This is the second in a three-part series on The Herb Trinity, which comprises three potent roots: onions, garlic, and ginger. The trinity herbs serve as essentials to the modern yogi's diet, and are actually "survival" foods for the stressful and polluted world we live in. This month, the topic is ... Garlic,
The Stinking Healer!
Garlic is one of the most ancient remedies in the history of humankind. This beautiful, potent herb is used by many cultures, for everything from bringing good luck and a long life, to curing the common cold. Used as both a medicine and a food, garlic is known as an effective treatment for digestive disorders, high blood pressure, and immune strength. No wonder it has been called the king of the vegetable world!
Sexual Performance Enhancer? Many believe that garlic is helpful to maintain male potency. In yogic terms, garlic promotes the production of semen (ojas) and increases sexual energy. Some traditions, which believe in celibacy or sex only for procreation, forbid the use of garlic because of this increase in sexual energy. However, in other yogic teachings, garlic is purposefully taken just for this reason. It is this same potent energy that can be focused for creativity and, through the practice of Kundalini Yoga, drawn up to the higher chakras (energy centers) for greater spiritual awareness.
Ayurvedically speaking, garlic effectively fights many bacteria and viruses. Scientists today have found garlic to have natural antibiotic qualities. Unlike pharmaceuticals though, garlic does not destroy the good flora in your intestines and create conditions for yeast overgrowth. Instead garlic works to balance bacteria in the colon and small intestines. It is helpful in treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, septic poisoning, typhus, and even cholera.
How to take garlic... It is best taken raw. It has quite a bite and, if you are not accustomed to it, there are ways to help get it down (see below). Although not as effective, it can be taken cooked. Odorless garlic capsules are available in natural food stores and many drug stores. These are also effective, and are odorless.
Now, about bad breath... For "garlic breath," try chewing on a few cardamom pods (or just the seeds), some parsley, or fennel seeds. You can make a little mixture of cardamom and fennel seeds and just take a pinch or two to chew on. Swallow it or spit out after chewing (it's up to you).
and body odor... When you eat a lot of garlic, it doesn't just affect your breath. It comes out through your pores, in gas that is expelled, and in your perspiration. And the more toxic and polluted your body is, the worse you will smell. Don't worry about that smell. Just remember that this is taking care of the smell INSIDE your body. I have experienced many an odoriferous morning in group meditation, when we all ate a lot of garlic all the time. This provided the best environment for meditating! All of the body odor filling the room really made us focus on the mantra and meditation, just so we could separate ourselves from that smell!
About The Author
Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa
Siri Ved studied vegetarian yogic cooking with her spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan, beginning in 1971. During the years she served as his personal cook, his wife Bibi Inderjit Kaur also trained her in the fine art of Indian cooking. Since then she has run a popular vegetarian catering company in Los Angeles, authored two cookbooks, including ...more