Garlic has played multiple roles throughout its lengthy historical association with humankind. In Indian subcontinent it was used before 5000 years ago, according to the ancient sanskrit documents. It is food, flavoring agent, disease preventative, health preserver and health restorer. In 1858, Louis Pasteur praised the anti-bacterial properties of it. In first and second world war surgeons used it as an antibiotic.
The latest resurgence of interest in garlic’s therapeutic benefits has the added weight of scientific research, with both fresh garlic and garlic supplements riding the wave. Garlic is a powerful and complex natural drug that offers a broad spectrum of highly beneficial therapeutic effects. There are two main medical ingredients which produce the garlic health benefits: allicin and diallyl sulphides. I discussed them in somewhat detail in my previous post “secret therapeutic benefits of garlic” on infections. Let us move on to cardiovascular health, diabetes, cancer and liver benefits.
Lower High Blood pressure: Garlic has been used to treat elevated blood pressure at least since the early part of 20th century. Numerous clinical studies have affirmed its therapeutic effect in reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Antiplatelet activity: Studies have shown that garlic inhibits platelet aggregation and is an effective anti-thrombotic for the human body.
Antioxidant activity: Garlic inhibits the formation of free radicals, supports the body’s radical scavenger mechanisms, and protects LDL (bad cholesterol) against oxidation by free radicals.
150%; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; mso-themecolor: text1;">Anti-diabetic effects: Garlic lowers elevated blood glucose. Although it is not a substitute treatment for diabetes, it nonetheless can be beneficial in reducing elevated blood sugar and reducing insulin requirements, particularly for those with slight or threshold diabetic conditions. 0.1 mg/kg of Allicin, a compound present in garlic reduces glucose level by 15.4% and increases insulin activity by 18%.
Anticancer effects: Garlic has germanium in it. Germanium is an anti-cancer agent, Studies show that garlic can reduce the risk of various forms of cancer, including gastrointestinal and colon cancers. One or more servings of fresh or powdered garlic per week exhibited a 35% lower risk of colon cancer and a 50% lower risk of distal colon cancer.
Effective against liver damage: Garlic extracts have been effective in controlling liver disease and damage caused by acute hepatitis. Studies show that garlic can protect the liver by neutralizing liver toxicants, activating enzymes that control detoxification.
Garlic has a seemingly endless range of therapeutic effects, the full extent of which is not yet known. It should again be stressed that although garlic offers numerous therapeutic benefits, it is not a substitute for clinical medication or medical treatment. . The biggest advantage herbs and other natural therapies offer is that they, generally, do not have side effects if consumed in optimum amounts, but still it is beneficial to ask your doctor if you are allergic to garlic.