Ashwagandha: Natural Stress Relief And Much More!

Stress relief ashwagandha herb and supplements on a tablerbs

Stress relief ashwagandha herb and supplements on a tablerbs

What’s Ashwagandha? 

 

Withania somnifera, otherwise known as ashwagandha, is an evergreen shrub originating in India, parts of Africa, and the Middle East. Its roots and fruits are highly revered and often used in Ayurvedic medicine, one of the oldest holistic medicinal approaches in the world. 

 

This ancient medicinal herb has found its way into modern-day uses as well thanks to its whole body healing properties. Easily found in supplement form at your local grocery store, ashwagandha is probably best known for its ability to relieve stress. 

 

But Ashwagandha has plenty of other uses, too! Over recent years, this herb has been seeing an increase in popularity across Western medicine, all due to its effectiveness.

 

So why should you include it in your daily, self-care regime?

 

Reduces Arthritis Pain

 

A study conducted in India found that participants with rheumatoid arthritis reported fewer tender & swollen joints, lower pain scores, decreased self-assessed disability scores, and reduced ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) scores

 

ESR refers to a measure of inflammation in a patient and is tested by how fast red blood cells sediment (or settle) at the bottom of a test tube over the course of an hour. Normal cells sediment in a relatively slow fashion, but people that experience a lot of inflammation (like those with rheumatoid arthritis) will find that red blood cells settle much faster.  

 

Its anti-inflammatory properties are well documented across many animal studies, as its healing effects continue to impress scientists worldwide. Ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory properties are fantastic for people with severe joint pain. 

 

It is also believed to assist in preventing pain signals from traversing the central nervous system, meaning that overall pain is also reduced. 

 

Boosts Your Immune System 

 

Ashwagandha’s has the remarkable ability to reduce inflammation, yet it plays a much larger role than just aiding with arthritic pain.

 

Ashwagandha can decrease c-reactive proteins (CRP) in your blood, a common inflammation marker. CRP is a protein created in the liver and released into the bloodstream as a response to inflammation. Increased levels lead to swelling, pain, and all those other uncomfortable symptoms that come with it. 

 

This medicinal herb has also made notable results toward the improvement of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells. These NK cells are a type of lymphocyte (white blood cell) and part of the innate immune system important for rejecting virus-infected cells and tumors. By increasing the number of these NK cells, ashwagandha assists your immune system in fighting illness.

 

Improves Strength & Muscle Mass 

 

That’s right, adding ashwagandha to your life might help you get fit and drop some extra pounds!

 

After 8 weeks of administering a root extract, participants saw their speed and muscle strength increase by almost 10%, in comparison to the placebo group. 

 

Another 30-day study saw a significant increase in muscle activity and more than doubled their body fat reduction percentage

 

Increases Fertility in Men 

 

Give your little swimmers a fighting chance!

 

The use of ashwagandha resulted in higher sperm counts and increased sperm mobility during the course of one infertility study of men. It also leads to higher testosterone levels, a key component of a healthy reproductive system in men. 

 

Not only that, but the herb can increase the quality of sperm over time. One 3-month study saw a 14% rise in partner pregnancy after introducing ashwagandha supplements!

 

 

Helps with Cancer Treatment 

 

The herb has been used to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells, (just like garlic!). By reducing the cells’ ability to resist this death stage, it can slow or stop the spread of cancer. 

 

Ashwagandha also interrupts new cancer cell growth, an important step in treating the disease. The herb interrupts the functions of cancer cells by increasing internal formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

 

While human studies are still ongoing, research conducted on mice with ovarian tumors found that ashwagandha not only prevented the cancer’s spread to other vital organs but also resulted in a 70-80% reduction in tumor growth. And this occurred whether the herb was provided as the only treatment or in conjunction with other cancer medications! 

 

Improves Brain Function 

 

Ashwagandha helps protect us from failing memory and general brain function degradation. It’s given to patients in traditional Ayurveda who need to boost their memory. Why does it have this effect? 

 

Free radicals are molecules that are harmful to the body in large numbers. Damage they cause leads to a variety of degenerative diseases and issues such as cancer, asthma, senile dementia, atherosclerosis, degenerative eye disease, and more. Our bodies naturally produce antioxidants which target these free radicals and destroy them. 

