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Adrienne Dellwo

Garlic for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By July 29, 2010

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Food of the Week: Garlic

OK, so it makes your breath bad -- that's a small price to pay for a food that reduces inflammation, kills nasty bugs in your system, and tastes great on toast.

Reducing Inflammation

Research shows that garlic inhibits enzymes that can lead to inflammation, and thereby help with illnesses like asthma and arthritis.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (part of the immune system). For years, experts have doubted that fibromyalgia involved inflammation, but some new evidence has suggested that it does, and many of our common comorbid conditions are inflammatory.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can be really hard on your liver and digestive system, so it's important to have alternative ways to fight inflammation.

Antibacterial & Antiviral Properties

Studies have shown that garlic can kill all kinds of nasty bugs, including:

  • The common cold
  • Flu
  • Stomach viruses
  • Candida (yeast)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Botulism

It's also been shown to lower levels of a chemical that helps make your body a good host for viruses, including HIV, resulting in lower viral loads.

Other Benefits

Garlic is also good for your heart and can lower your risk of some kinds of cancer. (Onions have some of the same compounds, however, and may be more effective against cancer.)

Garlic in Your Diet

For the health benefits, you're much better off using fresh garlic than garlic powder. If you're not accustomed to cooking with fresh garlic, here's a great article from About.com Home Cooking Guide Peggy Trowbridge Filippone: Garlic Cooking Tips & Hints. You'll also find links there to a lot more information on using garlic.

I love garlic, but I do tend to be lazy and grab the powdered stuff too often. It's not hard to use fresh, so now I've set a goal to use it more often. My kids are begging to put in a vegetable garden next spring, so maybe I'll get really adventuresome and plant a few bulbs.

If you don't like the taste of garlic, you can take it in supplement form. However, be sure to look for the odorless kind -- otherwise, you'll taste it (and smell like it) all day.

Do you use garlic to improve your health? Have you noticed any results? How do you like to cook with garlic? Leave your comments below!

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Comments
July 30, 2010 at 2:39 am
(1) Swivel7 says:

Great idea! When you are dealing with chronic pain any thing to ease your discomfort is wonderful. Especially when its a natural alternative. Thanks for the tips!

July 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm
(2) Khrystyan says:

Usually I have a few bulbs of roasted garlic around, I make them on Sundays. Then nearly every day I eat some on bruchetta. Also, we normally cook with garlic every night, Brazilian food uses quite a bit of it. Other times when I’m sick with the flu or even just a nasty cough, I mix about 6 smashed cloves of garlic with enough honey to cover and let it sit overnight. When it has sat for about 12 hours, take a tablespoon of the liquid and your cough will go away and you’ll start to feel better. It really isn’t as bad as it sounds, taste-wise either. LOL

July 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm
(3) Mary Vidrine says:

Great benefits but beware, after a few weeks on garlic pilsl, it increased my migraines significantly!

July 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm
(4) Tammie says:

I love it, but have found that I can no longer tolerate it…..many CFS patients have problems with sulfur containing foods & I’m one of them.

July 31, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(5) Mary Chaplin says:

I simply love garlic and I use it it cooking nearly every day.
It is very good for you and has loads of health benefits. I
eat garlic raw usually about one/two cloves a day. I have it for lunch in salads or sandwiches. I don’t worry about the after smell on my breath because all you need to do to combat the after smell is to chew some fresh parsley and that is loaded with vitamin C which is also very good for you. By the way parsley is very easy to grow in your garden or you can grow it in pots on your kitchen window.
Thank you Adrienne for reafirming the benefits of garlic.

Someone asked does the garlic work. Yes I think it works. Any foods that can be grown naturally are definitely good for you.

November 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm
(6) R J says:

Plant Garlic in the fall.

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