December 12, 2007

Information from Master Herbalist Gwen Porritt’s master’s thesis
According to Jethro Kloss’ tome “Back to Eden,” for nearly as long as there has been a written record of history, garlic has been mentioned as a food.  It probably originated in central Asia, but now is cultivated in many countries and grows wild in Italy and southern Europe.
During the time of the Pharaohs, when Egypt was at the peak of its power, garlic was given to the laborers and slaves who were building the great pyramids in order to increase their stamina and strength as well as to protect them from disease.  In the fifth century, A.D., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that on an Egyptian pyramid there are inscriptions in Egyptian characters describing the amount of garlic, onions and radishes consumed by the workers and slaves who were building the great pyramid of King Khufu (Cheops).
The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical papyrus dated sometime around 1500 B.C., mentions garlic 22 times as a remedy for a variety of diseases.  Hippocrates, Aristotle and  Aristophanes all mentioned the importance of the use of garlic.  The Bible clearly states that for 400 years, (probably around 1730 to 1330 B.C.) while the Israelites were slaves in Egypt and no doubt being forced to help build some of the pyramids, garlic as well as some of the other herbs in the same family, was part of their diet.
Garlic contains vitamins A, C and B, as well as the minerals copper, iron, zinc, tin, calcium, potassium, aluminum, sulphur, selenium, and germanium.  Anciently, it was used in both healing and nutrition, as it was known to build physical strength and energy.
Garlic equalizes blood circulation, and it is a useful expectorant for all respiratory affections and infections.  Garlic has a special affinity for the respiratory tract, beneficially influencing bronchial secretions, though it rapidly diffuses throughout the whole system.
Garlic stimulates the gastric juices and has active carminative properties to correct any fermentative and gaseous conditions in the stomach.  It arrests intestinal putrefaction and infection, while stimulating the healthful growth of the friendly bacterial such as acidophilus, bifido bacterium, etc. 
The garlic oil is reportedly so popular in Russian medicine that it is referred to as Russian penicillin, and the hospitals and clinics have used the volatile garlic extracts almost exclusively in the form of vapors and inhalants.
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