I had a minor stroke ten days before Christmas, 1995. It was a hell of a year, the worst of my life, and the stress contributed to my brain temporarily conking out. I hadn’t helped matters by having been a heavy drinker for 27 years. Watching men die around me in the intensive care ward was one hell of a wake-up call—most were alcoholics.
Stubborn as I am, and determined to heal myself, I went through a period of recuperation which included researching why strokes happened. I found that the flu pandemic of 1918-1920, which killed 50-100 million people, had a knock-on effect in that victims who’d seemingly recovered from the infection later succumbed to heart-attacks and strokes. I’d suffered a nasty bout of flu a few weeks before my stroke.
I recalled that Roman soldiers supposedly ate garlic, to help to ward off coughs and colds when stationed in damp Britain. I also remembered a lovely film that I’d seen in the 1970s about the wonders of garlic, which was called Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers.
As the old saying goes ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, and as garlic is known to be an effective blood thinner, something that I was supposed to do to prevent another stroke, I started to eat it daily.
I have a lunch of pasta with a few cloves of raw garlic chopped up on it, along with a decent amount of olive oil. I haven’t had a cold for twenty-three years! I find that fresh garlic is less noticeable than garlic capsules and pills, which make me burp. No one has ever commented that I stink of garlic.
I also haven’t been bitten by any vampires. Mind you, a gay, gourmet werewolf followed me home one night, saying that I smelled nice…Stupid werewolf!