If you think that garlic is only responsible for giving you pungent breath, then think again. Garlic has been used by herbalists for centuries to treat almost every ailment from acne and arthritis to digestive problems and tumours.

The medicinal properties of garlic are due to the sulphur compounds that it contains, and it is thought to work because of its antibiotic and blood cleansing properties. Scientific evidence now backs up garlic’s reputation as an antiviral and antibacterial agent.

Studies have shown that garlic is good for cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and prevents blood clots. During clinical trials, volunteers who took garlic supplements lowered their blood pressure by 1 – 5%, which could mean reducing the risk of a stroke by 30 – 40% and heart disease by 20 – 25%.

Whilst HDL cholesterol is essential for our health, LDL cholesterol is bad for us. Garlic has been found to contain allicin, which fights hydroxyl radicals, and this is thought to prevent the bad LDLs from being oxidized. It’s also been shown that eating garlic on a regular basis may even help prevent some cancers.

Allicin naturally increases antioxidants in your blood, making garlic a powerful tool for fighting the damaging effects of nicotine, drugs, pollutants, and toxins in our bodies, while slowing down the aging process of internal organs like the liver.

Garlic contains approximately 1% of the potency of penicillin. Since we are becoming increasingly resistant to modern antibiotics, garlic is a useful alternative because it’s able to ward off many bacteria such as Candida, Staphylococcus, Listeria, Salmonella, and E.coli.

If the taste of raw garlic is too strong for you, consider eating it with a mix of yoghurt, mint, and cucumber. Or take odourless garlic tablets, which provide the maximum concentration of benefits without the garlic breath.

Garlic tips:

  • Garlic is most effective when eaten raw – either crushed or chopped.

  • Chewing parsley after eating raw garlic will neutralise your breath.

  • If used in cooking, wait until 5 minutes before serving food to add garlic. This helps to apply enough heat to convert the allicin into medicinal compounds.

  • 1 – 3 cloves a day will give you the most benefit for your health, or take odourless garlic supplements.

  • Be careful about taking too much as it can irritate your digestive system.

  • Garlic also contains vitamins A, B and C, as well as a vast array of minerals including selenium, zinc, iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

  • Garlic can interact with anticoagulants such as Warfarin. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

    Sibel XX