Garlic has been administered as a remedy for a wide range of ailments and illnesses. In addition to its culinary use, garlic (Allium sativum) has a long history of medical use, dating back to antiquity. The onion, rakkyo (an Asian onion), scallions, chives, leeks, and shallot are all members of the same genus, Allium, to which garlic also belongs. The ancient Egyptians enjoyed its culinary and medicinal properties, and it has been utilized by people for countless years. In this piece, we’ll discuss the studies on its purported medicinal benefits. The history of its widespread use spans millennia. It was used in the construction of the Giza pyramids, which was likely around 5,000 years ago. The historic Greek physician Hippocrates (approximately 460-370 BC), generally considered “the father of modern-day medicine,” advised garlic for an array of ailments and diseases.
Garlic was recommended by Hippocrates for a variety of health issues, including congestion, parasites, indigestion, and weariness. It may have been the first “efficiency-boosting” drug ever used in athletics. The Indus Valley Civilization (modern-day Pakistan and western India) got its garlic from ancient Egypt. It then traveled to China from there. Garlic was revered in ancient India for its medicinal and aphrodisiacal powers. The wealthy shied away from garlic due to its offensive odor, whereas nuns, “widows, young people, and individuals who took up a vow or were fasting” were forbidden to consume it due to its stimulating nature.
What are the medical advantages of Garlic?
The list of its medical advantages is long and impressive, including the treatment of diabetes, the reversal of coronary artery disease, and the prevention and treatment of cancer. Its active ingredients, such as sulfur and phytonutrients, provide several health advantages even when ingested in little doses. Adding it, an aromatic plant that increases flavor and may enhance general health is common practice in many cuisines around the world. The health advantages that garlic are numerous. Vampires, the old wives’ tale goes, will flee at the sight of this herb. Even if this is just a metaphor, it’s good advice to eat garlic. This herb has numerous positive effects on health.
It has been shown to be effective against numerous diseases and conditions and may even prevent cancer. Studies support these advantages as well. Atherosclerosis, excessive lipids, cardiac arrest, heart valve disease, and high blood pressure are just a few of the ailments that garlic is used to treat today. Certain individuals nowadays also utilize garlic to ward off the onset of cancers. It should be noted, however, that not all of these applications are supported by evidence. The anti-inflammatory properties of fresh raw garlic extracts are diminished by even brief cooking, according to a recent scientific report. Certain individuals may have issues with this since they dislike the flavor and/or odor of raw garlic.
Following are a number of the most important advantages of garlic that have been confirmed by research.
The following are the Medical Advantages of Garlic
Elements in garlic have powerful therapeutic effects
Due to its pungent odor and excellent flavor, it is widely used as a culinary component and flourishes in many different climates. But its primary function in ancient society was as a healthful and curative food and medicine. The Egyptians, and Chinese all used it, and their history of doing so is readily available. Researchers have recently discovered that the sulfur compounds produced when a bulb of its sliced, smashed, or swallowed are responsible for the vast majority of garlic’s purported health advantages. Allicin is one of the most well-known compounds. Allicin still is a highly unstable chemical that exists only momentarily in freshly cut. Diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine are two more chemicals in garlic that may contribute to its health effects. Ingesting it allows its sulfur components to enter the body. Once inside, they spread out and have a profound physiologic impact on the whole body.
Garlic has been shown to be effective in warding off disease, especially the flu
It’s common knowledge that taking its supplement can help your immune system do its job better. A major 12-week trial found that compared to a placebo, taking an everyday garlic pill decreased the incidence of colds by 63%. Moreover, the garlic group saw a 70% reduction in the duration of cold symptoms, from five days in the placebo group to a mere 1.5 days. The number of days spent unwell with a cold or the flu was reduced by 61% in another trial when an excessive amount of old garlic extract (2.56 grams each day) was used. One evaluation, though, came to the conclusion that there is a lack of proof and more study is required. It may help prevent colds, but there isn’t much data to support this claim.
The chemical components of garlic have been shown to lower blood pressure
Heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac conditions account for a disproportionate number of deaths each year. Hypertension is a major risk factor for several illnesses. Human research has shown that taking garlic supplements can significantly lower blood pressure. A single investigation found that a daily dose of 600-1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as beneficial as the blood pressure medicine Atenolol when taken for 24 weeks. To be effective, supplements require quite high amounts. About 4 garlic cloves per day are the recommended dosage.