 

Ashwagandha have been proven to promote antioxidant activity, meaning free radicals have a much more difficult time attacking our bodies and we stay healthier. 

 

One study conducted over 2 months with 50 adult participants gave 300 mg of ashwagandha to one group and a placebo to the second. After receiving this dose twice a day for the duration of the study, the group consuming ashwagandha showed significant improvement to attention, general memory, and even task performance

 

Performance, choice discrimination, and reaction time was also improved by adding ashwagandha supplements into the daily routine in another study. Twenty healthy adult men were given 250 mg of this herbal extract twice a day (so 500 mg total per day) over the course of 2 weeks. The improvements were observed through testing, both before the program started and after the study was finished. 

 

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels 

 

Reducing blood sugar is important for optimal muscle health, fighting diabetes, and overall well-being

 

While research is still ongoing, several studies have already shown ashwagandha’s ability to improve blood sugar levels.

 

When compared to patients who received placebo pills, those who took ashwagandha supplements saw a lower average fasting blood sugar level. The study involved schizophrenic patients over the course of 4 weeks. 

 

 

Improves Stress and Anxiety 

 

Of all ashwagandha’s healing abilities, it’s probably best known for its efficacy for reducing a person’s stress and anxiety. Animal studies found that it regulated chemical signaling in the nervous system, in turn blocking stress pathways to the brain.

 

It can also alleviate symptoms of both acute and chronic stress and anxiety. 

 

Insomnia (a common stress and anxiety side effect) and anxiety were reduced by 69% for chronic stress patients who took an ashwagandha supplement. And after only 60 days! The placebo group, for comparison, only saw an 11% reduction in the same amount of time. 

 

Another incredible study involving 39 participants found that over 6 weeks, 88% of the group receiving ashwagandha supplements reported lessening anxiety

 

This healing herb is also a good option for improving stress and anxiety because it can lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol is released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. If those levels become inflated (or even stay that way because of chronic stress), you can also start to see other side effects such as more fat collecting in your abdomen and increased blood sugar levels. 

 

After just 60 days another research group of adults diagnosed with chronic stress lowered their cortisol levels by an average of 30%.

 

So by adding this herb to your daily routine, it can not only combat the toxic cortisol levels but also promotes regulated chemical signaling for the nervous system. 

 

Summary 

 

Like many other traditional Ayurvedic herbs, ashwagandha has seen an increase in popularity among western medicine in recent years. It improves a variety of body-wide functions, like boosting your immune system and memory, while reducing stress and anxiety levels. 

 

Just make sure that while you’re keeping your body healthy, you keep your mind and spirit healthy too!

 

Daily meditation and prayer can also uplevel your vibrations and help you feel at the top of your game. Use these free rituals, mantras, prayers, and more to awaken yourself and become more in tune with the world and universe around you

 

Start empowering yourself now and feel a lifetime of change as you shift your reality for the better! 

 

Remember that you are the embodiment of light and love! Seek forgiveness of everything, own your power, set boundaries, stand strong in the face of challenges, and remain drenched in gratitude!

12 Habits That Harm Your Immune System

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habits-that-harm-immune-system-health
Avoid habits that can harm or weaken your immune system. A Shutterstock Licensed Image

What does your immune system do?

Your immune system is an expansive, complicated network of organs, tissues, and cells that work together to fight harmful germs and other invasive antigens that can make you sick. 

It’s your immune system’s job to protect you, but it can only do so effectively when it’s healthy. There are plenty of ways to protect against viruses and strengthen immune responses, such as introducing probiotics and antiviral herbs to your diet. 

We can also cause damage and weaken the body’s defense if we expose our body to unhealthy life and eating habits. Being more mindful of how we treat our bodies can lead to less sickness and increased longevity. 

So what are you currently doing that interferes with normal immune system activity? Here are some of the more common reasons our immune system might be out of balance.

1. Excessive Amounts of Sugar

We’ll start with an easy one. If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard “sugar is bad for you!” hundreds of times in your life. People are quick to point out that it can lead to diabetes and obesity, but the truth is that it can also reduce your immune system’s defense.

Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are the immune system cells that fight all kinds of foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. So it’s scary to think that your immune system could be ineffective for any amount of time–but that’s exactly what a study conducted by Loma Linda University found could happen. They found that with as little at 100 grams of sugar (roughly equivalent to a liter of soda) your immune system could be 10-50% less effective at fighting off invaders. For up to 5 hours after ingesting it! 

