Benefits of Garlic

Benefits of Garlic

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Garlic is a popular ingredient in a great many foods, but do you know that garlic is an amazing tonic for your body and has the following  benefits:


  • Fights cold and flu
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces cholesterol levels
  • Protects heart health
  • Protects against dementia and can help relieve dementia symptoms
  • Removes heavy metals from the body and detoxifies the liver
  • Strengthens bones
  • Fights allergies
  • Helps with cancer


So let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits:


Garlic Fights Cold and Flu

A lot of people know anecdotally that garlic fights off cold and flu symptoms, but do you know that there is clinical evidence which supports the cold fighting effects of garlic!


In one study they noted a 65% reduction in the onset of colds and 80% reduction in the intensity of symptoms, thanks to the immunity boosting benefits of allicin.1


Allicin is one of many organo-sulphur compounds, which have fantastic health boosting effects, which includes heart and cardiovascular system health, as well as the ability to fend of colds and flu’s.


I tried out garlic myself one time, when a severe cold was just coming on. I eat 16 raw cloves in one go, which is not a good idea as it hurts your stomach, and the next morning I woke up without any cold symptoms at all!


I know my approach was severe but wow what a great way to fend of colds and flu’s. If you take garlic every day, there is a good chance that you will never have a cold or flu, or at least it will be less frequent and secondly even when you do get a cold it will be shorter and less intense in symptomology!


Garlic Benefits for High Blood Pressure/Cholesterol levels/Cardiac Health


As mentioned in the last section allicin has some terrific cardiac benefits. Regarding blood pressure levels, one study recorded a noticeable reduction in blood pressure levels, in patients suffering with very high blood pressure.2 Also cholesterol levels can be reduced. In another study of 45 patients, taking garlic and 40 participants remaining as a control group, they noted a noticeable reduction in cholesterol, VLDL and LDL cholesterol levels. 3


The cardiac benefits of garlic come about as a result of allicin, an organo-suphur compound which helps to reduce not only cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, but it also helps to prevent the onset of strokes, heart attacks and ischemic heart disease!


Allicin is a great health preserver, for the entire cardiac system and garlic should be a taken on a daily basis, for anyone who is prone to cardiac disease.


Protects Against Dementia and Can Help Relieve Dementia Symptoms


Remember those organo-sulphur compounds which are found in garlic?


Well amongst other things they are also a good way to protect the brain from onset of dementia and can help to reduce the symptoms of dementia, in people who are already suffering with it.


Some of the organo-sulphur compounds (notably DAS, DAT and DADS), have strong inflammatory properties and neural brain cell protective properties. In layman’s terms brain cell damage, often comes about as a result of inflammation in the brain cells. So any compound, which reduces inflammation and which also possesses brain cell protective properties, is worth its weight in gold. 4


According to Ray Swaan, the author of this study, a great way to fend of dementia, is to cut and slice some cloves of garlic and leave them out on the kitchen table for 15 minutes, prior to cooking, so that the enzyme allianase releases the brain protective properties, from within the clove!


Removes Heavy Metals from the Body and Detoxifies the Liver

Another fairly unknown quality of garlic is as a liver cleanser. In one study on workers, in a battery factory, who were suffering with lead poisoning, where put on 1.2mcg’s of allicin (allicin is an organo-sulphur compound which is found in garlic and onions), 3 times a day for 4 weeks, was found to be just as effective as a liver cleanser as a pharmaceutical grade drug!5


Strengthens Bones

Another quality which garlic possesses, is its ability to strengthen bones. In one study on menopausal women, they noted a 44% decrease in TNF-α (tumour necrosis factor), a compound which kills of bones cells and which is an integral part of the body’s inflammatory reactive process. In osteo-arthritis the reason for inflammation, damage and pain in the bones and joints, is because of these inflammatory effects. So the body over reacts and this results in bone damage, inflammation and pain!


So this 44% reduction suggests as strong possibility of reducing osteoarthritis symptoms! 6


Fights Allergies

Garlic is natural anti-histamine and this has been clinically proven. In one study, they observed a notably reduction in Mast cells and also in T Lymphocytes. 7 This might sound like no big deal, but Mast cells and T Lymphocytes, help to kick off the histamine repose, which is the bodies way of overreacting, which in turn results in atypical allergic responses. Anything which reduces these will in turn reduce the histamine response!


Helps with Cancer


I’m not saying that garlic cures cancer but it certainly helps fight some cancers. In a study carried out, on over 4000 people in China they noted that the participants who regularly imbibed garlic, where far less likely to develop lung cancer. 8


In another study on brain cancer they noted that garlic kills of brain cancer cells.4


And in yet another study, they noted some nice benefits of garlic for men, basically on improving the symptoms of benign prostate cancer! 9


Now why is garlic so helpful in fighting cancer?


Garlic is so effective because it has very strong cleansing properties!


I’m not suggesting that garlic will prevent all cancers or cure all cancers, but definitely it can help to prevent the onset of cancer in some cases and it can help to reduce the intensity of cancers in some patients.


Another important thing to remember about ginger and garlic is that they are very strong tonics, which help to rebuild the body, so even for a person who is undergoing chemotherapy it would be a really good idea to take garlic and ginger everyday a way to boost the immune system!


Benefits of Garlic – Final Thoughts


As we can see garlic has an amazing range of benefits, which includes cardiac health, brain health, detoxification, bone strengthening and cancer presentation and treatment. But it goes beyond this, when we consider both garlic and ginger are fantastic tonics for the body.


If we look at it from a Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) perspective, both ginger and garlic are strong yang boosting herbs (if you want to learn more about ying and yang please read this article), which in turn boost every aspect of physical health.


How do we become ill?


We tend to become ill when there is an energetic imbalance. Most illnesses begin with an energetic deficiency which results in an excess in the form of symptoms. So we have, for example, a lack of energy to digest our food and then our body responds by increasing acid levels which in turn results in agitation. The lack of energy required to digest food is a deficiency and the excess acid, in the form of acid reflux, is the excess.


Anyway if you boost your health with yang herbs, sufficient rest, exercise, healthy diet and positive thinking and nurturing of our feelings, usually this imbalance either doesn’t kick off or it is less severe in its intensity. So don’t just read the benefits of garlic or ginger and think “ok garlic is good for bone health and ginger is good for diabetes”. Well yes they are but they are far more than, they are also health boosters. So do yourself a favour and take garlic and ginger every day!


Regarding dosage, frequency etc… Ideally take 3 to 5 grams a day of garlic, which is usually around 3 to 5 raw cloves. More if it’s cooked or around 6 to 10 capsules. Also try and take garlic during your meals as otherwise the effect is acidic and might upset your stomach.

As for garlic side effects?


There’s no strong side effects of garlic, garlic is pretty safe. I would suggest always taking it with food, so as to make it easy on your stomach. Also, like ginger in vast quantities might have a negative effect, but it’s probably close to impossible to  take such a massive amount of garlic to produce such side effects.


So I hope you enjoyed this article and more importantly please take garlic and take it every day. If you can take a few cloves a day do, but even if you only take 1 or 2 cloves or 1 or 2 garlic capsules, it all helps to prevent ill health, to fight ill health and to boost overall health and wellbeing!






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  2. Can Garlic Lower Blood Pressure? A Pilot Study
  3. Gilbert McMahon M.D.,

Corresponding author

    1. Clinical Research Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Clinical Research Center, 147 South Liberty Street, New Orleans, LA 70112.

Ramon Vargas M.D.

Clinical Research Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.

First published: 8 July 1993

DOI: 10.1002/j.1875-9114.1993.tb02751.x

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