by Sophie Playle
Garlic, vinegar and honey have all been used as both food and medicine in numerous cultures over thousands of years. Their healing properties should not be undermined by modern medicine; often the most simple and natural treatments are the most effective.
This is considered to be a Super Food. Garlic is highly antibacterial, and studies have proven that it aids immunity, helps prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even cancer due to the presence of allylic sulfur compounds which serve as an anticarcinogen. It has also been reported that garlic can be used to help control blood sugar levels, so along with medical advice, it can be used to help those with diabetes.
Garlic has huge antibacterial properties. It can help heal infections, and can treat parasitic infections such as intestinal worms, as well as fungal infections such as thrush.
Garlic doesn't even have to be consumed for the benefits to work: contact with the skin also allows absorption. Garlic is a very effective treatment for verrucas and warts due to its antibacterial properties: simply place a slice of raw garlic over the wart and hold in place with a plaster, and replace every day.
Garlic is also a traditional aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, this doesn't pair well with the famously unpleasant smell of garlic breath! However, a few mints can cover the odour well, and there are even odourless garlic capsules available in health food shops which can be used as a daily supplement.
The health benefits of garlic are more effective when the garlic is consumed raw or only lightly cooked.
Vinegar's use as a traditional household cleaner highlights its highly antibacterial properties. In China, they often use it to help stop the spread of infections such as SARS. Like garlic, it also may help lower cholesterol due to the acetic acid it contains. Many studies have proved that an application of vinegar to a meal helps satiate hunger, causing less food to be consumed, therefore acting as an aid for dieting.
Apple Cider vinegar has been reported to help joint pain and arthritis. Simply drink a glass of water containing two teaspoons of vinegar before each meal. This concoction is also known to relieve stomach aches.
For over 100 uses of vinegar, including health benefits, visit this useful website:
http://www.angelfire.c om/cantina/homemaking/vinegar. html
Honey contains protein, vitamins and minerals, but no cholesterol, and has both antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
Recent studies have proven the beneficial nature in some applications of honey, including as antibacterial treatment for burns and ulcers. The science behind this is that honey has osmotic properties: it withdraws water. Water molecules strongly react with the sugars in honey, leaving little water available for microorganisms, which means the infection-causing bacteria is literally dehydrated to death by honey.
Honey is also traditionally used to alleviate sore throats. Mixing two teaspoons of honey and one teaspoon of vinegar in a mug of boiled water and sipped slowly helps heal and sooth throat infections.
However, honey can be dangerous to babies due to C. botulinum spores which may be harmful to the undeveloped immune systems of infants.
In all, garlic, vinegar and honey are some of nature's best medical remedies and preventatives. Consuming the right quantities aids general immunity and promotes good health, in addition to the many individual applications and uses these three super foods have.