In that time it would be so much easier for a virus to slip by and get you sick. And to make matters worse, sugar competes with another vital component of your white blood cells–Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C in these cells are necessary for the destruction of bacteria and viruses. However, it shares a similar chemical structure with sugar, so they end up competing for space in your immune cells. More sugar means less Vitamin C, leading to a crippled immune system. 

2. Cigarettes & Marijuana

When your immune system isn’t working at its best, you’re more likely to get sick,  suffer more severe symptoms, and have longer-lasting illnesses

Smoking can throw your immune system out of balance. Along with all of the other health risks associated with smoking, nicotine is a known immunosuppressive. Just like sugar, it inhibits your body’s ability to fight off microscopic pests. It also reduces antioxidant levels in your blood.  

Marijuana alters immune cells found in your blood. The question around whether or not this change is beneficial or harmful is still being debated, but animal studies show marijuana suppresses inflammation and immune system function. If this is the same for humans, all of the issues surrounding poor immune health we discussed before could start to affect you. 

3. Caffeine

You may be surprised to find out that when consumed in moderation, caffeine helps to regulate the immune system. It also contains antioxidants that help prevent disease and cancers. 

But don’t go reaching for that guilt-free soda quite yet. 

If you drink caffeine in excess, it will have an opposite, harmful effect on your immune system. How do you know what qualifies as “too much”? According to the Mayo Clinic, 400 mg is around the safe average for healthy adults. If you need a visual to help compare, they equate it to 4 cups of coffee, two energy drinks, or 10 cans of soda. 

Straying from these levels can lead to major issues. High caffeine levels make your body release increased amounts of cortisol. This stress hormone is designed to give you physical energy to exert in times of high stress, so it dumps your body’s store of fat and sugar. Immune suppression, high blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, skin breakouts, and weight gain. 

Excessive caffeine can also cause anxiety, insomnia, stomachache, panic attacks, nervousness, and addiction. 

If you feel like you can’t let go of your 12 daily coffee refills start by moving to drinks that naturally have less caffeine or set limits on how much you’re consuming. Try an herbal tea or another healthy alternative. You can also meditate if you’re feeling off or imbalanced to strengthen spiritual, emotional, and physical health.  

4. Red Meat

As with several other items on this list, there is a nutritional benefit to eating moderate amounts of red meat. It provides a source of proteins, vitamins, and iron. The issue arises when you eat too much of it, and over a long period of time.

Red meat has been linked to increasing cancer growth for as long as most of us probably remember. The cause is thought to be a sugar molecule found in lamb, beef, and pork skin called Neu5Gc. It isn’t produced by your body naturally, but it’s found in cancerous tissues. Red meat has incredibly high levels of the molecule while poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables didn’t have any.  

Neu5Gc sparks a reaction from the immune system when consumed and it sends antibodies to get rid of the foreign invader. The inflammation that results from this response, if chronic, contributes to cancerous tumor growth. An animal study proved that the mice receiving Neu5Gc developed 5 times as many tumors.  

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking water flushes toxins and waste materials like sugar and salt. Otherwise the body has trouble eliminating the debris and it starts to compound, making you more susceptible to infection and sickness. 

Being dehydrated reduces energy levels too. Without energy you’re more likely to skip important exercise and experience a sluggish immune system. 

Drink more water! It’s easy to accomplish and you can set reminders throughout the day if you’re worried you’ll forget. Your body will thank you and you’ll feel so much better. 

6. Lack of Electrolytes

We routinely get all the electrolytes we need from the food and drink we consume. Which is great because these slightly charged particles play a key role in quite a few functions. They help maintain hydration levels and carry electrical impulses all around the body.

If your electrolytes get out of balance, you can experience a whole slew of nasty effects like:

  • Weakened musclesbook-live-intuitive-reading-with-paul-wagner
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, or twitches
  • Joint and bone disorders
  • Insomnia or other sleep disorders
  • Incorrect hydration levels
  • Less effective immune system
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue

An electrolyte imbalance could be a sign of underlying medical conditions, but we also need a boost after strenuous exercise or prolonged heat exposure. Our digestive systems slow as we age, which can make it more difficult for our bodies to maintain a proper balance. 

