Garlic may not possess the greatest smell in the world of herbal medicine but it is often touted as a wonder drug because it can help prevent everything from heart disease to many respiratory problems such as head colds and the flu.
In years gone by raw garlic was used to treat the symptoms that cause acne to occur. It is also believed to be a natural mosquito repellent and it is known to strengthen the heart and to help lower high levels of cholesterol. However, the same cannot be said about odorless garlic capsules despite them being touted as having the same health benefits as the raw version.
Research into the health benefits of garlic has borne out the fact that it is a natural form of an antibiotic on a broad-spectrum sense as opposed to when it comes to targeted areas of the body. The human body does not build up any immunity to garlic which means that the positive health benefits derived from it continue as time passes.
Research has also shown that aged garlic has positive and intense antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants help to protect the body against what is known as free radicals which are defined as "highly reactive molecules capable of causing damage in brain and other tissue." It is important to note that free radicals are "common by-products of normal chemical reactions occurring in cells."
Two ingredients in garlic are medicinal in nature and yield tremendous health benefits. These are allicin and diallyl sulphides.
Allicin is the more intense of the two as it provides the greatest of the health benefits for those who consume it. it's claimed that one milligram of Allicin has a potency equal to that of fifteen standard units of penicillin. Allicin is also the part of Garlic that gives it its characteristic smell.
It is important to note that allicin is not found in garlic per se but is produced when garlic is either crushed or chopped into fine pieces. The more intense it is crushed and the finer the pieces are chopped, the more allicin will be created and therefore the stronger will be the medicinal benefits. Allicin is anti-fungal in nature and is commonly used to treat many infections of the skin such as athlete's foot.
Be aware that being in direct contact with a sizable amount of crushed garlic can cause the skin to blister. Some people are also allergic to garlic although these allergies are not terribly common.
Diallyl sulphides tend to be lower in medicinal benefits than allicin but they still do provided some benefits. Sulphides of this nature have no anti-fungal properties but they are excellent for blood circulation and help to keep the overall circulatory system working to its optimum best. Diallyl sulphides are beneficial to the immune system because they give it a much-needed boost and they also help to lower the LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels in the body.
Just the same as allicin, garlic needs to be crushed or chopped to bring out the diallyl sulphides. It is essential to make it clear that when raw garlic is cooked as a whole it provides no medicinal benefits or health benefits to the human body whatsoever.
Garlic supplements are available in pills, capsules, liquid and actual raw forms. However, since odorless garlic capsules have no smell because they have no allicin in them, they end up being a waste of money. They have little effect as an antibiotic or general health promotion herb because they are odorless.
Odorless Garlic Capsules = No smell = No Allicin = Little Health Benefit