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Health Benefits of Garlic – Anti-Cancer, Anti-Infection, Detoxify, and More

Mike Barrett
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April 26th, 2012
Updated 04/11/2013 at 5:08 pm
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garliccloves1 263x164 Health Benefits of Garlic Anti Cancer, Anti Infection, Detoxify, and MoreA common ingredient for sautéing, garlic is an amazingly healthful and popular spice relative of onion, leek, chive and shallots. While a cooking favorite thanks to great taste, the health benefits of garlic have also been recognized and taken advantage of since the ancient times, showing countless individuals the compelling reasons to increase garlic consumption.

The Many Health Benefits of Garlic – Experience them Today

If you aren’t already a fan of garlic, you will likely load up your kitchen with the food after reading all it has to offer. Here are some of the health benefits of garlic:

Boosting the Immune System, Anti-Infection

If history tells us anything about garlic, it is that the food has many well-known health benefits – the most popular being its anti-infection uses and overall power to boost the immune system. Garlic possess antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal properties allowing it to stand against all infections. Skin conditions caused by bacteria, virus, fungi or yeast can be treated by rubbing raw chopped garlic on the affected area.

Garlic has been studied not only for it’s ability to fight bacterial and viral infections, but also infection from other microbes including yeasts/fungi and worms. One particular substance found in garlic called ajoene has been used to help prevent infections with the yeast Candida albicans.

Other research has shown that crushed garlic can help prevent infection by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with burns.

And of course, garlic is great for boosting the immune system, containing high levels of vitamin C and being identified as a serious anti-cancer food. Because of its high potassium content, it can aid in absorption of essential nutrients, and help avoid digestive problems and fatigue as well. Garlic can also help in lung and throat problems due to its pungent smell. Since consuming garlic can irritate the digestive tract because of its pungent smell, a signal travels to the brain to release watery fluid in the lungs to counter the pungent property, thereby helping clear the lungs out of cough and colds.

Garlic is a Powerful Cancer Fighter

Adding more to the health benefits of garlic list, garlic’s role in the prevention of cancer is perhaps one of the most notorious. Scientists believe that the exceptional anti-cancer properties may have to do with the way that garlic boosts the production of something known as hydrogen sulfide. It is the hydrogen sulfide production that researchers believe to be why garlic is so effective at preventing a wide variety of cancer including, prostate, breast, and colon cancer.

From Cancer.gov’s National Cancer Intitute FactSheet:

“Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast.”

One study out of the National Cancer Institute found that eating 10 grams (about two teaspoons) or more of garlic, onions or scallions each day could significantly reduce prostate cancer  risk. But this isn’t the only type of cancer garlic can prevent.

Other research conducted at Case Western Reserve University indicated that garlic may help reduce the occurrence rate of pre-cancerous tumors (polyps) in the large intestine.

Further showcasing garlic as one of many cancer-fighting foods, several other population studies conducted in China also found that frequent consumption of garlic was associated with reduced risk of esophageal and stomach cancers. The risk seemed to drop as the amount of garlic consumed went up.

Garlic Fights Inflammation, Protecting Against Numerous Conditions

Research shows that anti-inflammatory compounds in garlic can also benefit our musculoskeletal system and respiratory system. Two sulfur containing constituents in garlic, diallyl sulfide (DAS) and thiacremonone, have anti-arthritic properties. Garlic has also been shown to improve inflammatory conditions when referring to allergic airway inflammation.

Surprisingly, the sulfur-containing compounds in garlic may even help the inflammatory aspects of obesity. Fat cells cannot grow 100% unless they are able to move from a preliminary stage called “preadipocytes” to a stage called “adipocytes.” As you may have guessed, thanks to one of the sulfur compounds in garlic, garlic halts this progress. The sulfur compound is 1,2,-vinyldithiin, or 1,2-DT, and the impact of 1,2-DT appears to be inflammation-related. This is exciting because inflammation is being recognized more and more as being a part of obesity.

Garlic for Detoxification

Another one of the many health benefits of garlic, this food may also be used to detoxify – an extremely important method everyone should be doing to cleanse the body of toxins. Whilegarlicinabag 235x147 Health Benefits of Garlic Anti Cancer, Anti Infection, Detoxify, and More the benefits of garlic for liver health and beyond are many, one reason for its superior effects has to do with the fact that garlic contains numerous sulfur-containing compounds that are known to activate the liver enzymes responsible for expelling toxins from the body. Another lies in the presence of both allicin and selenium, two important nutrients that play an integral role in the protection of the liver from damage

It is also important to note that many cancers are thought to be caused by damage to DNA, which could be the result of exposure to environmental toxins. One study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that eating a teaspoon of fresh garlic and a half cup of onions per day could remove toxins in the blood cells due to an increased production of a key toxin-removing enzyme.

