They don’t smell very good, but in this case, that’s not a bad thing at all. We put garlic in a variety of foods for flavor–and have for thousands of years. The Greeks and Italians lavishly use garlic and onions, especially to season and flavor their foods.
But use of these alliums goes beyond food. In ancient Egypt and other countries, garlic was greatly prized for health. Garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It was used as an antibiotic during both world wars. Thank goodness we can still buy garlic and onions without them being adulterated into patent drugs by the pharmaceuticals. Not that they wouldn’t love to!
I remember well that in high school lab we would make hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and as the smell radiated all over the school, there was the stink but nobody knew the hidden health benefits of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). It is derived from sulfur-containing compounds.
Behind that strong odor H2S has many health benefits as an important and beneficial chemical-signaling molecule in the body. The amount of H2S produced from eating garlic affects the degree of vasodilation and relaxation of blood vessels. This is powerful!
Also hydrogen sulfide reduces inflammation, modulates the release of insulin and reduces angiogenesis, all beneficial to the cardiovascular system. When eating garlic and onions we should think good blood circulation.
Blood sludges as we age, hence the circulatory problems of all degrees of seriousness from neuropathy to cardiovascular disease. And men, don’t forget that erectile dysfunction is 100 percent a circulatory problem.
And finally, sulfonic acid, one of the primary phytochemicals found in garlic (allicin), is probably the most potent known biological agent for trapping free radicals.
The research is heating up. We may yet find an explosive potential for garlic and onions. Mum to the pharmaceuticals!
Some complain of a garlicky odor when consuming garlic. This is a result of the body’s inability to properly process sulfur in the beginning. This usually goes away with time.