Garlic is a common cooking ingredient, famous around the world for its pungent flavor. Used for seasoning food and as a condiment, garlic is also known for its health benefits. In ancient times, garlic was used mainly for its medicinal properties. Garlic can help prevent heart disease, control cholesterol and blood pressure, and even lower the risk of certain cancers, such as prostate, brain, and lung cancer. In a study published in Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, garlic was also found to be an effective treatment against lead poisoning.
What is lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning happens when your body accumulates large amounts of lead. Lead can enter your body through your mouth, or it can be inhaled. Cracks on your skin and mucous membranes can also allow lead to enter your body. Too much lead in the body can result in serious physical and mental impairment, especially in children aged six years old and below. Unlike adults, infants and children absorb lead faster, making them more susceptible. If left untreated, lead poisoning can cause damage to the kidneys and central nervous system, which can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, and even death.
Symptoms of lead poisoning
There are two types of lead poisoning, acute and chronic. In acute lead poisoning, symptoms appear almost immediately while in chronic lead poisoning, symptoms usually take time to appear.
Here’s a list of the most common symptoms of lead poisoning you should look out for:
- Abdominal pain and vomiting
- Black and watery stool
- Slowed body growth
- Reduced IQ
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Blue tinge around your gums
- Loss of hearing
- Neurological weakness
How garlic can help treat lead poisoning
Iranian researchers compared the effectiveness of garlic with that of d-penicillamine in reducing blood lead concentrations. They recruited 117 workers at a car battery plant who were suffering from chronic lead poisoning and split the workers into two groups. The researchers gave the first group garlic extract three times a day and the other group d-penicillamine, a drug used to treat heavy metal poisoning.
After four weeks of treatment, the men who took the garlic extract showed a considerable reduction of lead in their blood. The garlic extract worked just as well as d-penicillamine without causing nasty side effects. The researchers concluded that garlic was a safer treatment for lead poisoning.
The main compound in garlic responsible for removing lead is sulfur. Studies have shown that sulfur is very effective in oxidizing heavy metals such as lead. Sulfur makes lead water-soluble, allowing your body to eliminate it faster.
How to prevent lead poisoning
By following these steps, you can protect yourself and your family from lead poisoning.
- Have your water tested for lead
- Encourage your children to wash their hands after playing
- Avoid lead-based paints
- Do not use food and water containers that are lined with lead
- Install NSF-certified filter on your faucets
- Make it a habit to clean toys, floors, pacifiers, and other surfaces with a liquid cleaner designed to control dust
- If your home was built before 1978, have it tested for lead
- Always clean your shoes before entering your house
Eating a healthy diet is another way of preventing the build-up of lead in your body. By consuming a variety of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and protein, you’ll make it harder for lead to be absorbed into your body.
Some people do not enjoy the taste and aroma of garlic, but the health benefits it offers are reason enough to add this superfood to your daily meals. You don’t have to eat the garlic whole; you can use garlic as a spice or as a condiment. You can also take it as a supplement:
By Paul Waters
(Source: naturalnews.com; July 17, 2019; https://tinyurl.com/yyygne9p)