Garlic might not be your first choice when it comes to consuming, thanks to the garlic breath that it leaves behind but just before you dismiss it completely let me tell you that garlic is one element that has been valued, for over 5,000 years for its ability to provide benefits ranging from acne free bright and healthy skin to thick, lustrous hair.
Garlic, botanically known as ‘allium sativumis’ or most commonly (lasun/lahsun) in Hindi, ‘Vellulli‘ in Telugu, ‘Poondu‘ in Tamil, ‘Veluthulli‘ in Malayalam, ‘Bellulli‘ in Kannada, ‘Rasoon‘ in Bengali, ‘Lasan‘ in Gujarati, ‘Lasun‘ in Marathi and ‘Lassan‘ in Punjabi. Garlic is rich in compounds like Allicin, Sulphur, Zinc and Calcium that have health benefits, beauty benefits as well as antibiotic and antifungal properties. It is also a rich source of a mineral known as selenium. Selenium is known to fight cancer and it works with vitamin E in the body to boost antioxidant power. Garlic also acts as a blood thinner due to its salicylate content. This enables proper blood flow and enhances circulatory health.
Nowadays, garlic’s reputation as a medicinal herb is significantly growing. This is because it has been confirmed by many researchers to be highly effective in preventing and treating a wide range of health conditions (1). In fact, for decades, garlic has been recommended by natural medicine practitioners all over the world to be included in the daily diet because of its many powerful effects on health. As you may already know, it can fight different types of cancer and lower cholesterol levels naturally (2).
Beauty Benefits Of Garlic
Garlic offers a number of skin benefits.
Garlic has large amount of allicin present in it and allicin has antifungal, anti-aging and skin smoothing benefits. It is also known to increase antioxidant levels of the skin and body.
- Sulphur present in garlic prevents infections and helps in reducing inflammation. It also enhances blood flow thus giving the skin a natural glow.
Here are a few ways in which you can use garlic to get clean and glowing skin
1. Acne, Pimples And Spot Treatment
As I already mentioned, allicin has antifungal properties which can be used to get rid of those stubborn acne that have been giving you sleepless nights.
a. Just cut a freshly piece of raw garlic and apply a little pressure on it to release some juice and then rub this garlic pod onto the affected area. Leave it for 5 minutes and was off with cold water. You’ll see a reduction in redness and swelling within the day. Also, this helps in prevention of acne leaving behind marks on your skin.
b. Another simple technique to get rid of acne using garlic is mixing juice from 2-3 pods of garlic with an equal quantity of white vinegar and applying it to the affected area. The white vinegar helps in maintaining the skin’s pH levels while garlic fights infection.
c. For those who can’t bear the sting that raw garlic causes when used alone, peel a few garlic pods and crush them. Add half tsp. honey and 2 tbsp. yogurt. Apply this mask all over the face and wash within 20 minutes. Instead of using raw garlic you can also use garlic oil or garlic powder. Both these variants are easily available in the market. Never use more than 2-3 drops of garlic oil and half tsp. of garlic powder.
d. To get rid of acne scaring and blemishes, make a paste by taking 4-5 pieces of peeled raw garlic and whacking each one with a mallet so that it breaks open. Do not mince this completely. Boil 250 ml of water and as soon as it comes to a boil, add the garlic. Boil the garlic for 30-35 minutes and make sure that the garlic is always submerged in water. When the garlic has finished boiling, let it cool till it is lukewarm. Now use your mallet or a rolling pin to make a garlic paste and apply this paste liberally on your entire face. The boiling ensures that the garlic is not too strong for the skin.
2. Blackhead And Whitehead Removal
One of the most common skin problems is blackheads. Their occurrence is particularly very high when you have oily skin.
a. Take 2-3 cloves garlic and crush them. Add 1 tbsp. of oatmeal, 1-2 drops of tea tree oil and half tsp. lemon juice. Mix these ingredients with honey to form a thick paste. Spread a thin layer of this paste onto clean skin. After letting it sit for 2-3 minutes, gently exfoliate your face followed by a rinse with warm water. Use this mask thrice in a week to see a visible reduction in blackheads.
You can also add a few drops of garlic juice in the homemade scrub made out of chickpea flour and turmeric.