Maple, coconut, and birch water are naturally high in electrolytes, making them a healthy way to replace the missing molecules. Especially for long-term electrolyte replacement. Don’t rely too heavily on other common solutions like sports drinks because they usually contain a ton of unhealthy sugar.

7. Skipping the Workout

Regular exercise is a common health recommendation, tied to a wide range of benefits throughout the body. Heart health, lower blood pressure, weight loss, and immune system defense are just a few.  

A sedentary lifestyle interrupts this natural flow and hurts you as a result. Working out improves circulation so immune cells can travel faster and work more efficiently. If you’re sitting down for most of the day, every day, your circulation could suffer, resulting in blood having a more difficult time maneuvering around the body.

You don’t have to throw a bunch of money at a gym membership you’ll never use. Home workouts are easy to find online and include almost any topic you can think of, from yoga to dance routines. Take a stroll through a nearby park or even your neighborhood if you really don’t like exercising.  

8. Sleeping Too Little

Everyone requires different amounts of sleep to allow their body to fully recover from the day before, but 6 to 8 hours is typically recommended. Any less than this, especially over a long time, can cause negative reactions in your body. 

Sleeping too little increases the chances of getting sick and the risk of chronic diseases. It’s believed this is directly connected to the fact that not sleeping interrupts immune system functions. 

Short-term sleep deprivation makes you more likely to catch a cold or flu, increases your chance of infection, and can even slow the speed of healing. If it becomes a long-term problem, people can also find themselves at risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression.

Despite what some people believe, your body can’t just “get used to” surviving on little to no sleep. In fact the continued inflammation caused from little sleep can create more issues for long-term health.

9. Skipping the Naps

Who put the idea in people’s minds that naps are only for kindergarten? So many adults find themselves fighting off the urge to nap during the day, even after a night of poor sleep. But it’s important to listen to the signals your body is sending–it needs that sleep to perform efficiently and keep you healthy. 

A short nap is a healthy way to make up for that crucial sleep you missed the night before. One study compared the levels of cytokines (inflammatory molecules) and norepinephrine (a stress hormone) between two groups. Both were limited to only two hours of sleep on the night of the study, but only one group was allowed to take 2 thirty minute naps the following day. 

Both levels are typically higher after a poor night’s sleep, but the nappers tested normal when the cytokines and norepinephrine levels as if they never lost that crucial sleep.

10. Vitamin Deficiency

Proper vitamin and nutrient levels are absolutely crucial for overall health and an efficient immune system. Nutrients like iron, folic acid, zinc, copper, selenium, and Vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E are all vital to give your body a proper defense against infections and viruses. 

A single deficiency is enough to throw off your immune system and change its response. So the risk of viral, bacterial, and infections increases for those with a poor diet and no additional supplements. 

Fresh, quality food is the best way to ensure ongoing immune health. Frozen fruits and veggies are a great substitute if there’s no fresh produce near you or you’re tired of forgetting things in the back of the fridge until they’ve rotted. Companies freeze them at their peak ripeness so they retain nearly the same amount of nutrients.

Multivitamins and supplements shouldn’t be used as a full substitute for a healthy diet, but they’re great if you’re unable to frequently eat meals that contain the nutrients your body needs. It’s important to remember that taking a supplement once isn’t going to do anything to change your vitamin levels. It’s something you have to stick with for a while to see results, just like you need to maintain a healthy diet over a period of time to notice a difference. 

Stay away from megadose supplements. They contain far more than the recommended dietary allowances which can inhibit immune system efficiency and cause other harmful side effects. 

11. 5G Technology

Some scientists say that we need stronger exposure limits in place to protect us from the effects of radio frequency radiation (RFR). Over 500 studies have found negative biological and health effects caused by RFR exposure and  long-term radiation is also possibly linked to cancer.

5G technology will be combining the older technology of microwaves with the new tech, millimeter waves. The amount of cell antennas required to maintain the service will expose people to this new millimeter wave radiation for the first time. 

There is still research being done to find the extent of risk when it comes to 5G technology, but limiting exposure will help you protect yourself and your immune system from potential harm.

12. Drinking Ice Cold Water

It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, but how we consume it can be just as important. 

