The health benefits and medicinal properties of garlic been known for at least 3,000 years. It has the reputation of being very effective in ridding the body of everything from the common cold to the flu. It has always been used extensively in herbal medicine, but only recently has garlic benefits been acknowledged by modern science.
Garlic is now widely available as supplements in the form of powder capsules—ideal for people who don’t want to get that notorious ‘garlic breath.’ Read on for just a few of the many garlic benefits.
1. Garlic has antioxidant and antibacterial/antibiotic properties.
One of the most commonly known garlic benefits is its anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant—it helps protect the body against damage from free radicals. It also has antibacterial properties, protecting against bacterial and fungal infections. It is used by some people to treat acne and minor wounds. Garlic can also be effective as a natural mosquito repellent. 2. Garlic benefits the cardiovascular system
According to a study made by Adesh K. Jain, M.D., of the Clinical Research Center and Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, garlic benefits include lower blood levels of "total" cholesterol. It particularly lowers the dangerous low-density lipoprotein (LDL) form. In fact, a 12-week study showed an average of 6% drop of cholesterol levels among 20 men and women taking garlic tablets.
More garlic benefits were established in another study made by H. Kieswetter, M.D., of the University of Saarlandes, Hamburg, Germany. Garlic was found to be a natural blood thinner. It was also concluded that garlic has the ability to help lower blood pressure because it contains natural ACE inhibitors—an enzyme related to increase in blood pressure. In the study, patients suffering from blood clots in the legs—known as peripheral arterial occlusive disease—were able to walk farther without pain, thanks to garlic.
2. Garlic Protects Against Cancer
Benjamin Lau, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, noted in his paper ‘Molecular Biotherapy’ that garlic "is one of the most ancient of plants reputed to have an anticancer effect. As recorded around 1550 B.C., in the Ebers Papyrus, garlic was used externally for the treatment of tumors by ancient Egyptians and internally by Hippocrates and Indian physicians."
He identifies three ways by which garlic can protect against cancer: (a) by boosting the immune system and efficiently helping the body in fighting cancer cells, (b) by directly inhibiting the metabolism of tumor cells metabolism, and (c) by preventing cancer cells from initiating and reproducing.
The Food and Drug Administration board does not regulate the manufacture and sale of garlic supplements. To ensure that the product contains the right amount of ingredients and that it does not contain any known contaminants, it is advisable to choose a manufacturer that strictly complies to GMP standards, as outlined by the FDA.
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