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Allium sativum

What is garlic?

Garlic is an herb related to onion, leeks, and chives. Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for its health and medicinal properties, the use of garlic is well documented in many ancient civilisations, including the Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese [i].

What are the benefits of garlic?

It is commonly used therapeutically for conditions related to the heart and blood circulatory system, as well as having antimicrobial properties to aid in infections of many kinds. For these reasons garlic is widely known as a medicinal plant.

Cardiovascular health

Atherosclerosis is thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. Garlic possesses a wide -range of beneficial effects which appear to be necessary for prevention of atherosclerosis and related diseases. As such, it is believed that garlic can help to reduce bad cholesterol and excessive cholesterol production, regulate blood pressure and reduce blood clots [ii] [iii].

Liver protection and protection against toxicity

Garlic is also said to support and protect the liver [iv]. Garlic provides antioxidant free-radical protection and anti-inflammatory benefits to protect cells of the liver and also many other types of cells in our body. Garlic also modulates the activity of several important metabolising enzymes in the liver, which support liver function. It has been shown that garlic and its major components can ameliorate the toxicity of different agents in brain, kidney, blood, liver. It does so via reducing inflammation and oxidation of tissues and acting as a chelating agent; a chelating agent is a chemical compound that reacts with metal ions to form stable, water-soluble metal complexes and therefore helps to remove the unwanted substance from the body tissues [v].

Antimicrobial benefits

Garlic produces a chemical called allicin, this is the most active component in garlic and appears to produce results for certain conditions. Allicin also makes garlic smell. Garlic is said to support the microbiome of the gut and mouth [vi]. In addition, the prebiotic properties in garlic increase gut microbial richness and diversity (6). One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo [vii]. Similarly, another study found that a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) reduced the number of sick days (with cold or flu viruses) by 61% [viii].

Anti-inflammatory benefits

Conditions such as endometriosis have been improved with applications of garlic for 3 months [ix]. Studies suggest that exercise-induced fatigue may be reduced with garlic [x].

Metabolic health

In diabetics, taking garlic powder seems to reduce pre-meal blood sugar levels by a small amount. It appears to work best when taken for a minimum of 3 months [xi].

Recommended For

Viral Infection , Fungal Infection , Cardiovascular Health / Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) , Liver Support , Detoxification

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