Modern medicine is very effective, but it comes at a price – almost every medicine can cause a whole host of side effects. This is why more and more people are now turning to systems of natural medicine like Ayurveda, as they are based on use of herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients that do not have any side effects, at least when used in moderation. In addition to natural remedies, Ayurveda also suggests several formulations to prevent sickness and improve overall health. Garlic milk has been mentioned in several Ayurvedic texts as it offers a wide range of health benefits and is easy to prepare.
Health Benefits of Garlic Milk
1. Treats & Prevents Acne
We still do not know the exact cause of acne, but scientists have linked this irksome skin condition to a type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). Garlic contains several sulfur compounds that help to prevent the proliferation of these acne-causing bacteria, which in turn helps to reduce the number of acne breakouts. Drinking garlic milk will help to prevent acne as the compounds in this mixture are absorbed by the blood and then excreted from the body through sweat. This allows the compounds in garlic milk to destroy the bacteria that are deep within your skin pores to give you a clear and smooth complexion.
2. Prevents Constipation & Bloating
Constipation and bloating are very common problems and are caused by an imbalance of vata dosha in an individual’s body. Vata is associated with cold and roughness, which is why foods with the opposite qualities can help to prevent vata imbalances. Garlic milk is classified as ushna (hot), which means that it has heating properties. Garlic milk is also smooth and heavy, helping pacify vata, which in turn helps to prevent and treat constipation and bloating.
3. Reduces the Risk of the Common Cold & Flu
Garlic milk is often recommended in Ayurveda as an immune-boosting drink, which is supported by research. Drinking garlic milk on a regular basis can help to prevent the common cold, especially during flu season. A recent study found that the compound allicin which is present in garlic helps to reduce the risk of a cold, reduces the severity of the symptoms, and ensures a quicker recovery. The researchers concluded that garlic supplements that contain this compound can prevent attacks from the common cold virus.
Flu afflicted kid sneezing
4. Helps to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Several Ayurvedic texts recommend garlic milk as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. While there was plenty of anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of this treatment, it was only recently that scientists found that a bioactive component in garlic called S-allyl cysteine (SAC) exerted antioxidant effects that may help to resolve erectile dysfunction, especially in diabetic men.
5. Acts as a Natural Aphrodisiac
Garlic may be hailed as a natural aphrodisiac, but garlic breath has quite the opposite effect! Nevertheless, there’s a way you can reap the health benefits without that foul odor. This is where garlic milk steps in. Scientists found that milk components have a deodorizing effect on the sulfur compounds in garlic, which are responsible for its overpowering odor. This means that you can drink garlic milk on a daily basis to enjoy its aphrodisiac effects without worrying about it ruining your breath.
6. Protects the Heart
Garlic is a key component in many Ayurvedic remedies for heart ailments. Over the last decade, several independent research teams have found that garlic has a cardio-protective effect as it alleviates cardiac hypertrophy, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, and other pathological conditions of cardiovascular disease. However, you will need to consume garlic milk on a regular basis in order to enjoy these health benefits of garlic for heart disease.
7. Aids Diabetes Control
There have been several studies on the effects of garlic on diabetes. Garlic has antihyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties and scientists say that garlic may be a valuable natural agent to aid glycemic control and prevent the long-term complications that are associated with this disease. One study on the effect of garlic on diabetes medication found that garlic improves the effects of metformin, which is the most common diabetes medication. Supplementing metformin with garlic reduced blood sugar levels and also caused a drop in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A glass of garlic milk may help diabetics control their blood sugar levels on a long-term basis.
Testing blood sugar levels
8. Could Lower Cancer Risk
There are several studies that suggest that the bioactive compounds in garlic, largely the allylsulfide derivatives, have cancer-preventative effects. The antioxidants in garlic destroy free radicals which damage DNA and cause cancer. Scientists are still unsure about the exact mechanisms of the cancer-protective compounds in garlic, but drinking garlic milk on a daily basis can help to reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
Garlic milk provides a host of therapeutic benefits, but doctors also recommend caution to those on anticoagulant medications as garlic can cause thinning of the blood, which could result in complications. Although there have been no recorded cases of interaction between garlic and these medications, it would still be wise to discuss this with your heath care provider before you begin including garlic supplements or garlic milk in your routine diet.
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- Josling, Peter. “Preventing the Common Cold with a Garlic Supplement: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Survey.” Advances in Therapy, vol. 18, no. 4, 2001, pp. 189–193., doi:10.1007/bf02850113.
- Yang, J., et al. “S-Allyl Cysteine Restores Erectile Function through Inhibition of Reactive Oxygen Species Generation in Diabetic Rats.” Andrology, vol. 1, no. 3, 2013, pp. 487–494., doi:10.1111/j.2047-2927.2012.00060.x.
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- Chan, Jackie Yan-Yan, et al. “A Review of the Cardiovascular Benefits and Antioxidant Properties of Allicin.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 27, no. 5, Aug. 2012, pp. 637–646., doi:10.1002/ptr.4796.
- Kumar, Rahat, et al. “Antihyperglycemic, Antihyperlipidemic, Anti-Inflammatory and Adenosine Deaminase&Ndash;Lowering Effects of Garlic in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with Obesity.” Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 2013, pp. 49–56., doi:10.2147/dmso.s38888.
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