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Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Therapeutic Effect of Garlic. Ancient Egyptians seem to have been the first to cultivate this plant that played an important role in their culture. Egyptians worshipped garlic and placed garlic bulbs in the tomb of King Tutankhamen, Garlic was so highly-prized. it was even used as currency. In ancient Greece and Rome, garlic was used from repelling scorpions to treating dog bites and bladder infections to curing leprosy and asthma. (The History of Garlic: Natures Ancient Superfood). During World War II, garlic was placed in the wounds of soldiers to prevent infection as antibiotics were scarce. Nearly every culture has used garlic for health and longevity, from ancient Chinese to modern-day Americans.
Garlic is one of the most extensively and intensively studied herbs in natural medicine at present. A large compilation of results from both clinical and laboratory studies highlight the protective value of garlic against diseases like heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. Much of the research is aimed at identifying the compounds responsible for the health-protective effects of garlic. Medical studies have shown that garlic can lower cholesterol, prevent dangerous blood clots, reduce blood pressure, prevent cancer, and protect against bacterial and fungal infections.
Garlic contains more than 100 biologically useful chemicals, and are a rich source of allin, allicin, chromium, phosphorous, and sulfur-containing amino acids. Raw garlic has very little biological activity but when you crush, slice, cook or chew garlic cloves, the enzyme alliinase immediately converts alliin into allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic odor. The most active medicinal components of garlic are the sulfur-containing compounds, and the compound allicin is the major source of its antimicrobial action.
Alliin in itself is an odorless sulfur-containing chemical derived from the amino acid cysteine.