Icy cold water may sound delicious, but it can slow your body’s digestion and hinder its ability to absorb nutrients. As your body tries to correct this imbalance, you can experience water loss that leads to dehydration. Chilled water too soon after finishing a meal can solidify fats from the food and make it difficult for you to break down the unwanted substances. This extra energy being exerted may have a negative impact on your immune system and make you more open to sickness.

Ancient Chinese medicine believes that mixing cold water with warm food creates an imbalance in our bodies. To combat this, room temperature water or hot beverages like tea often accompany meals.

If you’re feeling under the weather, warm drinks are also good at fighting congestion by making it easier to breathe. Cold water, on the other hand, has been found to thicken nasal mucous and makes the congestion feel worse.

You should also skip the cold water if you suffer from migraines or achalasia, as it can trigger or worsen symptoms you’re already suffering from.

Summary

These are just a few simple changes that can make a world of difference in your life. No one likes getting sick or feeling run down, and by avoiding bad habits and unhealthy substances you improve your ability to fight off viruses and bacteria.

It’s wonderful to work on your physical health, but make sure not to neglect other aspects of yourself like emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness. Finding the perfect balance can be difficult at first, but over time you’ll find that as you start to feel better these things will come more naturally to you.

Good luck on your journey to a healthier, happier you!

 

Health Benefits of Garlic That Can Improve Your Life

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Improve your life by adding garlic to your diet. A Shutterstock Licensed Image

Garlic is a common flavoring agent for cooking. So much so, that you may even have some in your home already. But did you know that it’s also good for improving your overall health and well-being? From boosting your immune system and heart health to its antioxidant nature, garlic seems to do a little bit of everything.

So, what makes garlic so good for you in the first place? What benefits can you expect to see? See if the following benefits convince you to overcome that garlic breath smell and elevate your health.

What Makes Garlic Medicinal?

Garlic has been used for thousands of years to heal and treat a variety of conditions. Why is it so special?

The power of garlic comes largely from compounds found in the vegetable. The whole cloves already contain the compound alliin, but the magic happens when you actually crush, slice, chew, or otherwise grind the garlic. This converts the alliin to allicin, a compound that’s responsible for garlic’s distinctive taste and smell.

It’s no surprise then that allicin is the main active ingredient in garlic.

This unstable compound transforms into other, more stable compounds that contain Sulphur. These are largely believed to be the reason behind garlic’s medicinal qualities and there are many studies that back this up.

What positive changes could garlic add to your life?

Boosting Your Immune System

Cold and flu season comes around every year so it’s important to keep your body as prepared as possible to fight back. It’s even more imperative right now with the pandemic going on to ensure your body is ready to take on these pesky viruses.

 In fact, if you’re interested in learning other ways to prepare your body for a pandemic or potential emergencies, there are a lot of ways to do just that (don’t worry, garlic is on the list!).

It’s no secret that viruses are behind the ill effects of both colds and the flu. That’s why it’s helpful to boost the number of T Cells found in your bloodstream, something that garlic can help with. T Cells are an integral piece of the immune system that fights viruses, so more T Cells means more defense.

 A study published by nutrition scientists in 2012 found that participants taking aged garlic extract not only experienced less severity when it came to cold and flu symptoms, but that those symptoms were also quicker to leave when compared to the people not using the garlic.

This superfood can also help your immune system by reducing stress levels. Whether it’s bills, work, or an unexpected mishap, life can be stressful. But constantly living under the burden of it can and will lower your ability to fight off viruses. And the last thing you want to deal with when you’re already under other stress is the idea of getting sick.

 Don’t worry though, garlic can help you here too!

It can fight off that stress and fatigued feeling by affecting your adrenal glands. It turns out that eating garlic alters your adrenal glands’ stress response. They’ll produce less stress hormones and that means you’ll start feeling less lethargic. Your immune system will be able to go back to fighting off viruses and bacteria in no time.

Anti-Cancer Properties

You read that right, garlic has even been found to have properties that aid in cancer prevention. That’s one of the reasons why it’s often included on lists of beneficial superfoods.

Garlic is antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and contains natural antioxidants. And while the role of garlic in cancer treatments is still being researched to find the scope of its effectiveness, its healing properties have already provided positive results in many studies.

For example, garlic has already proven its ability to assist in gene repair. This is especially important to note when discussing cancer, since it mutates important genes. By boosting DNA repair we’re able to combat some of that damage as it occurs.