Antioxidants found in garlic have been linked to a reduced risk of developing memory loss and Alzheimer’s
Damage caused by oxidation is one factor that leads to the aging process brought on by free radicals. Antioxidants are found in it and help the body’s natural defenses against oxidative damage. Garlic is a great food to include in your diet. It has been demonstrated that taking garlic pills in substantial amounts can enhance the number of antioxidant enzymes produced by humans and also considerably minimize the amount of oxidative stress experienced by individuals who have hypertension. It is possible that the combined benefits of lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, in addition to the antioxidant characteristics, will lower the risk of prevalent brain diseases.
The use of garlic may increase longevity
Garlic may have a beneficial effect on longevity, however, this has never been experimentally demonstrated in humans. It has been shown to have positive impacts on significant risk factors such as hypertension. Infectious illnesses are one of the leading causes of death, particularly among the elderly and those whose immune systems aren’t functioning well, so the product’s ability to combat these illnesses is another crucial aspect of its value.
Supplements containing garlic may boost sports performance
In the history of “performance-enhancing” drugs, it ranks among the earliest. In ancient societies, it was common practice to utilize it to help workers feel less tired and accomplish more. Specifically, ancient Greek Olympic athletes received it as a prize. research on rodents has found that it improves exercise performance, but there has been almost no similar research in humans. Garlic oil improved maximum heartbeat and cardiovascular fitness by 12 percent and 6 weeks, respectively, in a short study of adults with heart conditions. But advantages were not seen in an investigation of nine professional cyclists. It has been linked in other research to a decrease in exercise-induced weariness.
Garlic may aid in the removal of toxins from the body, including metals
It contains sulfur compounds, which research has proven to be protective against harm to organs caused by heavy metal toxicity when consumed in large enough concentrations. Garlic was found to decrease the concentration of lead in the blood by 19% in a trial. In addition to this, it lowered the severity of several clinical symptoms of toxicity, such as migraines and elevated blood pressure. When it came to relieving symptoms, taking three cloves of garlic every day was even more effective than taking the medicine D-penicillamine.
Bone health may be enhanced by garlic
The impact of garlic on bone loss has not been studied in humans. However, research on rodents indicates that this supplement helps reduce bone loss by raising estrogen levels in women. A single serving per day of dry garlic extract dramatically reduced a marker of estrogen insufficiency in a single investigation of menopausal women. According to these results, this dietary supplement may improve bone health in females. The anti-arthritic properties of foods like garlic and onions have been hypothesized.
Including garlic in your diet is simple and will improve its flavor
The last one isn’t directly related to health, but it’s still crucial. It won’t take much effort to incorporate garlic into your present diet. It goes well with many different kinds of sauces and soups. Its pungent flavor can help perk up dishes that lack flavor otherwise. Garlic is available in many different preparations, from fresh cloves to mixes to pills to additives like extract and oil. Using a garlic press, mince a couple of cloves of freshly grown garlic and combine them with some extra virgin olive oil and salt. As an alternative to dressing, this is both easy and healthy.
The Bottom Line
For countless years, people have held the belief that garlic possessed therapeutic qualities. It is just now starting to be confirmed by scientific research. Before making significant changes to the amount of garlic you consume, you should discuss the matter with your medical professional if you are already taking anticoagulant medication. Both an established and commonly used flavoring component in cooking as well as an ancient treatment, it is considered to have medicinal properties. It has several beneficial effects on health, including the ability to lower blood pressure and stop hair loss. Because of the flavor it imparts, it is a common ingredient in a wide variety of cuisines recipes. According to the findings of certain studies, it can help control blood pressure, and minimize the chance of developing malignancies.
Garlic can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, acne, psoriasis, and eczema, as well as control these skin conditions. On the other hand, consuming an excessive amount of it can lead to acid reflux, increased body temperature, and skin irritation. As a result, exercising restraint is recommended. If you have a specific health condition and are considering using it for treatment, it is best to discuss your plans with your physician beforehand. It does have some drawbacks, though, including the fact that it might cause bad breath. Additionally, there are certain individuals who are sensitive to it. Before boosting the amount of garlic you eat, you should discuss the matter with your primary care physician.