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The many health benefits of garlic

Digestion, Heart, Women's Health, Immune | June 20, 2017 | Author: Naturopath

Immune, heart, Digestion, cardiovascular

The many health benefits of garlic

Garlic (Allium Sativum) is a vegetable from the allium family, which also includes onions, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives. It is used in cuisines all around the world as a pungent and aromatic spice and food.

Garlic has been called ‘Natural antibiotic’ and ‘Russian penicillin’

Garlic has been used as a remedy in folk medicine for over 4000 years.

In ancient China it was recommended for depression; slaves in Egypt were fed with garlic to make them strong, and Greek soldiers were given garlic before battles. In Great Britain garlic was used to treat worms in children, and worn around the neck to ward off disease. Russian doctors treated respiratory tract diseases with garlic. Garlic is put in socks to treat colds and flu, placed in the ear for ear infections, and hung over the front door against evil eye.

Medicinal Properties of Garlic

The medicinal properties of garlic are attributed to its sulphur compounds that are responsible for its strong odour and flavour, and have antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal actions.

Health Benefits

Studies showed that garlic is effective for many health conditions including:

Cardiovascular disease. Garlic supplementations in the form of aged garlic extract have been shown to have beneficial effects on well-established risk factors for heart disease. Garlic can potentially reverse and prevent progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), lower blood pressure, and reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.

Cancer. Both sulphur compounds and phytochemicals in garlic decrease inflammation, repair DNA, and slow tumour growth. The American Institute for Cancer Research found that eating garlic lowers your risk of colorectal cancer. Another study from France demonstrated that women who consumed more garlic significantly reduced their breast cancer risk. 

Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori is a type of bacteria in the stomach that can cause stomach inflammation, stomach ulcers, and lead to stomach cancer. 15 patients who were diagnosed with H. pylori consumed 2 cloves of garlic with their meal, twice a day. When tested again after 3 days of garlic consumption, it was found that the garlic inhibited the H. pylori bacterial growth.

Candida. Candida albicans is a fungus and a normal part of our microbiome. Under certain circumstances it can overgrow and lead to yeast infection in the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, and vagina. Women taking garlic supplementation for Candida vaginitis reported a significant reduction in symptoms such as itching and discharge.

Heavy metals detoxification. Garlic can protect the liver cells from some toxic heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium. When patients with chronic occupational lead poisoning were assigned garlic tablets three times daily for 4 weeks, they reported decreased symptoms of lead poisoning such as irritability and headache, and their blood lead concentration was decreased too.

Common cold. One study showed that taking a garlic supplement for 12 weeks resulted prevented occurrences of the common cold.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A large study found that frequent consumption of both onions and garlic was reduced the risk of BHP.

How much garlic?

The World Health Organization recommends he following daily dose:

  • Fresh garlic - 2 to 5 g of (approximately one clove),
  • Dried garlic powder - 0.4 to 1.2 g
  • Garlic oil - 2 to 5 mg
  • Garlic extract - 300 to 1,000 mg
  • Other formulations - equal to 2 to 5 mg of allicin. 

Garlic should be taken with food to prevent gastrointestinal upset.


Garlic is a natural blood thinner, thus pregnant women, people about to undergo surgery in 1-2 weeks, and people taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, should take caution or avoid garlic supplements. 

Fresh garlic, when applied to injured skin, can cause second- and third-degree burns.

Getting Rid of Garlic Breath

Garlic breath is caused by garlic’s sulphur compounds and can last for 24 hours!

Researchers at The Ohio State University found that raw mint leaves, lettuce and apple can prevent garlic breath; however, you would need to eat them at the same time or soon after eating garlic.

If you notice you have garlic breath it may be too late, as it means that the garlic has already been digested and moved though the blood stream into your lungs.  Australia’s best online discount chemist


American Institute for Cancer Research 2017, Garlic, AICR retrieved June 13, 2017,

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Ebrahimy, F., Dolatian, M., Moatar, F., & Majd, H. A. (2015). Comparison of the therapeutic effects of Garcin(®) and fluconazole on Candida vaginitis. Singapore Medical Journal, 56(10), 567–72.

Galeone, C., Pelucchi, C., Talamini, R., et al. (2007). Onion and Garlic Intake and the Odds of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Urology, 70(4), 672–676.

Kianoush, S., Balali-Mood, M., Mousavi, S. R., et al. (2012). Comparison of Therapeutic Effects of Garlic and d-Penicillamine in Patients with Chronic Occupational Lead Poisoning. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, 110(5), 476–481.

Lissiman, E., Bhasale, A. L., & Cohen, M. (2012). Garlic for the common cold. In E. Lissiman (Ed.), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (p. CD006206). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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