There's a potent health elixir on your health food store shelves that just may surprise you - garlic tincture. Garlic tincture confers a number of important health benefits for all who dare to take this potent concoction.
What Is Garlic Tincture?
Garlic tincture is a potent infusion of garlic in grain alcohol or distilled water. The bulb of the plant is used to make the tincture. Garlic is macerated in one of these liquids, and then pressed through a tincture press to release all of the potent chemicals that make garlic such a boon to good health.
Why Garlic Tincture
There are a number of reasons why you may wish to choose garlic tincture over other garlic delivery forms including fresh garlic, capsules and tablets. While fresh garlic can spoil quite quickly, tinctures keep well when stored in dark glass jars. Tinctures are also believed to be more readily accessible to and more efficiently used in the body than the dried forms of the herb found in pills and capsules.
Does it Smell Like Garlic?
Garlic tincture does, indeed, smell like garlic. One of the primary active ingredients that gives garlic its health properties is known as acillin, which also gives garlic its characteristic potent smell. Since this compound is the most active ingredient in garlic, health-wise, it is necessary that it is left in the tincture for the tincture to confer health benefits. Acillin contains sulfur, which gives garlic its characteristic sharp smell. There's no getting around it. Healthy garlic tincture is smelly garlic tincture.
Health Benefits of Garlic Tincture
Garlic has a huge number of reported health benefits, which are outlined below.
- Garlic has antibacterial/antibiotic properties. The use of garlic for its antibiotic properties goes back centuries to when it was used to ward off the plague and anthrax. This is directly attributed to the sulfur-containing acillins, which are so abundant in this potent herb.
- It is antiviral.
- Garlic is antifungal.
- It can be used as a natural mosquito repellent.
- It is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight aging and oxidation in the body.
- Garlic tincture is believed to be helpful in lowering blood lipid (cholesterol, triglyceride) levels, and is considered an effective herb in the fight against circulatory diseases like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
- Some believe that garlic tincture can be used to fight acne when used topically.
- Garlic oil tincture can be used to soothe ear aches and treat ear infections.
- Garlic can be used to fight fungal infections such as athletes foot.
- Some believe that the antiviral properties of garlic may help to make warts disappear.
Contraindications, Cautions and Side Effects
- Excessive amounts of garlic or garlic tincture can result in gastric distress such as heart burn or intestinal gas. In extreme cases, damage to the digestive tract can occur.
- Garlic has anti-platelet effects on the blood which can lead to poor coagulation. It is best to avoid garlic before surgery because of these anti-platelet effects.
- Garlic tincture is not recommended for those on blood thinning medications such as Wafarin and Heparin.
- Garlic is not recommended for those who have anti-coagulation disorders.
- Garlic tincture may cause menstrual changes.
- Excessive intake of garlic tincture may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea and sweating.
- It's always best to check with your personal health care provider before taking any herbal medications, including garlic tincture.
The recommended dosage of garlic tincture for adults is four to five drops of tincture once a day. Tincture can be taken in a glass of water. A few drops of tincture can also be used topically for treatment of fungal and bacterial infections. Discontinue use if side effects occur.
Where to Find Garlic Tincture
It is very likely that garlic tincture is as close as your local health food store. Internet resources include: