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What is Medicinal Use of Garlic

Updated on November 21, 2014

The Usefulness of Garlic

The questions I would like to begin with are the following: How effective is garlic as an alternative medicine? Can garlic help with hypertension, high cholesterol and other illnesses like people claim?

There are a large number of natural herbs that are believed to be effective in treating certain illnesses, however, it is often difficult to tell which indeed work and which do not, due to the politics often involved in the testing and approval of drugs in the U.S. As a result, often times, arguments supporting the efficacy of a particular herb are somewhat mixed. It's either that further studies need to be done , no evidence has shown that the herb works to treat a particular illness, or the studies did not meet the FDA guidelines.

For example, Garlic (The edible bulb of a plant from the onion family)has been widely used for several medicinal purposes and also as a spice for cooking over several decades. It is believed that garlic can help in the treatment of many illnesses such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clots formation and more. Today, globally people are still using garlic as a source of medicine. In fact, even right here in the U.S. you can find garlic tablets on the shelves of most pharmacy, supermarkets and supplement stores.

No doubt, the FDA cannot outright denounce the usefulness of garlic as an alternative medicine in treating certain illnesses. In fact, there are even several ongoing research in an attempt to prove it's efficacy.

Researched Evidence

According to researchers, they have found some evidence to support the claim that garlic can slightly lower blood cholesterol levels when taken over a period of 1-3 months. However, according to NCCAM (national Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine),based on the result of a study they have funded, garlic has shown no effect on blood cholesterol.

However, findings from other studies conducted by other researching agencies have lead to the conclusion that consuming garlic on a regular basis may lower the risk of certain cancer, but NCCAM believes that further clinical trials need to be done to confirm this.

Based on the result of a preliminary study, it's very likely that garlic may slow the development of artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a condition known to cause heart disease or stroke. Researchers have also found evidence that taking garlic may slightly lower high blood pressure and thin the blood in a similar manner like aspirin, thus reducing the ability of the blood to clot. This NCCAM didn't dispute!

It's already a well established fact, that Garlic acts as a blood thinner. It is therefore recommended that one should use garlic with caution, if they have a bleeding disorder, planning on undergoing surgery or any dental work. Using garlic under any of the above circumstances may lead to bleeding issues during or after surgery or a dental procedure.


Because coumarin and heparin are both used to thin the blood, and are widely used to treat patients with deep-vein thrombosis(clots) and serious pulmonary embolism, using garlic while taking either of these drugs, may also lead to further thinning of the blood or hemorrhage. Otherwise, since we may develop thrombi (clots) unknowingly or unexpectedly, consuming garlic may help in the prevention of clots formation.

One final word of advice, always take the time to do your own research, then consult your health care provider with all questions you might have on any alternative medicines that appeals to you before using them.


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    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      7 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks for your comments Kerlynb. Also thanks for the additional information you have provided here.

    • kerlynb profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Well-written hub. Thanks for sharing mackyi. Not only does garlic help lower blood cholesterol, it can also help keep cancer, free radicals, cold and flu, and many other infections at bay.


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