Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Forget the flu shot. A soup based on more than 50 cloves of garlic, onions, thyme and lemon will destroy almost any virus that enters its path including colds, flu and even norovirus. Garlic is being hailed for its powers to halt viruses in their tracks. It has gained its reputation as a virus buster thanks to one of its chemical constituents, allicin.
A recent and significant finding from Washington State University shows that garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting disease causing bacteria commonly responsible for foodborne illness.
When the garlic is crushed, alliin becomes allicin. Research shows that allicin helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and also helps prevents blood clots. Garlic can also reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Compounds in this familiar bulb kill many organisms, including bacteria and viruses that cause earaches, flu and colds. Research indicates that garlic is also effective against digestive ailments and diarrhea. What’s more, further studies suggest that this common and familiar herb may help prevent the onset of cancers.
There are two schools of thought as to the best way of preparing garlic to make the most of its medicinal qualities.
Argentinian investigators found it releases its allicin-type compounds when you bake the cloves, while scientists at South Carolina Medical University believe peeling garlic and letting it sit uncovered for 15 minutes produces the highest levels of compounds to fight infection.
The heady aroma certainly revs up the appetite and the first spoonful does not disappoint. Delicious as it is, however, one large bowl of home-made soup is a more than ample meal.