Garlic (Allium sativum), a member of the lily family, is possibly the most popular herb in world cuisines. While it originated in central Asia, garlic has been cultivated worldwide for millennia. Garlic has been used throughout the centuries for both food and medicine. Garlic owes much of its popularity in Europe to the Benedictine monks who grew garlic in their monastery gardens.

The Greek historian Herodotus reported that large amounts of garlic, radishes, and onions were consumed by construction workers of the Egyptian pyramids. He claimed that the large amounts of garlic were necessary to protect the builders from illnesses. In the ancient Codex Ebers, an Egyptian medical papyrus, no less than 22 of the medicinal formulations contained garlic.
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Heart Protecting Herbs

The list is long and impressive: garlic, turmeric, psyllium, flaxseed, artichoke leaf extract, and lemon grass—all have demonstrated, in well-controlled studies, the ability to lower blood lipid levels in patients with elevated cholesterol. But one herb stands above the rest when it comes to guarding the health of the heart.

Glorious Garlic

Garlic demonstrates a greater potency than any of its close relatives; including leeks, onions, shallots, and chives. Harvested garlic cloves can be used fresh, dried, or powdered. The cut cloves have a pungent odor and strong flavor due to the presence of alliin (a sulfoxide that is a natural constituent of fresh garlic) which breaks down to a host of active sulfur compounds.
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