OLUFUNKE FROM PUNCH
A senior citizen (he is 92 years old) called my attention to the fact that some of the plants I listed as natural blood thinners once appeared in my article on erectile dysfunction. I feel there is a need to talk about it here.
You might have seen “broad spectrum” on a leaflet inserted in the pack of the antibiotic prescribed by your doctor before. Broad-spectrum antibiotic refers to an antibiotic that acts on the two major bacterial groups, gram-positive and gram-negative. Put in another way, it is any antibiotic that acts against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria.
In nature too, most plants have many potentials; that is why for example, garlic is on the list of plants that are useful for those who suffer from erectile dysfunction. It lowers blood pressure, tops the list of blood thinners, has anti-cancer activity and does more. I hope it is clear now.
Some years ago, a friend visited me and being an Ekiti woman, I prepared pounded yam. I noticed she barely touched the soup. When I questioned her, she said she could perceive garlic in it. Truly, I used garlic while boiling the meat. On another occasion, a girl who had lived with us for some time, after eating one day, came to me and said, “Thanks for the food ma, the soup is the best I have eaten in this house.” I was shocked to hear that and I asked why she said so. She said, “It is because you did not put garlic.” Although I laughed that day, it was the last time I ever boiled my meat with garlic. If I have to use garlic, I make sure I use it alone.
There is a lot to love about garlic, but it does have one major downside: garlic breath. This discourages people from eating it. This week, I will be discussing how to stop bad breath from garlic. But why does garlic cause bad breath? Some compounds in it can be responsible for this. These include:
When the insides of a garlic bulb are exposed to air, a substance called alliin turns into allicin, which then changes into several sulfur-containing compounds that give garlic its smell.
Allyl methyl sulfide
This compound is released from both garlic and onions when they are cut. Once eaten, the substance is absorbed into the bloodstream and emitted through the lungs and skin pores.
This sulfuric compound in garlic and onions causes an unpleasant odour on the breath almost immediately after the vegetables are eaten.
What can be done to stop garlic breath?
1: Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
Eating fresh produce with or after meals may cover up the smell of garlic. In one study, researchers reported that eating raw apples or raw lettuce significantly decreased the odour of garlic on the breath.
Chewing parsley after eating is an age-old remedy for garlic breath. Mint leaves have also been shown to significantly reduce garlic breath. A 2016 study found that when garlic was mixed with rosmarinic acid, it decreased the sulfuric compounds responsible for garlic breath. You will find rosmarinic acid in flavourful herbs like rosemary, sage, basil, oregano and marjoram.
2: Drink milk
Drinking a glass of milk with a garlic-heavy meal may reduce the concentration of compounds in the mouth that contain sulfur and cause bad odour. A 2010 study found that milk reduced garlic breath. The researchers found that this trick works best with full fat milk like whole milk than skimmed milk. Mixing milk with garlic in the mouth before swallowing had a higher odour-neutralising effect than drinking milk after eating the garlic in the trial.