The Stinking Rose

by (2007-10-21)

More commonly known as Garlic. One of the many names from antiquity has proven itself as one of the great healers regardless of it's pseudonym. Allium Sativum is its Latin name defining a sulfur containing amino acid, alliin, comes into contact with the enzyme allinase. Garlic has an extremely complex chemistry with more than 160 compounds identified from its bulbs and essential oil.

These days, many martial artists use their food as medicine. Garlic then has to be one of the most important components of the "nutritional first aid kit". Some of the other medicinal actions of Garlic are:

  • May lower blood pressure
  • Has an effect on blood lipids
  • Can be used as a wound healer
  • Prevents yeast infections
  • Improves circulation
  • Decreases the incident of cancer, especially cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract

Garlic has very good antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties to name just a few.

I've used it as a poultice for congestion, crushed it and applied it to flare ups of athletes foot, minor scratches and cuts, and of course taken it for colds and sore throats (not for the faint of heart, or persons with a social life).

It is used in gardens for certain pests. It can not only enhance a meal, but assist in the digestion of that meal. It has the ability to lower cholesterol and maintain "good" cholesterol at a high level and has been shown to lower triglyceride numbers as well.

This great blood purifier can cause problems for certain people. "The stinking rose" is very heating and can irritate the stomach. Most of the uses in culinary dishes don't present any problems unless it's used frequently and in large quantities by those sensitive to it. I would think that pregnant women would want to check with their doctor before any garlic fest that they may take part in. Also, nursing moms may find that their babies can taste the garlic in breast milk. Those with digestive problems, gall stones or liver problems should be aware that garlic can cause them great discomfort.

Take it fresh, or by pill or tincture. But marital artists will find a great benefit from this nutritional wonder while in heavy training, and they won't have to worry about vampires or witches with the evil eye either...