Benefits of Garlic: Prevents the Common Cold, Lowers Blood Pressure and Fights Cancer!

The Benefits of Garlic (Allium sativum) may not be easily recognized, but it is one of the most ubiquitous plants in the history of mankind. As a matter of fact, most kitchens in today’s homes have garlic as one of the main ingredients for flavoring food. While there are some well known medicinal plants that lack any scientific approval for therapeutic use, it is one of those plants that have proven efficacy both in history and today’s modern laboratories. History has many stories or folklore associated with the use of garlic and most of them, as science would eventually prove, are mainly based on fact.

Ancient Egypt believed in the powerful effects of garlic, in which, it increases strength and endurance along with resistance to disease. A Roman proverb states that one should be suspicious of anyone who doesn’t eat garlic. The Russians during World War I were avid users of it to treat the injuries of their wounded soldiers; so great was their use of it that it was called “Russian Penicillin”. Do these stories really hold water? Below are the main reasons why garlic can improve your health greatly.

Benefits of Garlic as an antiseptic

One of the most renowned uses of it is as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. World War I Russia was known to have used crushed garlic to treat the wounds of their soldiers in order to prevent infection and promote healing. The main active ingredient that makes it effective as an antibiotic and antifungal agent is allicin. Today’s scientists have great interest in using allicin to treat infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA as infections as a result of MRSA are a serious concern. As allicin was originally the garlic plant’s defense against many pests, it has to be noted that the active ingredient can only be activated by the enzyme allicinase the plant experiences trauma. Therefore, the correct way to use it for antibacterial and antifungal purposes is through using the crushed cloves and the juice as a topical salve or ointment.

Benefits of Garlic for the Cardiovascular System

The allicin in garlic also exerts brings great benefits to the circulatory system. Several studies have shown that allicin is capable of reducing fat deposition and atherosclerosis, has anti-thrombotic/anticoagulant properties and anti-inflammatory action, lowers the levels of bad cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and has some antioxidant activity. Despite the risk of garlic breath, people who wish to prevent acquiring cardiovascular diseases are encouraged to consume crushed raw garlic or make regular use of it in cooking along with eating a balanced diet and having a good amount of exercise. Excessive consumption of crushed raw garlic, however, may put one at risk of stomach lining damage. For the management of more serious conditions, especially moderate hypercholesterolemia, a recent study has shown that it had no statistically significant effect; however, other studies have proven contrasting conclusions in comparison that it is indeed effective in managing conditions such as hypercholesterolemia. There are some groups that claim that using aged garlic is even better.

Garlic fights cancer

Garlic has been described in some scientific studies as having anti-cancer properties as well as providing a boost to the immune system. Studies have shown that in various populations where raw or cooked garlic consumption is high, the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer is lower, especially stomach and colon cancer. There is also the idea that it has the potential to provide protection against laryngeal, breast, and prostate cancers.

Garlic helps prevent one from getting the common cold

benefits of garlicThere is a study that put garlic supplements against placebo in an effort to examine its prowess against the common cold. The study concluded that during “cold season” people who received the supplements had a lower incidence of getting colds than those who received placebo.

Being one of the most studied medicinal plants, people can be assured that the use of it is backed up with plenty of scientific evidence. It is good to note that the ancient Egyptians were right all along in holding garlic in such a high regard, and it could be said that their use of it has contributed greatly to the grandiosity of what their civilization has left behind.

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