Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic, or Allium Sativum, has been used for medicinal purposes in many cultures for thousands of years. The oldest use of garlic has been as an antibiotic, but over the years research has shown that it can help treat and prevent many illnesses and ailments, including reducing the pain in those with Rheumatoid arthritis. Garlic is part of a species in the onion genus, Allium.

Garlic is an herb best known for flavoring food, but its well-researched health benefits have been gaining it attention for centuries. Conditions that have been treated with garlic are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), prostate cancer and bladder cancer.

Garlic has also been used to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer.

Studies have shown its effectiveness in lowering LDL cholesterol levels without hurting HDL cholesterol levels. Research shows that garlic seems to block the liver from making too much LDL cholesterol. It also helps to prevent blood clots so it’s able to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

As an antibiotic, garlic is effective against athlete’s foot, thrush, viral diarrhea and Helicobacter pylori (ulcer-causing bacteria).

It’s best to eat fresh garlic to attempt to obtain the full medicinal effect. Supplements may also be used. Good supplements will contain alliin.  This allows the body to make the best use of it. Garlic is classified as both a food and medicinal herb.

Interesting facts about garlic

Grave diggers drank crushed garlic in wine in early 18th century France, because they thought it would protect them from the plague that was responsible for the deaths of many people in Europe.

Soldiers were given garlic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II.

Garlic is second in sales as a best-selling herbal supplement.  Echinacea is the first.

Garlic has been found in the tombs of the ancient pharaohs dating back to 3200 B.C.  It has also been found in Greek temples.

It was used by pyramid builders because they believed that it gave them strength.

There are almost 70 variants of garlic growing in the Holy Land.

Louis Pasteur demonstrated in 1858 that garlic could kill infectious germs.

Garlic was given to the original Olympic athletes in Greece possibly as a performance enhancing agent. 

Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India prescribed medical applications for garlic.

Hippocrates advocated the use of garlic for pulmonary complaints and for abdominal growths.

Garlic is possibly the most researched herb for medicinal uses.  While there is still over its effectiveness, centuries of research and use do show that there is some degree of health benefit, but there is still no solid research on how much a person has to consume in order to obtain the full benefits.