5 Surprising Health Benefits of Garlic

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in Herbs, Immunity


Whenever I feel a cold coming on, I reach for some raw garlic. Not very appealing for most people, I know! But, after eating one raw clove, I can usually feel the symptoms retreating within an hour. For me, it’s an inexpensive and effective cure. This isn’t all that garlic is useful for though. In fact, garlic is often referred to as the wonder drug of the herbal world. Let’s take a look at the important health benefits of garlic and what scientific studies have found.

1. Reduces Blood Clots

One of the main cautions that people need to be aware of when taking garlic as a supplement is that it can thin the blood, or in scientific terms, has anticoagulant and antiplatelet properties (see this study, this study, and this study). This can increase the risk of bleeding after surgery and interact with some medications. However, it can be helpful for patients at risk of forming blood clots, and people at risk of stroke or heart attack. It’s very beneficial for people who are prone to blood clotting in the legs.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure

Numerous scientific studies have examined the potential garlic and blood pressure link. According to this review, the studies all reported positive findings, with patients who took garlic preparations showing substantial decreases in blood pressure compared to those who took placebos.

The compound in garlic that’s responsible for this is effect is called adenosine. It relaxes the smooth muscle of the arteries. This causes blood vessels to dilate, thereby reducing the force of blood against the walls of arteries and lowering the blood pressure.

3. Lowers Cholesterol and Plaque Buildup in the Arteries

Multiple scientific studies have found that garlic has the ability to lower cholesterol. It does this by inhibiting at least two of the enzymes involved in the production of cholesterol by the liver, thus lowering cholesterol synthesis.

The Dynamic Duo: Garlic and Fish Oil

Did you know that combining garlic with fish oil (which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids) has been shown to increase the effectiveness of both products in lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides? We recommend Xtend-Life Omega 3 Fish Oil. Find out more in this FREE Fish Oil Buyer’s Guide.

4. Fights Infection

Not only is garlic potent against viruses that cause colds and flu, it has strong antimicrobial properties that can also kill off a wide range of bacteria, yeast, parasites and fungi. In this study, garlic was even shown to inhibit the growth of H. pylori, a hard to eradicate bacteria that lives in the stomach. In addition, the study found that a combination of garlic and omeprazole produced a synergic effect.

Part of the reason why garlic is so active against colds and flu (for example, see this study on preventing the common cold with garlic) is that our bodies eliminate some of its active ingredients through the lungs, right where their fighting action is needed.

5. Helps Prevent Cancer

The National Cancer Institute indicates that, based on several population studies (ones that follow groups of people over time), the consumption of garlic may reduce the risk of certain cancers — in particular, cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast.

Few clinical trials have been done to examine the potential anticancer effects of garlic, and they are yet to provide conclusive evidence that garlic works due to conflicting results. Clinical trials that showed a positive outcome in regards to cancer prevention include this study on colorectal adenomas and this study on gastric cancer.

The preventative effects of garlic are believed to come from its antibacterial properties, ability to block the formation and activation of cancer-causing substances, enhance DNA repair (garlic has antioxidant properties), reduce cell proliferation, and induce cell death.

How Much Garlic Should You Take?

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for general health promotion for adults is a daily dose of 2-5 grams of fresh garlic (approximately one clove), 0.4-1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, 2-5 milligrams of garlic oil, or 300-1,000 milligrams of garlic extract.

What’s the Important Compound in Garlic?

The most well known and widely studied garlic compound is allicin (which gives the herb its distinctive odor). When fresh garlic cloves are crushed or chopped, or garlic powder that has been carefully dried is added to water, allicin is produced in seconds.

Tip: If you’re worried about garlic breath, chew parsley leaves or fennel seeds after eating raw garlic.

Of course, eating raw garlic isn’t for everyone though. Fortunately, there are numerous garlic supplements available on the market. However, it is essential to look at how they’re manufactured. This is because allicin is destroyed by heat, and as a result is missing from products such as steam distilled garlic oil.

grl001We recommend Native Remedies Essentials Garlic capsules. Their garlic is organically grown and carefully dried, and protected from heat while being prepared. Native Remedies also avoid deodorizing or desulpherizing their garlic.

All of this preserves the active compounds that give garlic its outstanding health benefits.

Not satisfied? Native Remedies offer a One Year Money Back Guarantee on their products!

We Use and Recommend!

Xtend-Life because they are a family owned company specializing in development of innovative products to meet specific needs.

Xtend-Life combines top quality raw ingredients that are laboratory-tested, with superior manufacturing practices. Satisfaction is guaranteed, or your money back!

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