[ Read: 12 Best Benefits Of Garlic Oil ]
3. Anti-ageing And Pore Minimization
Garlic beauty benefits also include the aid for anti aging. The strong anti-oxidants present in garlic help in reducing the free radical build up in the skin thus keeping it firm and youthful. It also contains sulphur, which helps the body to produce collagen which inturn helps in fighting wrinkles. Garlic also contains a large number of skin-protective polyphenols. Just crush some garlic pods and add the juice into your regular face masks for added goodness and preventing premature aging.
a. Enlarged pores are a common problem in ageing skin. To minimize pores make a paste by mashing together half a tomato and 3-4 pods of garlic. Spread a thin layer of the paste onto your face. After 20 minutes, wash your face with lukewarm water and seal your pores with a final splash of cold water. Tomato and garlic both have antiseptic qualities that help in unclogging the skin, minimizes pores and tightens the skin.
b. Consuming pill-size pieces of garlic every day also works great to protect the skin from damages caused by free radicals, oxidation, and environmental stressors that eventually results in wrinkles.
4. Stretch Mark Removal
There are not many things that you can do to prevent stretch marks from appearing but garlic can definitely help you in getting rid of them. Stretch marks are known to reduce and vanish if you use garlic.
a. Hot oil massage is one of the most commonly suggested home remedy for this problem. To make more effective, add juice from crushed garlic pods in the hot oil that you use. Use this oil regularly on your stretch marks and you will notice the difference in a few weeks. Instead of using garlic juice, you can also use garlic oil. Do take care not to add more than half tsp. of garlic oil.
b. Also increase consumption of garlic in your diet as the allicin and sulphur in garlic are known to increase the elasticity of the skin which prevents the stretch marks from occurring
5. Garlic Benefits For Hair
Garlic is excellent for hair growth. It helps in decreasing hair fall, boosts regeneration of new hair follicles, removes harmful toxins from the scalp, enhances hair texture, and reinforces the hair roots.
The allicin in garlic helps in increasing blood circulation in the scalp which in turn reduces hair fall and helps in stimulating hair growth. Garlic also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help in treating dandruff and itchy scalp. The sulphur present in garlic reduces the severity of dandruff and prevents it from coming back.
a. The simplest way to use garlic for hair is to add a clove of garlic in either your shampoo or conditioner. But make sure that you don’t use the garlic shampoo or conditioner more than twice a month as excessive use of garlic can cause dryness of scalp and hair. To get rid of the overpowering smell and slight tingling sensation that garlic causes, add honey along with garlic when you add it to your conditioner. Honey will also work as a natural conditioner for your hair.
b. To reduce hair fall, soak a handful of garlic cloves in olive oil for a week. After a week, use this oil to massage your scalp and leave it overnight and wash your hair as usual. Use this oil once a week and you will notice a reduction in hair fall.
c. To avoid grey hair, heat some coconut oil and add a few dry black pepper seeds and 3 cloves of garlic. When it cools apply this oil to your hair. Use this hair oil continuously for a few days to note the difference.
6. Garlic Benefits For Nails
The benefits of garlic are not only restricted to skin and hair. Garlic can also help you in getting rid of dull and brittle nails. As it has anti-bacterial properties, it also helps in preventing any kind of cuticle infection.
a. To get rid of yellowness of nails, do the following. Whack garlic clove using a mallet to release the juice and rub this clove all over your fingernails. Repeat this twice a week and you will have long and strong nails in no time.
b. You can also add a few drops of garlic oil or garlic juice in your regular cuticle cream or lotion to reap the benefits garlic has to offer whenever you apply these to your nails.
Beauty may be skin deep, but it is our responsibility to take care of that skin! These can help you be the best version of yourself!
Health Benefits Of Garlic
Garlic can help with cold sores as well. Cut open a raw clove of garlic and apply it directly to the sore. It will sting for a moment, but it will help in healing the sore in no time and will also make sure that it does not get infected.
7. Treats Fungal Infections
The anti-fungal properties of garlic can also be used to treat fungal skin infection such as athlete’s foot and heat bumps on legs. Mince a few cloves of garlic and cover the affected area with it. Cover this with gauze and let it stay overnight. After washing your feet in the morning, apply garlic oil on the affected area and cover with your sock. Repeat this process for a few days and you will notice the redness and itching subsiding.
