12 Surprising Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is well known as a natural health remedy that has long been used to treat various ailments. It is extremely easy to source in most countries and can be consumed cooked or fresh. It is most easily included in your food or can be eaten on its own. You don’t need to limit yourself to fresh garlic either. Garlic powder or dried garlic flakes are just as effective and super easy to keep in the cupboard for everyday use.

12-surprising-health-benefits-of-garlic

1. Cancer Prevention

Research suggests that eating garlic can reduce the risk of developing colon or rectal cancer. Research suggests that taking high doses of aged garlic extract daily for 12 months reduces the risk of developing new tumors. However, other garlic supplements do not seem to offer the same benefit.

Some evidence suggests that eating more garlic can decrease the risk of developing stomach cancer. However, taking a specific aged garlic extract (Kyolic, Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Co.) for about 7 years does not seem to reduce the risk.

Meat cooked at high temperatures (well done to burnt) can produce carcinogenic (cancer producing) chemicals and research has recently discovered that when meat is cooked with garlic this effect is limited.

2. Cardiovascular Benefits

Allicin in raw, crushed garlic has significant benefits for your cardiovascular system. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, it helps prevent atherosclerosis and reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. In a review of many clinical studies published in “Current Pharmaceutical Design” in 2010, the authors concluded that consumption of garlic reduces blood levels of both total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. Allicin and other compounds in garlic also act on platelets, blood components involved in clot formation, to lessen the likelihood of blood clots that can lead to stroke.

3. Garlic for Detoxification

Another one of the many health benefits of garlic, this food may also be used to detoxify – an extremely important method everyone should be doing to cleanse the body of toxins. While the benefits of garlic for liver health and beyond are many, one reason for its superior effects has to do with the fact that garlic contains numerous sulfur-containing compounds that are known to activate the liver enzymes responsible for expelling toxins from the body. Another lies in the presence of both allicin and selenium, two important nutrients that play an integral role in the protection of the liver from damage

It is also important to note that many cancers are thought to be caused by damage to DNA, which could be the result of exposure to environmental toxins. One study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that eating a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a half cup of onions per day could remove toxins in the blood cells due to an increased production of a key toxin-removing enzyme.

4. A Natural Antibiotic

Garlic has been called a natural antibiotic (though it’s not a substitute for them, when they are necessary to fight serious infections). It fights against bacteria and viruses associated with colds and flu. It may also be helpful in alleviating candida yeast conditions. There are many home remedies involving garlic, for various ailments including toothaches, coughs, earache, warts, congestion, and skin infections.

5. Prevents and Treats Colds

Packed with antioxidants, your immune system could benefit if you give it a constant boost of powerful garlic in daily recipes. If a cold does sneak by, try sipping garlic tea: steep chopped or minced garlic in hot water for several minutes, then strain and drink. You can add a bit of honey or ginger to improve the taste.

6. Skin Benefits

It might not be a main ingredient in your drugstore acne medication, but garlic makes a great natural remedy to banish unsightly blemishes. Its antioxidants kill bacteria, so rub a sliced clove of garlic on the pimple for an effective topical treatment.

7. Soothes Psoriasis

Since garlic has proven anti-inflammatory properties, it could be useful in relieving uncomfortable psoriasis outbreaks. Try rubbing a little garlic oil on the affected area for smooth, rash-free skin.

8. Promotes Weight Control

Allicin is the most potent substance found in garlic and this has been shown to not only lower blood pressure, insulin and triglyceride levels in laboratory animals fed a sugar rich diet, but also to prevent weight gain.

A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension reported that animals who developed high insulin levels, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides were given either allicin or served as a control.

Although all of the animals consumed the same amount of food, weight rose only in the control group whereas the animals who were being supplemented with allicin maintained stable weight or a slight decrease was actually noticed.

The researchers concluded that allicin may be of practical value for weight control.

9. Grow Beautiful Hair with Garlic

Garlic could end your hair loss problems because of its high levels of allicin, a sulfur compound similar to that found in onions, which were found to effectively treat hair loss. Rub sliced cloves of garlic on your scalp, squeezing as you go for the most benefit. You can also infuse oil with garlic and massage it into your scalp.

10. Remove a Splinter with Garlic

Placing a slice of garlic over the sliver and covering it with a bandage or duct tape has been a folk cure for years. As natural remedies gain in popularity, current bloggers swear this one works.

11. Prevents Food Poisoning

Some research indicates that one of the health benefits of garlic is its anti-bacterial properties that might help to prevent food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella enteritidis. One study found that garlic was better at treating Campylobacter than two kinds of antibiotics. That said, the addition of garlic to a dish is in no way a substitute for proper sanitation and safe cooking and food handling.

  • The affect would only apply with fresh garlic, not aged.

12. Treat Athlete’s Foot with Garlic

With its anti-fungal properties, garlic could be a good way to get rid of itchy athlete’s foot. Soak your feet in a bath of warm water and crushed garlic.


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