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Health Benefits of Garlic

Updated on July 25, 2010

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Garlic is an old cultivated plant that has been used as a part of folk medicine for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian used garlic as a remedy for ailments, including bites, worms, headaches and heart diseases. Writers of ancient China also referred to garlic’s medicinal use in their books. In modern times, people continue to do researches on the health benefits of garlic and find that garlic is a miraculous healing medicine that lowers blood pressure, releves arthritis pains and helps to cure many diseases. The major health benefits of garlic are described as follow:

Studies have shown that fresh garlic extracts have antifungal activity. Garlic contains a substance called allicin, which has been found to be very effective against some pathogenic fungi like Candida albicans and many others. Moreover, the antifungal activity of garlic is superior to that of the commonly used drugs. Fresh garlic extracts are also effective against many different types of bacteria. Allicin can prevent the growth of streptococci and many other bacteria that cause cholera and typhoid fever. However, studies have also found that, due to the short lifetimes of allicin and ajoene after they have entered into our body. The effectiveness of garlic is largely limited to topical usage or to activity in the stomach, where freshly formed allicin or ajoene comes into direct contact with the tissue.

Clinical studies reveal that consumption of moderate amounts of fresh garlic has a favorable effect on blood lipids, lowers blood cholesterol level, helps with the dissolution of blood clots and improves blood circulation. Also, studies have found that there is an inverse correlation between garlic intake and incidence of coronary heart disease, the above conclusion is based on observations of people who consumed high levels of garlic, these people are found to be protected from coronary heart disease. Consumption of one-half to one clove of garlic per day may reduce cholesterol levels by approximately 9%.

Garlic is also found to be effective against several types of cancers, including gastrointestinal cancer, stomach cancer and colon cancer.

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