Friday, November 27, 2009


It has been reported by the XinHua news agency that the price of garlic in China is soaring. In Shandong province where the price of garlic used to be 0.2 yuan / kilo has now 9 yuan / kilo. This severe rise in price reflects a severe demand for garlic, on the Chinese belief ( little medical evidence that garlic does protect a person against viruses, including A H1N1. This also happened in China with the SARS outbreak, not so long ago. A school in HangZhou is said to have bought 200kilos of raw garlic for the students to eat it at lunchtime, to prevent A H1N1 from infecting the school ( I wonder what happened, besides a lot of bad breathe ) thereafter. I must emphasize that we are talking about raw garlic here. Cooked garlic is useless. I am sure that there is some sort of smart business men involved too, hoping for a quick buck. China is one of the world's largest producer of garlic.
Looking at it medically, it is true that garlic is a sulphur containing flavinoids, with some medicinal properties. Of the many touted, perhaps the one that is best documented is the cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic. There is reasonable medical evidence that garlic is good for the heart. Along with this, it has also been reported thatgarlic may also ontain anti-oxidant and anti bacterial properties. There are also mention of some anti-viral properties. As I search around, these claims are shrouded in vague language, and nothing very scientific.
I suppose, if your loved ones can stand garlic-breathe, there is no harm to take some raw garlic daily, in the hope of protecting your heart and also, maybe ( and this is a big maybe ) protect you against A H1N1. It is certainly safer than the A H1N1 vaccines. I hope that the cost of Malaysian garlic does not increase under the guise of rain and poor harvest. It is all business afterall.

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