Humans have used various parts of the allium (garlic) plant throughout time to treat a variety of conditions including deafness, parasitic infections, leprosy, and gastrointestinal problems. During historical epidemics such as influenza, typhus, and cholera, alliums were always summoned as the first line of defense. In ancient Egypt, alliums were so highly esteemed that pharaohs were buried with several bulbs believing that the round shape and rings symbolized eternity. Allium health benefits are not just limited to bulbs, leaves, and stem but also extend to the bloom. Medicinal allium flowers have the following benefits:
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Alliums contain glutathione; a protein molecule with a sugar molecule attached to it which is required by every cell in the body. Glutathione is critical for protecting the body from cellular damage and enhancing the immune system. It reduces the risk of heart attacks and is also anti-diabetic.
Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial
Allicin, the most potent organosulfur compound in allium flowers, is a major immune booster. Research shows that allicin lowers cholesterol and triglycerides levels while increasing good cholesterol or HDL. It is also highly effective against multi-drug resistant strains of Candida albicans, E. Coli and intestinal parasites.
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The effectiveness of allicin against multi-drug resistant pathogens is encouraging because there is a growing threat of superbugs that have developed resistance against antibiotics. Natural remedies including allicin are filling the gap and coming to our rescue when conventional drugs get outgunned.
Alliums contain flavonoids such as quercetin. These are compounds plants use for their protection and health but are also helpful to humans as they ward off microbes and viruses. In addition, quercetin is a potent antihistamine, meaning it is anti-allergenic.
Allium flowers are great for your heart. They contain compounds that prevent plaque buildup in the arteries and prevent blood clots. Alliums are also known to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
In a study published in the Journal of Hypertension, researchers examined the link between allium consumption and incidences of cardiovascular diseases. After analyzing more than 3000 adult males and females for 6 years, they found that people who consumed allium consistently had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular conditions by 64 percent, compared to those who did not.
A study conducted in 2011 and published in the Journal of Gastroenterology indicated that people who ate alliums consistently had a lower risk of developing gastric cancer. In addition, other studies show that alliums hold the potential for preventing and managing pancreatic, prostate, breast and intestinal cancers.
And there you have it. Next time you see those blooms, just know that they are not just good at tearing your eyes and flavoring your food, but are also medicinal.