Garlic has been cultivated for centuries and praised for its healing abilities. Could this pungent little bulb be a medical powerhouse?
Garlic is a bulb related to the lily, and considered both a vegetable and an herb. This little plant is so amazing, it earned itself a holiday! April 19th is National Garlic Day, so this week we can celebrate the bold and enticing flavor of garlic.
I could spend an entire month writing about this precious plant, so let's look at some of its most impressive accomplishments, and how you can start utilizing them today.
The healing abilities of garlic are studied around the world and inspired by a long history of potency from healers.
According to the NYU Langone Medical Center,
"From Roman antiquity through World War I, garlic poultices were used to prevent wound infections. The famous microbiologist Louis Pasteur performed some of the original work showing that garlic could kill bacteria. In 1916, the British government issued a general plea for the public to supply it with garlic in order to meet wartime needs. Garlic was called Russian penicillin during World War II because, after running out of antibiotics, the Russian government turned to this ancient treatment for its soldiers"
Garlic contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic compounds. Scientists are also looking to garlic for its anti-cancer properties as well as its ability to slow tumor growth, and boost the immune system. 
HOW TO USE GARLIC FOR YOUR HEALTH
Always cut or crush garlic before use
1. When cut, garlic starts the process of producing allicin , a powerful healing compoundLeave the cut or crushed garlic exposed to the air for 10 minutes before cooking. This will give the garlic time to produce ample amounts of allicin.
2. Don't throw out sprouted garlic, this is a more beneficial state for the garlic plant
As the garlic begins to sprout, the plant changes as it prepares to grow again. 5 days after garlic sprouted, antioxidants and metabolites were increasedIn this stage, the healing properties and cancer fighting compounds are higher and more potent 
3. Consider using black garlic instead
Black garlic is a fermented, and slightly sweet form of garlic. This is even more healing, and can be eaten right out of the husk, cooked, or made into a spread 
4. To shorten the length of a cold, use garlic at the first sign of sniffles.
According to studies, garlic not only reduced the length of a cold, it also reduced the chances of getting a cold for the people who consumed it regularly Garlic based soup is a great way to fight off a cold or flu, so load up for healings sake!
Try out this recipe for a tasty and cold fighting bowl of healing:
Fun Fact: Did you know that you can quickly and easily remove the odor left on hands from garlic by rubbing your hands with a stainless steel object under running water? Give it a try next time you prepare some fresh garlic.
Researchers will continue on the study garlic and how we can best use its power to create medicines that heal and purify the body. We can look forward to more information on using garlic to lower blood pressure, purify blood, blood thinning capabilities, and more at home uses to protect us from infection and cancer.