By Anna Joseph
Anna is the Communications Officer for the Centre.
I can’t imagine running
my kitchen without a steady supply of garlic.
Most people I know in this part of the world would also feel the same way,
because of the variety of dishes that it is used in - many meat and fish
preparations, curries, chutneys and so on.
That apart, it’s always nice to have it to treat the occasional sore throat as
well as for emergencies like when venomous snakes start venturing into your
verandah. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, its common practice here to
pour water mixed with crushed garlic in places where snakes are not welcome. My
mother-in-law sprayed it in her garden, just a few months back, when she was
trying to discourage a few cobras that had taken a liking to it.
Did it work? Maybe for a day.
So we like to think.
A Cochrane review,
out two months back, looked at whether garlic reduced the risk of ‘cardiovascular morbidity and
mortality’ - basically, whether it protects against heart problems. (http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD007653/garlic-for-hypertension)
The review concluded that:
“Based on data from two randomized controlled trials that compared garlic to
placebo in patients with hypertension, it appears that garlic may
have some blood pressure lowering effect, as compared
to placebo but the evidence currently
available is insufficient to
determine whether garlic provides a therapeutic advantage versus
placebo in terms of reducing the risk of
cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.”
That translates as:
(Shrug) Can’t really tell, mate.
(I suppose one can’t expect simple Yeses and Nos from Life)
So, what do I do - when there is no conclusive evidence about my trusted
garlic, my healing Neem, my dependable nutmeg and my beloved Tulsi?
|Tulsi or Holy Basil|