Bawang or Garlic with scientific name Allium sativum, is
a low herb, which only grows up to sixty centimeters high. Its leaves are flat
and linear, with bulbs that consist of several tubers. This herb is one of the
most widely used herbal medicines in the Philippines and can also be found commonly
in the kitchen of Filipino households as it is used to spice up food preparations.
The Philippine bawang or garlic variety is more pungent than the imported ones.
Its medicinal properties have been known for a long time and have been especially
proven during World War II when it was used to treat wounds and infections of soldiers.
Garlics antibacterial compound known as allicin, saved many lives of the soldiers as
this property prevented the wounds from being infected and developing into gangrene
at a later stage by extracting the juice of bawang or garlic and applying to the wounds.
Bawang, sometimes spelled as bauang or in English, garlic is known as nature's antibiotic.
Its juices inhibit the growth of fungi and viruses thus, prevent viral, yeast, and infections.
The preliminary test conducted on this medicinal herb showed some positive results in the
treatment of AIDS. Several clinical tests that followed and published studies have shown
the efficacy of garlic in lowering cholesterol in the blood and is beneficial to the
circulatory system of the body. Today, as more research is done on garlic, more medicinal
and therapeutic properties become more evident. As of the present time, lowering of the
blood pressure, reduction of platelet aggregation, and the boosting of fibrinolytic
activities are among the list of herbal functions of garlic, which is supported by
medical findings. Although more clinical studies are needed to support the contention
stronger, marked improvements in benign breast diseases have been traced to make progress
because of the regular intake of supplements, of which the primary ingredient is garlic.
Although controlled trials in terms of anti-cancer activities of garlic have been
performed in medical research, it has been proven through population-based studies
that substances contain in garlic help in reducing the risk of some types of cancer.
These would include colorectal malignancies, and gastric cancer. Regular consumption
of raw garlic has been proven to aid in many bleeding cases, especially those cases
that are associated with procedures in surgeries and dental activities. All these
considered, it appears that garlic have no concrete scientific basis to claim a
significant effect in the level of glucose in our blood. It is remarkable to note
though that the Philippine Department of Health has endorsed garlic as one of the
top ten Philippine herbs with therapeutic value and the department recommends its
use as an alternative herbal medicine in view of the positive results of thorough
research and testing, which had been conducted on this herbal plant. Juice extracted
from garlic bulbs can be used as tick and mosquito repellant when applied to skin.
Bad breath, due to the strong odor of garlic, is the most common side effect of taking
this herb. Fresh garlic applications to the skin have been reported to cause skin burns
and rashes. This goes true both for those who are in the initial stages of their garlic
therapies, and those who consume it as an ingredient in food preparations.
Health Benefits of Bawang-Garlic:
Good for the heart
Helps lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
Aids in lowering blood pressure
Remedy for arteriosclerosis
May help prevent certain types of cancer
Boosts immune system to fight infection
With antioxidant & antibacterial properties
Cough and cold remedy
Relives sore throat
Aids in the treatment of tuberculosis
Helps relieve rheumatism pain
Relief of toothaches
Kills skin fungus i.e. athletes foot
With anticoagulant properties
Preparation of Bawang-Garlic:
For disinfecting wound, crush and juice the garlic bulb and apply. You may cover the afflicted area with a gauze and bandage.
For sore throat, peal the skin and chew for several minutes. Swallow the juice.
For toothaches, crush then bite garlic.
For athletes foot, soak feet in salty water then apply garlic juice. Do this 3X day for a week.
Cloves of garlic may be crushed and applied to affected areas to reduce the pain caused by arthritis, toothache, headache, and rheumatism.
Decoction of the bawang bulbs and leaves are used as treatment for fever.
For nasal congestion, steam and inhale: vinegar, chopped garlic, and water.