Tag Archives: Stroke

Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers

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.



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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!

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A Question of Balance

Some of you may have seen reports in the press earlier this year, which picked up on a report in the journal Stroke—which reports news on strokes and cardiovascular diseases.

This report highlighted the importance of being able to balance on one leg, and its relevance to the information that’s sent to the brain. Unsteadiness could indicate problems, which might lead to strokes and falls in old age.

I have a particular interest in this area of health, for I had a minor stroke in 1995, at the age of 41. In a way I wasn’t surprised that it happened, for 1995 was an extremely stressful year, what with the end of a long-term relationship, business failure, homelessness and all round nastiness and sadness. Having a stroke almost felt like my brain telling me it had had enough of this rubbish, and to clean up my act!

I was fortunate to get away with only a few after-effects. The main one was a strange and erratic tendency to miss out certain letters when I wrote something. Some days I would omit the letter ‘b’, the next day the letter ‘g’ would be missing from a page of writing. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t penning them while I was writing – it was only when I read things out. This was in pre-computer days, without the intervention of a spell-checker to highlight mistakes, when I wrote everything in longhand.

To retrain my brain, I copied out hundreds of pages from novels and non-fiction books, reaching a point where all of the necessary letters were there.

My balance is OK, which may be partly helped by having ridden hundreds of thousands of miles on motorcycles and bicycles.

Try the tests in this article – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2956179/Can-standing-balance-one-leg-help-young-balance-offers-insight-general-health.html

N.B. CAUTION! Do these balancing tests in a clear area, especially if you’re going to close your eyes. Having a bed or a sofa to fall onto nearby is a good idea – I don’t want you putting an arm through your television or computer screen.

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