Can I use garlic for chest congestion?

Garlic has been used for its medicinal properties throughout the years. The uses of this herb range from protection from the plague back in the 18th century and even protection for gangrene. Even though garlic has its role in traditional medicine, few of these used are considered effective. Due to the presence of active compounds in garlic, it is typically used in treating chest congestion. Even though initial studies found this herb to be effective in managing the symptoms of common cold, it might not be the best natural treatment for chest congestion.

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What are the active constituents?

It is important to note that garlic is composed of several active constituents with the primary compound called as alliin. This compound is derived from cysteine which is an amino acid that contains sulfur that is responsible for adding most of the medicinal qualities present within garlic.

Chest congestion-garlic

Due to the presence of active compounds in garlic, it is typically used in treating chest congestion.

Once the garlic bulbs are broken down, alliin is changed into allicin. The garlic is required to undergo fermentation in order to break up the components of allicin so that that it can be properly absorbed by the body. It is believed that this chemical decomposition produces several water-soluble sulfur compounds which are known to improve the healing qualities of garlic in the body.

Chest congestion and garlic

The active constituents present within garlic can improve the functioning of the immune system as well as relieve the symptoms of common cold which includes chest congestion. In a study conducted, it was discovered that garlic boosts the immune system, thus helping out the body fight off the symptoms of common cold.

Recommended dosage

If you are going to use garlic as part of the treatment for common cold, it is recommended to consume 600-1200 mg of aged garlic on a daily basis. The individual can be given 2-4 g of minced garlic on a daily basis. The best way to gain the most out of garlic is to consume 2-5 mg of allicin on a daily basis. When preventing a stomach upset from developing while consuming garlic, it is best to consume the garlic supplements together with food.

Considerations to bear in mind

Even though garlic is considered as generally safe for consumption, it is still important to consult the use of garlic with a doctor first, especially if the individual is currently using medications such as HIV medications or blood thinners. The usual side effects of consuming garlic include unpleasant body odor, bad breath, gastrointestinal discomfort and heartburn.

If an individual is planning to include garlic as a supplement, it is best to consult a doctor first if it is allowed and to be familiar with safety precautions.