Garlic (Allium sativum, Lashuna) is a legitimate super food. It’s been used for a variety of health care needs for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine due to its enormous benefits. In this article we reveal several important aspects of garlic – garlic benefits, garlic dosage, garlic side effects, garlic precautions along with three popular quick and tasty garlic recipes.
1. Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure
Research has shown that garlic significantly helps in reducing high blood pressure.11 Research also found that aged garlic extract in the amount of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol in reducing blood pressure over a period of 24 weeks. The study concluded that garlic could be a good addition in combination therapy for hypertension.
2. Garlic Has Cardioprotective Effects
Research has shown that garlic supplements have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure and counteracting the oxidative stress. It offers cardio protection in essential hypertensive conditions.
Another scientific study concluded that the administration of garlic for 12 weeks prevented cardiovascular complications in individuals with Metabolic Syndrome.
3. Garlic May Improve Cholesterol Levels
Hypercholesterolemia is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. It is seen during this research that garlic supplements have an important role in the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia as dried garlic powder preparation significantly lowers serum triglycerides by 0.31 mmol/l compared to placebo.15 Another research also showed that garlic lowered LDL level specifically but had no reliable effects on HDL.
4. Garlic May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia
Aging is the cumulative result of oxidative damage to the cells and tissues of the body. It primarily arises as a result of aerobic metabolism. It is seen during research that garlic contains antioxidants and also increases the activities of some antioxidant enzymes that protect against cell damage and aging.17 Research concluded that the antioxidant effect of garlic may be helpful in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well which are common with aging.
5. Garlic May Protect The Liver
Acetaminophen toxicity is considered one of the major causes of acute liver failure. A research study found that fresh garlic extract prevented histological changes in liver induced by acetaminophen overdose and thus concluded that it could potentially protect against hepatitis as well.19 Studies also found that the diallyl sulfide from garlic shields the liver from chemically induced hepatotoxicity. In addition to this the selenium and allicin present in garlic make it an effective liver cleansing agent. It stimulates the production of liver enzymes that help the body to flush out toxins.
6. Garlic May Prevent Cancer
Garlic has shown effective results in research studies on cases of cancer such as lung cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. It was seen during a study conducted in China that those with intake of raw garlic twice a week had a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. The research also concluded that garlic ma potentially serve as a ‘chemopreventive agent for lung cancer’.
During a French study conducted on 345 breast cancer patients it was found that increased garlic, onion and fiber consumption were associated with a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk.
Another research study concluded that the organo sulphur compounds present in garlic such as diallyl sulfide, diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide were found to be effective in destroying the cells in glioblastomas, a type of deadly brain tumor, and provide significant protection against brain carcinogenesis. The author of this research said, “This research highlights the great promise of plant-originated compounds as natural medicine for controlling the malignant growth of human brain tumor cells”.
7. Garlic Found Effective In Common Cold
Research has noted that garlic boosts the immune system and its daily consumption lowers the chances of developing cold and flu. A study conducted for 12 weeks came to the conclusion that the group of clients consuming garlic were less likely to get cold and recovered faster if infected with common cold.
Another study found that a high amount of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) in the diet may enhance immune cell function, reduce the severity of cold and flu and reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61%.
8. Garlic May Help You Overcome Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is one of today’s most serious lifestyle and stress related diseases. Ayurveda offers natural remedies with proven efficacy for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Garlic is one of them, used traditionally to enhance sexual power.
9. Garlic Has Performance Enhancing Capabilities
It was seen that garlic improves exercise performance in clients with heart disease. During a research study, it was observed that clients with heart disease that took garlic oil for six weeks had a reduction in peak heart rate of 12% along with a reduction in workload upon the heart resulting in better exercise tolerance. The study further said that garlic is a good adaptogen and can be used in those with coronary artery disease. 27 Another study has also shown that garlic intake promotes exercise endurance and produces symptomatic improvement in a person with physical fatigue, systemic fatigue due to cold, or lassitude of indefinite cause, suggesting that garlic can resolve fatigue through a variety of actions.
10. Garlic Reduces Lead Toxicity And Related Symptoms
A four week study conducted on employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic is effective in reducing blood and tissue lead concentrations. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure. Garlic was considered safer clinically and as effective as d-penicillamine, an allopathic medicine used for this condition. The study said that garlic can be recommended for the treatment of mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.
11. Garlic Benefits For Women
Research has shown that the phytoestrogenic efficacy of extract of garlic oil prevents bone mineral loss due to ovarian hormone deficiency. 30 One studyconducted on menopausal women also found that a daily intake of dry garlic extract (equal to 2 grams of raw garlic) significantly decreased a marker of estrogen deficiency and therefore helped in improving bone health.
12. Garlic Skin Benefits
Research suggests that oral administration of garlic has immunologic properties and is effective on cutaneous microcirculation, protection against UVB rays and in skin cancer treatment.
13. Garlic Antioxidant Effects
During research it was seen that, due to the presence of organosulfur compounds, garlic prevented oxidant damage by scavenging reactive oxygen species, enhancing cellular antioxidant enzymes and protecting DNA against free radicals. It so defends against UV-induced damage.
14. Garlic Immunomodulatory Effects
Several studies have shown that garlic exhibits immunomodulatory actions, maintaining homeostasis of the immune system. The organosulfur compounds of garlic possess anti-cancer activity and is found to be effective in cutaneous cancers such as melanoma.
15. Protection From UV Rays
Garlic has shown to stimulate the proliferation of macrophages and lymphocytes and protect against the suppression of immunity by ultraviolet radiation. In addition to this, research has also shown that topical application of garlic extract is effective on skin conditions such as psoriasis, alopecia areata, keloid scar, cutaneous corn, viral, fungal infection, wound healing and also in skin ageing and rejuvenation.