Garlic is grown and consumed throughout the world either in fresh or powdered form. This plant belongs to the same family as onions and leeks.
It had been used for centuries because of its health and therapeutic potentials.
Many cultures and traditions believe that garlic can cure and prevent numerous harmful diseases.
Its use is mostly restricted to culinary use in the modern era.
However, recent studies on therapeutic value had proven that it can indeed benefit health by suppressing certain harmful diseases.
It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipid-lowering properties. The compounds in it can reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, blood pressures, diabetes, and metabolic problems.
Here are some health benefits of eating garlic.
It is Effective Against Common Cold:
Garlic remedies are traditionally used to prevent and control the common cold.
It allegedly has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can relieve conditions like the cold.
One trial showed the occurrence of fewer cases of cold in the group consuming garlic than in the group using a placebo.
However, this data is only based on one trial so it can for concrete evidence that garlic reduced cold.
Another study suggests that about 3g of garlic per day can improve the immune system. This subsequently might reduce the occurrence of cold and flu.
Although, all the data is related to garlic and cold is moderately accepted and still needs much research.
Help in Reducing High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the most problematic diseases of the modern era. It can give rise to cardiovascular problems, kidney diseases, dementia, and even heart failure.
Garlic exhibited satisfactory results as a remedy for hypertension. It can lower blood pressure by stimulating the immune system and regulating high cholesterol.
One trial reported the effect of aged garlic extract on hypertension without any side effects. It lowered systolic blood pressure during the uncontrolled rise in blood pressure.
In mild hypertension patients, 300 mg of garlic per day for 12 weeks resulted in reduced diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Some evidence even says that combing garlic with coriander further increases the health benefits by affecting the LDL level.
However, a very high dose is required for effect to take place. In some cases about 8 grams per day.
Garlic May Control Diabetes:
In the last few decades, diabetes has remained one of the most prominent chronic diseases.
Many studies have shown the hypoglycemic potential of garlic in animal trials. However, in the case of humans, its effect is debatable.
The presence of volatile sulfur compounds, like allicin, alliin, diallyl disulfide, are responsible for reducing hyperglycemia. They reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Additionally, garlic has been reported to reduce insulin resistance too.
A short-term trial, its dose controlled diabetes in type-2 diabetic patients by lowering the LDL and raising the HDL level.
Currently, no study shows the long term effect of garlic's dosage on diabetes, so further study is required.
Beneficial in Against Bone Disorders
Although not much research, but garlic might possibly have some minor role in improving bone health.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects bone joints. It causes chronic and disabling pain.
The 1000 mg per day dose showed to effectively reduce the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis in obese and overweight women. This dose was given for 12 weeks to patients.
Garlic supplement at 1000 mg per day has been shown to be effective on symptom relief in overweight or obese women with knee osteoarthritis, after 12 weeks of administration.
In one clinical trial, garlic tablets acted as antioxidants in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. There was an overall reduction in oxidative stress and osteoporosis. Women consumed 2 tablets per day for two months.
It may also increase cytokine production and reduce osteoporosis risk.
Effective Against Skin Disease
Garlic has been a traditional medicine throughout time. It can even help to heal certain skin wounds.
There are many clinical trials that show its effect in reducing symptoms of warts, a venous ulcer, and skin wounds.
Aged extract of this plant showed its healing potential after six days of application depending on dose and concentration of extract.
One non-randomized study was done on venous ulcer patients with garlic containing ointment. The ulcer area reduced after seven weeks of application.
Another study showed that the application of lipid garlic extract had more potential in healing warts than any other treatment.
Reduce the Risks of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide with 17.3 million deaths per year.
Many conditions lead to the development of CVD. These include diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Based on reports, garlic can significantly reduce the risk factor for the development of the cardiovascular disease.
In several studies, it has reduced the blood pressure in patients by regular intake.
In one trial 200 mg of garlic powder, three times a day. It reduced systolic pressure by 10-11 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 6-8 mmHg.
Some studies on rats have showed its cholesterol-lowering potential. The results might be the same in humans.
However, some believe that garlic and its products have no effect in reducing cardiovascular disease even at high doses.
Garlic has Anti-Tumor Effect
Cancer cases are on a continuous rise around the globe. In 2019, 16.9 million people were suffering from cancer.
Although garlic is not a magic pill to treat cancer, there is some evidence that supports its role in reducing the risk.
The U.S National Cancer institute determined that garlic is the most effective food in preventing cancer. Its anti-tumor properties help in cell growth inhibition.
It possibly acts as an anti-carcinogen by inhibiting the activation of carcinogenic compounds, excretion, and protection of DNA from cancerous compounds.
A study on rodents showed that garlic and its components inhibit the chemically induced tumor in the liver. Other studies showed the same result in colon, prostate, mammary gland, lung, and stomach tumors.