Garlic is one of those spices that always make it to the top of your grocery list. Raw, chopped or pressed, garlic gives your food a strong, pungent and ravishing flavor. You can pair it with just about everything - tomatoes, onions, chicken, cottage cheese, butter, fish, prawns, mutton and even white wine. Sometimes, just the smell of fried garlic is enough to pull you into the kitchen.
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Besides its divine taste, garlic is also known to have many health benefits. It's known to help with good, voluminous hair if you rub it on your scalp, it's supposed to be good for acne if you take a clove and run it over your pimple and the most popular use would be that garlic helps fight cold and flu. Another new benefit that's now come to lights is that garlic can help protect you from lung infection.
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Researchers found that 'allicin', a compound found in garlic can kill bacteria that trigger life threatening lung infections. Especially in people with cystic fibrosis which is a genetic disorder that mostly affects the lungs. Cystic fibrosis is a condition that affects cells that produce sweat, mucus and other digestive juices. The secretions are normally fluid and thin but for those suffering from cystic fibrosis, they are thick and sticky. And block passageways and tubes, especially in the lungs.
According to professor John Govan from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, "At a time when novel antimicrobial agents are urgently required, chemical and microbiological research has the potential to unlock the rich reservoir of antimicrobial compounds present in plants such as garlic."
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The study was published in the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Sciences) and suggests that 'allicin' is produced naturally by garlic bulbs to ward off a closely-related group of plant pathogens found in soil and water habitats. But in humans it can keep away the bacteria Burkholderia Cepacia Complex (BCC) which causes serious and transmissible lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis.
'Allicin' can be extracted by crushing raw garlic and is bound to inhibit the growth of this deadly bacteria. It kills the bacteria by chemically modifying the enzymes. Researchers also believe that this compound could be used in combination with existing antibiotics to treat lung infection.
WIth inputs from IANS