Medically reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Nutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India
Health benefits of Garlic are always known to us. If you flip the pages of mankind history, you will find pieces of evidence of how Garlic had been immensely important in medical applications.
In many world cultures, Garlic is considered to be very crucial in the maintenance of health.
Moreover, did you know that Garlic can keep away the Vampires too? Don’t believe? Haven’t you watched those Vampire Stories?
But we won’t go there, for now, let us stick to the benefits of garlic in our very human world.
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Angelo Pellegrini quoted, “My final, considered judgment is that the hardy bulb (garlic) blesses and ennobles everything it touches – with the possible exception of ice cream and pie.”
Belonging to the Onion family, garlic is a plant that is famous in the world of gastronomy. The strong pungent smell is one of its prime characteristics.
Under right conditions, garlic takes about nine months to mature. Its head portion is known as garlic bulb and each of its segments is called a clove.
A chemical substance, known as “Allicin” is found in garlic which plays a vital role in garlic’s medicinal history and is also the reason for the pungent smell.
What does Garlic do for you?
While its smelly part makes us avoid garlic, it is power packed with many benefits. I bring to you a list of major health benefits of garlic.
So keep the nose out of here for some time and enjoy these 8 health benefits of garlic.
1. Garlic fights hypertension:
Hypertension is a key factor for heart diseases. The allicin present in Garlic relaxes the blood vessels that helps in curing hypertension.
Usually, four cloves of garlic a day can be effective in controlling high blood pressure or hypertension.
2. Garlic controls High Cholesterol:
These small cloves of garlic can be very good at reducing the Total and LDL cholesterol.
On regular consumption of garlic, the LDL cholesterol appears to reduce while the HDL cholesterol level remains unaffected.
Is Garlic good for the heart?
Yes. Besides improving cholesterol levels, which is one of the factors of keeping the heart healthy, garlic also reverses plaque build up in the arteries. This actually reverses early onset of heart diseases.
Moreover, freshly crushed garlic contains hydrogen sulphide can act as an intracellular signalling compound. This can further protect the heart. However, remember that hydrogen sulphide in large quantities is poisonous.
3. Garlic improves the Immune system:
Garlic boosts the immune system and strengthens it. You must have remembered your mother giving you raw garlic cloves when you had a cold.
That actually works! Garlic has antiseptic properties which make our immune system grow stronger to fight cough and a common cold. Antiviral and antimicrobial properties reduce and prevent cold.
4. Garlic fights intestinal issues:
Be it dysentery, diarrhoea or even colitis, garlic can help your intestines. Garlic has the properties that destroy the unwanted and harmful bacteria found in the intestines.
It is great at eliminating unwanted intestinal worms. So, Is garlic good for the digestive system? Yes.
It improves peristaltic action as well as promotes secretion of digestive juices and lookout for different intestinal disorders as mentioned.
What are the benefits of eating raw garlic?
- Consuming raw garlic can help in:
- Lowering of high blood pressure
- Improving blood sugar level
- Treating sore throat
- Killing pinworms
- Fights common cold and flu
5. Garlic helps in Diabetes:
Its compounds like allyl propyl disulphide, S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide along with allicin are found to be raising the insulin levels in the blood.
6. Garlic for Alzheimer’s:
Garlic has a good source of antioxidants which prevents oxidative damages from free radicals in the body. This slows down the ageing process and protects against cell damages.
This property of garlic makes it good for fighting diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which are closely related to old age.
Did you know ?
- Garlic is known as “the stinking rose”.
- There are about 300 varieties of garlic grown all over the world.
- A city in California, called Gilroy, promotes itself as the “Garlic Capital of the World”.
- April 19 is the National Garlic Day.
- Garlic belongs to the Lily family.
- It is one of the oldest cultivated crops.
- Garlic’s antiseptic properties were used against gangrene, a dead tissue, during First World War.
- It has insecticidal properties that make it suitable to be planted with different plants.
7. Garlic for weight loss:
Studies show that Garlic stimulates the satiety hormones. This way we will be less hungry and hence we will eat less.
Moreover, garlic consumption releases a neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, which is known to boost up body’s metabolism.
Garlic also acts as a powerful detoxifier. All these properties of garlic make it appropriate for weight loss.
Quick Garlic tip: One of the famous home remedies for losing belly fat is to eat raw garlic cloves (2-3) every morning followed by a glass of lemon water.
Garlic for skin:
Antiseptic property of Garlic is recommended to cure skin problems. Allicin present in Garlic is known for its anti-ageing and skin smoothing properties.
Garlic increases blood flow in our body and brings a natural glow to the skin. It helps in getting rid of acne, pimples and blackheads.
Quick Garlic tip: For red swelling pimple, you can use a freshly cut piece of raw garlic and apply a little pressure on it.
The juice that releases will act on the affected area. After 5 minutes wash off with cold water. The redness and swelling will reduce in a day.
Got some more benefits of Garlic? Please add to the list in the comments section below.