Lower Yours with Garlic

Good News: Garlic Keeps Your High Blood Pressure Levels in Check!

Doctors in Australia have shown garlic may aid in lowering high blood pressure!

Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a perennial herb which is native to central Asia, and is now cultivated worldwide. For thousands of years, garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures. In France in the 1700’s, gravediggers made a drink from crushed garlic and wine. They believed this would protect them from the black plague ravaged Europe. During the first and second World Wars, soldiers were given garlic to ward off gangrene. There is an old superstition in certain areas of Europe, that if a clove of garlic is chewed by a man running a race it will prevent his competitors from getting ahead of him. Hungarian jockeys will sometimes fasten a section of a bulb to the harness of their horses, believing that any other mounts running close to them will fall back as soon as they smell the aroma.

Today garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, improve the immune system, as well as helping curb high blood pressure.

High blood pressure – also known as hypertension - is a potentially dangerous condition. As the heart is overworked, it may eventually lead to hardening of arteries and even heart failure. High blood pressure can also lead to such things as poor vision and kidney failure.

Blood pressure readings are usually seen as a set of two numbers. Normal blood pressure is considered to be around 120/80, and the numbers are measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. The first number is the actual pressure of blood against the artery walls; the second number is the pressure between beats. In older people, the first number generally tends to be higher, and the second number may be lower.

High blood pressure is a common complaint amongst seniors – over half of seniors aged 60 or over have high blood pressure symptoms. And in general, a senior in America has around a 90% chance of being diagnosed with high blood pressure at some point during their lifetime. Although anyone can suffer from high blood pressure, it’s more likely to occur as we get older.

Earlier research has demonstrated that garlic supplements may help lower cholesterol and even reduce high blood pressure in those with untreated hypertension.

A German study found heart attack patients who were given were given garlic oil extract over 36 months showed about a 50% reduction in death rate compared to those who did not take garlic.

Side effects from garlic may include upset stomach, bloating, bad breath, body odor, and a stinging sensation on the skin from handling too much fresh or dried garlic. Handling garlic may also cause skin lesions. Other, rarer side effects that have been reported by those taking garlic supplements include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle aches, dizziness described as vertigo and allergies such as an asthmatic reaction or contact dermatitis.

Garlic should not be taken prior to surgery because of its blood-thinning properties. People with blood disorders should talk to their health care provider before taking garlic supplements.

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