Garlic and vinegar are more than pungent cooking ingredients — they're powerful weapons against disease, according to experts who credit the all-natural wonders as remedies for everything from arthritis to heart disease and more.
A super dose of the mineral potassium that is in vinegar can take the fire out of arthritis agony by breaking up the calcium crystals that irritate the joints and cause stiffness and pain, according to experts.
Studies have revealed a substance in garlic — diallyl disulfide — may also provide protection against the crippling condition.
"This compound may have some effect in limiting cartilage-damaging enzymes," says rheumatologist Dr. Scott Zashin, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Garlic compounds dissolve a protein that is essential for blood-clot formation. Scientists from a Delaware university found one compound in particular — ajoene — is as potent as aspirin in halting blood clots.
Strokes, angina, high blood pressure and heart attacks can come from fatty cholesterol deposits that build up on artery walls. Pennsylvania State University scientists found that garlic reduced not only cholesterol, but other excess blood fats.
"(Garlic) simply flushes dangerous fats out of the bloodstream," explained Dr. Van Hoek of the famed Institute of Clinical Research in Durban, South Africa.
In combination with vinegar, the heart-saving effects of garlic are even more dramatic. Vinegar is a potent blood cleanser, and it delivers a major load of potassium, which can strengthen the heart.
Flu and Colds
Garlic is a front-line soldier in the war against germs, and studies show it boosts the immune system, especially when it teams up with vinegar.
"Garlic actually stops cold and flu viruses from gathering in the lining of the throat and nose," said Rob McCaleb, president of the Herb Research Foundation.
Dr. Mei Xing, of the Shandong Province Medical College in China, discovered that regular garlic eaters had a 60-percent lower risk of stomach cancer.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying any natural remedies.