23 August, 2011
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Fresh Garlic & Bronchitis
Bronchitis was first named in 1808, although there are references to bronchitis as far back as ancient Greece, where it was depicted as a disease of excess mucous. Ancient remedies for bronchitis included cinnamon, pepper, turpentine, coffee, potassium nitrate and garlic, according to an article in the professional journal "Respiration." From these early treatments came some of the medications your doctor prescribes today, especially the therapies that dealt with an overproduction of phlegm.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air passages in your lungs. If a viral infection is the cause, it is called acute bronchitis and may be referred to as a chest cold or upper respiratory infection. Acute bronchitis is time-limited, usually gone in a few days to a few weeks. The cause of chronic bronchitis is usually smoking and is characterized by a wet, persistent cough that can scar the lungs and may eventually lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD.
Organosulphur compounds are responsible for fresh garlic’s potential medicinal uses. Cutting or mincing garlic releases the enzyme alliinase that forms allicin, leading to the creation of the organosulphur compounds. Heating cut garlic can make the alliinase inactive, so allowing fresh garlic to stand for 10 minutes prior to cooking permits the formation of allicin. Fresh garlic is also rich in vitamins A, C and the B vitamins. It contains copper, iron, potassium, tin, selenium, calcium, germanium, aluminum and sulphur. The average dosage for fresh, minced garlic is 4 g per day, unless prescribed otherwise. Check with your doctor before using garlic as a medicinal remedy.
Acute Bronchitis and Fresh Garlic
There is an extensive list of ailments in which garlic may be effective, although insufficient clinical proof appears to be available regarding many. The list includes asthma, hypertension, tumors, fevers, nausea, vomiting, runny nose, swollen glands, whooping cough, sciatica and more. The University of Maryland Medical Center claims fresh garlic may help acute bronchitis and cites a study where individuals received garlic for 12 weeks over the winter months. These people had 63 percent fewer cases of upper respiratory illnesses or colds and the ones who did become ill recovered a day faster.
Garlic can increase bleeding and is not recommended for people taking an anticoagulant such as warfarin or aspirin. Garlic should also be avoided after surgery. There are various schools of thought on whether pregnant or nursing moms should take garlic. UMMC recommends against it, while others say that cooked fresh garlic in foods is acceptable. Using garlic in any form if you have liver or kidney disease has not been determined. The most overpowering problem with using fresh garlic is the odor.
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