Whether you love it or hate it, garlic is at the core of cuisines worldwide. Its bitter and complex flavor makes it a great addition to a variety of savory dishes.
More importantly, garlic benefits include medicinal properties and potent healthful compounds that work together to support every system within your body. So what makes garlic such a powerful medicine?
How Garlic Works
This well-known spice had remarkable healing qualities by virtue of the phytochemical allicin. In fact, allicin has been found to have profound antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-hypertension, anti-cancer, and lipid-lowering (cholesterol) effects. (1)
Allicin doesn’t exist in its pure state in raw garlic; it is produced when a clove is broken and accounts for the pungent aroma—a defense mechanism for the plant as it grows.
It’s necessary to crush or mince garlic and give it a few minutes for enzymes to go through the process of creating allicin in order to reap its medicinal benefits. Additionally, cooking garlic at high heat destroys this powerful compound.
Following are 15 ways that garlic benefits that improve human health—all without a prescription.
15 Proven Garlic Benefits
Eat at least raw 2-3 cloves each day to get the most of these effects.
1. Kills Anthrax
This is a killer bacterium that afflicts humans and other animals. Allicin from fresh-cut garlic eradicates this (and most other) bacteria better than most pharmaceutical antibiotics. (2)
2. Natural Antibiotic
Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide concern, as the mis- and over-use of antibiotics have led to bacterial adaptation that makes the medications impotent. This poses a serious hazard for even common infections that can now become life-threatening illnesses.
Garlic kills common bacteria below with no adverse effects:
- Campylobacter jejuni (food poisoning) (3)
- Pseudomonas aeruginoasa (urinary tract infection, pneumonia) (4)
- Bacillus subtilus (food poisoning) (5)
- coli and Staphylococcus aureus (infections of the urinary tract and skin, meningitis, and others) (6)
- Klebsiella pneumonia (pneumonia, urinary tract and blood infection, meningitis) (7)
- Shigella sonnei (diarrhea/dysentery) (8)
- Salmonella typhi (typhoid fever) – a particular African study wrote:
“Crude garlic extract inhibited the growth of S. typhi…This inhibition was superior to that of all the conventional antibiotics used except streptomycin…garlic may possess immune-stimulatory effect in addition to its antibacterial effect.” (9)
- Helicobacter pylori (gastroesophageal ulcers and cancer)
“…lack of [bacteria] resistance [to garlic] has been observed repeatedly; even toxin production by microorganisms is prevented by garlic. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium implicated in the etiology of stomach cancer and ulcers. The incidence of stomach cancer is lower in populations with a high intake of allium vegetables.” (10)