Freshly crushed garlic or garlic supplements contain allicin, sulfur-compounds, and several other substances that improve health.
If your blood pressure is normal or only slightly elevated, including garlic in your diet may help prevent the buildup of cholesterol plaques before they occur.
However, it is important to note that while garlic does possess health benefits, it cannot replace prescription antihypertensives and too much garlic intake may increase your risk of bleeding.
Myth #4: Cabbage can be applied to the skin to reduce inflammation
This age-old herbal medicine myth has resurfaced in recent years due to online personalities and alternative health advocates promoting its use to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, dermatitis, and tumors.
Cabbage leaf wraps or cabbage poultices are traditional European remedies to treat inflammatory disorders and pain. Fresh cabbage is typically crushed or blended to form a paste then applied to the affected areas with cloth or plastic wrap and left to sit for minutes to hours.
While some studies have compared cabbage leaf wraps to topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), the benefits of cabbage were only mild and nowhere near as effective at controlling inflammation or pain as the NSAIDs.
Myth #5: Drinking apple cider vinegar can burn unwanted fat
Nowadays, the pressure to lose weight and be thin is strong due to constant exposure to advertisements of models with perfectly fit figures and new fad diets trending every month.
While maintaining a healthy body composition (body fat and muscle ratio) and ideal body weight is proven to improve a person’s health and quality of life, getting there takes a bit of effort.
People are enticed by quick fixes, and apple cider vinegar (ACV) is consistently brought up in many fad diets and detox drinks. It’s all-natural, so it should be safe, right?
There is some truth to apple cider vinegar and weight loss. ACV contains acetic acid, which is usually available as a weak to moderate strength acid. Because it is made from fermented apples, it does retain the nutrients contained in fresh apples, such as vitamin C, several B vitamins, folic acid, and polyphenols.
Acetic acid as a remedy has been used for centuries, both topically and internally. Studies have shown that it can:
- control blood sugar
- improve insulin response
- reduce blood pressure and triglycerides
- be used as a topical antiseptic
- potentially prevent tumor growth and occurrence
Because it improves insulin response and lowers triglycerides, the body can utilize energy better and prevent the storing of fat and formation of arterial plaques.
However, this must be done in combination with a healthy diet and exercise routine. The effects on blood sugar and insulin are more prominent than the effects on fat loss.
Due to the acidity and strong taste and odor, ACV can cause nausea and decrease appetite which may be a significant reason why those who regularly consume it lose weight by virtue of calorie deficit.
If you plan to include it in your diet, it is important to always dilute the vinegar in water before drinking it. The acid can erode your tooth enamel, mouth, and esophageal mucosa, causing painful ulceration and bleeding.
It can also lower potassium levels so it should be taken with caution if you are taking certain diuretics or hypertension medications.
To be clear, herbal and alternative medicine is not discouraged by modern medicine; only alternative medicine misinformation is condemned. In fact, major international and local health organizations include the use of these alternative treatments to supplement therapy prescribed by doctors and other health experts.
You can use herbal remedies at home for minor ailments and to improve your general health to prevent illnesses. However, these are never replacements for any medications that your doctor has prescribed.
Learn more about herbal medicine, here.