Monday

Garlic



Garlic is scientifically known as Allium sativum and belongs to the Alliaceae family. Other well-known members of this family include onions, shallots and leeks. Garlic is commonly used around the world for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Garlic is known as ‘Lassan’ in Hindi and is commonly used in curry preparations, chutneys, etc in India. Garlic has a pungent taste and odour.
Garlic is used world-wide in folk medicines and one of the common ailments for which it is used is Diabetes. Modern science has now given us proofs that garlic can indeed be useful in the management of Diabetes.
Garlic has been shown to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's Disease in Mice.
Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal properties of garlic have been now proven. Specifically,
  • Bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, etc have been shown to be susceptible to garlic.
  • Trichophyton (a fungal species which causes Ringworm) and Candida have been shown to be susceptible to garlic oil.
  • In humans, consumption of garlic has been shown to stimulate the immune response which can be beneficial in disease management.
  • Garlic extract can inhibit oral pathogens and help in gum disease management.
  • Garlic has been proven to be effective against bacteria which cause Pneumonia.
  • Due to the anti-bacterial nature of garlic, it can be used as a natural food preservative.
Garlic can be an effective treatment for atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a process in which fatty substances, cholesterol, minerals and waste products get accumulated in arteries causing blockages. Use of garlic by patients suffering from coronary artery disease is beneficial because garlic helps reduce heart rate.
In rats, use of oil extract of garlic, prevented bone mineral loss commonly associated with ovarian hormone deficiency.
Use of garlic has been shown to be inversely related with cancer.
Garlic has been shown to regulate hyperthyroidism in rats.
In rats exposed to high levels of lead, garlic proved to be beneficial in reducing the levels of lead in tissues.
Garlic extract was effective in preventing chromosomal mutations in various studies.
Garlic can be used as a therapeutic agent in preventing complications associated with Sickle- Cell Anemia. To learn more about Sickle-cell Anemia, click here.
Garlic has been shown to have spermicidal activity (ability to kill sperms).
For Nutritional facts on garlic, Click here.

Friday

Coriander



Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is one of the most commonly used spice (seeds) or herb (leaves). It is also called Cilatro in US and in India it is commonly known as Dhania in Hindi. In the western world Coriander is also know as Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley. The spice and/or herb are commonly used in world-wide cuisines. The seeds make up a major portion of most of the Indian mixed masalas, including but not limited to: Garam masala (North), Sambhar masala (South), Rasam masala (South), Goda masala (Maharashtra), etc. The herb or leaves are commonly used in India for garnishing, for preparing snack items and in chutneys. The leaves are normally eaten raw as they loose their flavor on heating, drying or upon long refrigeration.
In India, Coriander is believed to relieve bloating, and is also considered beneficial in diabetes management. Scientific proofs for these beliefs are now trickling in. Coriander has now been scientifically shown to relieve symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In diabetes management it has been shown that Coriander acts in a manner similar to insulin and also helps in the secretion of Insulin.
Compounds present in the fresh leaves, essential oil and aqueous infusions of Coriander have been shown to be anti-bacterial against wide range of bacteria. Coriander extract showed synergistic activity along with synthetic larvicides in killing the larvae of yellow fever mosquito.
Both the leaves and seeds have shown significant anti-oxidative potential. It is also important to know that Coriander may help removal of mercury from aqueous solutions. In case of lead poisoning, Coriander extract has shown the potential to suppress lead deposition.
WARNING: Coriander seeds were shown to prevent implantation of embryos in rats.
For nutritional facts of coriander seeds click here.
For nutritional facts of coriander leaves click here.