8. Supports Body Metabolism
Another huge benefit of garlic is that the sulphur in garlic works with B complex vitamins and support body metabolism, which in turn helps in keeping the healthy which shows on your skin and hair and also helps with weight loss. Take juice of half a lemon and mix it with lukewarm water and consume it with two cloves of garlic twice a day for 2-3 months to see results.
9. Cures Hypertension
Garlic contains an active substance called allicin, and it is this substance that is believed to have the ability to lower the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure. According to researchers, allicin can relax blood vessels and reduce the damage and pressure that affect the blood at the same time (3). It can also lower the levels of cholesterol and platelet aggregation by breaking down fibrinolytic activity that takes place in the blood. Allicin is present in raw garlic, but a large percentage is destroyed when it is cooked.
The second reason garlic can effectively prevent high blood pressure is due to its ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide synthase and hydrogen sulphide (4). Experts say that these substances help to relax blood vessels. Garlic also has natural antispasmodic properties that give it the ability to ease spasms that may occur in small arteries and prevent blood clot development.
10. Controls Cholesterol Level
A recent Australian study has found that consuming dried garlic powder or taking garlic supplements regularly for 8 to 12 weeks can reduce as much as 8% cholesterol level in our blood. It can also regulate the presence of triglycerides and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or ‘bad cholesterol’ in our body.
Now, here are some important facts that you should know about garlic and its usage in the reduction of cholesterol levels in our body:
- Aged garlic extract and garlic powder are more effective in lowering cholesterol level than raw garlic cloves.
- Fresh garlic oil is capable of reducing triglycerides level in the body.
- Garlic can reduce total serum cholesterol, LDLs and triglycerides as much as 20 mg/dL in human beings.
- It has no effect on HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol.
- It should be consumed along with a healthy (high in dietary fibers and low in fats) diet.
- The effects are proportional to the dosage or the amount of garlic taken every day.
- It has minimal to no side effects when compared to similar or other cholesterol-lowering drugs.
11. Cures Cold
Garlic contains a sulfuric enzyme known as allicin that blocks the pathogens and plays an important role in fighting viral and bacterial infections(5). A biologically active compound, allicin offers preventive powers to the clove. On the lighter side, the strong odor of garlic keeps people away from you, thereby preventing the transfer of germs.
You can introduce garlic in different forms in your food. Use garlic seasoning, or garlic salt or garlic powder to enhance the flavor of the recipe and also to introduce the goodness of the clove to our diet. However, the best results can be had only when you eat the raw garlic for colds as they have more infection-fighting properties. Use the cloves liberally in soup or herbal tea or drink to get the benefits.
12. Clears Ear Infection
The antiviral and antibacterial components like allicin present in garlic help kill the germs that cause ear infection and subsequent pain (6). It also brings down the inflammation caused by such infections. Ideally, you should make garlic oil at home to get the best results in this regard.
You can also use minced and chopped garlic directly around and on the ear to treat the infection. However, not everyone is comfortable about the pungent and strong aroma of garlic. The oil, when prepared with other natural oils, wouldn’t have that pungent smell anymore.
So the next time you try and run away from garlic, just remember how these smelly little pods have so many health as well as beauty benefits. One thing that you do need to keep in mind is that the most important compound of garlic- allicin is produced only when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. So the intensity of allicin depends on how finely you chop or how intensely the pods have been crushed.
When using garlic keep in mind that allicin starts to degrade immediately after it is produced, so use it immediately. Never use the microwave for any of these home remedies as microwaving the completely destroys allicin and eliminates any health and beauty benefits of garlic.
Also, make sure you use garlic very carefully. It is a very strong anti-oxidant and thus too much exposure to it might leave you with blisters and rashes. It is always advisable to do a patch test to make sure that garlic doesn’t cause any reaction. Due to the strong nature of garlic, these skin and hair masks are not advisable for people who have very sensitive skin.
|Total Fat||0.5 g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.1 g||5.5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.596 mg||12%|
|Vitamin A||9 IU||1%|
|Vitamin C||31.2 mg||52%|
|Vitamin E||0.08 mg||0.5%|
|Vitamin K||1.7 µg||1.5%|
|Calcium||181 mg||18 %|
Hope you might have now realized the beauty benefits of garlic and also its health benefits. Now you will surely overcome the fear factor you have for garlic. Share your thoughts if any in the comment section.
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