A study as recent as 2018 shows that garlic enhanced the expression of tumor suppressor genes over the course of the experiment. It can change the cancerous cell’s behavior and lead to slowed growth and metastasis of the tumors.

Unfortunately, not all cancers will be affected by increasing your garlic intake, but you can potentially reduce your risk for:

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  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Glioblastoma
  • Rectal cancer
  • Lung cancer

Heart Health

Increasing the amount of garlic in your diet also promotes a healthy heart. Research has found garlic to perform better than placebos at lowering total cholesterol levels and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

There’s also evidence that garlic supplements have the ability to reduce the thickness of your blood and lower platelet aggregation (a fancy way of talking about blood cells sticking together). People with hypercoagulability, a condition where a person’s blood is thicker and stickier than normal, can be prone to excess blood clots. Garlic’s capacity to both thin blood and reduce the number of sticky cells means they’ll experience lower risk for the dangerous clots.

 

 

Garlic also has a significant stabilizing effect on arrhythmias in animal studies. While it hasn’t been confirmed in humans yet, we know that there are many diseases related to irregular heartbeats that could stand to benefit from these results. Less stress on the heart can mean a longer, more fulfilling life.

Clear Skin & Combat Acne

Remember allicin, the stinky but delicious main ingredient of garlic? Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it can help fight off the bacteria that causes acne. It can also help the skin receive nutrients more easily by improving blood circulation, leading to a clear complexion. Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the appearance of blemishes, too.

There are also other vitamins and minerals found in garlic that’s good for healthy skin, like Vitamin B-6 and C, copper, zinc, and selenium.

At this point you’re probably thinking that you don’t want smelly garlic all over your face, even if it means clear skin. The good news is that you can get a lot of the benefits just from ingesting it. But if you want to get rid of a particularly annoying pimple, there are also topical treatments that incorporate garlic.

If you do go the topical spot treatment route, make sure to test it out on a small non-obvious area first to ensure there are no adverse effects. If it starts burning or stinging, wash the area immediately.

Clear Skin & Combat Acne

As we age, some areas of the brain connected to cognitive functions like planning, learning, and memory may shrink. Narrowing arteries can lower the amount of blood flowing to the brain. Inflammation and free radical damage can also take a toll on our brain over the years.

Garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties help to increase memory and cognitive functions by tackling these problems. It can prevent or slow decline due to Alzheimer’s Disease, another well-known memory loss illness.

We’ve already looked at garlic’s cancer prevention capabilities, but it’s worth noting that a 2013 study demonstrated its ability to protect against glioblastoma—the most aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer. A compound in garlic called dilly trisulfide (DATS) is not only effective at preventing tumor growth but also causes apoptosis (cell death) in active glioblastoma. As an added bonus it doesn’t have any adverse effects on liver function either, a potential side effect of other treatments.

Warning/Risks

Any time you’re looking to introduce a new supplement into your diet you should be mindful of interactions it might have with other supplements and medications you’re already taking. Consult with a doctor before adding garlic to your health regimen to make sure you’re taking proper doses and that it won’t have negative interactions with any health issues you have.

Excessive garlic consumption can cause side effects, with bad breath and body odor being the most common (good for maintaining that six feet of social distancing, but not all that great for your loved ones!). Eating raw cloves, especially on an empty stomach, can cause gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acid reflux, and heartburn.

If you’re going into surgery, be mindful of garlic’s blood thinning properties as it may increase bleeding during the operation. Stop using the supplement at least a full week before the procedure and follow up with your doctor if you feel unsure.  

Summary

Garlic is more than just a smelly vegetable that makes food delicious. It’s been used as a medicinal supplement across the world for thousands of years. Its benefits have drawn enough attention that hundreds of studies have been done, solidifying its healing properties in science.

It contains important vitamins and minerals and provides health benefits for nearly every part of your body. Compounds inside like allicin and DATS are proven to assist and reduce the risk of many life-threatening illnesses.

The exact preparation and dose recommended differs from treatment to treatment. There’s ongoing research that is trying to discover the best way to maximize garlic’s healing properties.

Overall it’s an easy, inexpensive way to boost your physical health and defend against many viruses and diseases.

Meditation, prayer, laughing, and a good snuggle session are also great ways to heal—physically, emotionally, and spiritually!