be, that Garlic helps to control one’s cholesterol level.

Then again, Garlic is used as a seasoning and therefore reduces one’s salt intake.

Allicin is the medicinal compound that is derived from Garlic and it is quite a complex compound. Allicin is not present in natural Garlic but is released when a Garlic clove is chopped or crushed. Allicin breaks down very quickly when released and deteriorates rapidly when heated.

Because of Garlic’s adverse social qualities, many people find that it is easier to take garlic supplements in order to gain the benefits of a sustained Garlic intake. Garlic supplements are many and varied, you must read the contents label to ascertain the amount of released allicin.

Figures that state that the product is “equivalent to x number of cloves” are not relevant. The amount of allicin that is released in the supplement is the most important factor. Some Garlic supplements identify the amount of alliin that they contain, this is of little value.

Some capsules that do not contain allicin could still be of value to certain people because of the sulphides that they contain.

If you need garlic supplements, then you should determine the allicin level of the product.

For further information visit our websites at: Vitamin Hunter and Health and Vitamins

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Hepatitis In Humans

Posted by Oze Parrot on 25th September 2006

Hepatitis is a liver disease that is caused by any one of several Hepatitis viruses. Any of the viruses, named hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E virus, attacks the liver, causing it to become enlarged and to malfunction.

Hepatitis A virusThe liver is one of the body’s most important organs. It helps the body by secreting bile that aids in the digestion of food, it stores energy and purifies our blood by removing poisons as the blood circulates through the liver.

The characteristic symptoms of Hepatitis include: feeling lethargic, an increase in body temperature, loss of appetite, a sense of depression, a yellowish taint to the skin and eye whites (jaundiced appearance) as well as thick, dark yellow urine and pinkish colored bowel motions.

However, there are certain people that contract Hepatitis and do not display any symptoms. These people can infect others, the only method of detection of the disease, for them, is through a blood test. In most cases, persons that become infected with Hepatitis will completely recover and their liver will not be permanently damaged.

There is no known cure for Viral Hepatitis, it is one of those viruses that must run it’s course. Mind you, once one has become infected with a strain of Hepatitis, there are certain measures that must be taken to assist the body in overcoming the Virus.

Once a Hepatitis Infection has been confirmed by a doctor then the infected person must have complete rest and perform only minimal exercise. It is also essential that an infected person totally abstain from alcohol.

Being infected with the Hepatitis Virus, the liver is not functioning correctly, and therefore. it cannot purify the blood completely of alcohol. Ultimately, this will cause fibrous tissue to replace functional cells in the liver, which will lead to cirrhosis of the liver, a chronic disease that results in death.

As one’s appetite has been lost, it is recommended that infected persons drink plenty of fluids, particularly fruit juices that have a high vitamin content.

Under the guidance of a health care professional, an infected person’s blood is regularly monitored until the virus has passed. Generally this takes between three and six months.

Extreme physical activity during the course of the infection will extend the recovery period.

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