These are only some of the health benefits of garlic.

Other Health Benefits of Garlic

  • Toothache – Among many home remedies for toothache, the use of garlic has been passed down for years to treat this issue; the antibiotic compound called allicin is what give garlic this ability. When garlic is crushed, this compound is released, helping to slow bacterial activity upon application and ingestion. Try applying a crushed garlic clove or garlic powder to the area. It may burn, but the pain from the toothache could vanish within minutes, although it could take hours. Repeat this over a few days, and you all should be well.
  • Repel mosquitoes – Although not conclusive, there is a long history of using garlic to get rid of many insects. Garlic has a reputation for protecting people from mosquito bites, specifically.
  • Warts - Each night before bed, crush up a clove of garlic, rub it on the wart, and apply a bandage. Additionally, cover the wart with juice from garlic twice a day.
  • Earache - Mix some sesame oil with a garlic clove and warm the mixture up in a pan. Afterwards, use it as ear drops. It is recommended that you allow the mixture to sit in the ear for 10 minutes or longer.
  • Cough – Boiling cloves of garlic and drinking it like tea will not only make it easier to breathe, but it will also help to alleviate itchiness which could cause you to cough continuously. Check out other home remedies for cough here.
  • Stuffy nose or nasal congestion – Adding to garlic benefits, this spice is one ingredient in one of the most popular home remedies for nasal congestion: tomato tea. Tomato tea is by far the most effective method as reported by peers on Earthclinic. It’s hot and spicy, providing steam and pepper to clear your sinuses, as well as a wallop of vitamin C and a boost to the immune system. Combine the following ingredients in a food processor and heat over a stove until steaming.
    • 1 cup tomato juice
    • 1 tsp fresh garlic
    • ½ tsp of hot sauce
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • Pinch of sea or celery salt

A Little Information on Cooking

It’s important that you’re preparing garlic the right way, as improper preparation and consumption could negate the positive effects. Oftentimes, home chefs will cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it, which is not allowing optimal time for enzyme reactions that boost the healthy compounds in garlic. Instead, crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. In addition, never cook garlic at high heat — try consuming it raw or cooked lightly.

Raw garlic can be used to kill bacteria, but cooked garlic has more potency in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

If you are worried about garlic causing bad breathe, you can counter this by consuming garlic prepared as pills or capsules. If you want to experience the health benefits of garlic and stave off the odor a different way, consume garlic with parsley, as the herb counters garlic’s bad smell.

Lastly, much of the research on garlic as an antibiotic has involved fresh garlic extracts or powdered garlic products and not garlic in it’s whole food form. You will, however, experience garlic benefits simply from ingesting the powerful health food.

Garlic Benefits Summary – Garlic is Great for:

  • Cancer
  • Detoxification
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Infections
  • Inflammation
  • Heart Health
  • Toothache
  • Repel mosquitoes
  • Warts
  • Earache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose or nasal congestion

Additional Sources:

WHFoods

The Huffington Post

Pubmed/23387242

The Journal of Nutrition

Washington State University

American Academy of Family Physicians

Research Penn State

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail Health Benefits of Garlic Anti Cancer, Anti Infection, Detoxify, and More Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

From around the web:

  • Ruth

    I believe ingesting minced garlic can get rid of scabies-too messy to make a paste and put on the skin but if you have the patience, I feel this eventually works.

  • Kevin Kreckel

    very good arcticle!

  • http://kitokid.com/tag/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%A8-250/ kitokid

    i already red a bout this but thanks

  • Mike

    Garlic is the best for everything. The only problem is sometimes when I eat lots of garlic, then I go to the outhouse and make shit, my ass burns like fire. But, I tell you something, in my outhouse, there were some mice in the wall making a nest and they were always there and making noises by scratching. When I make that garlic shit, everything smells and they moved away. Garlic is really a good thing.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to you all for sharing your beneficial experiences with garlic! I am going to start consuming it on a daily basis to improve my health as well :). Im also going to tell my children the benefits of garlic, and since they are grown adults, Im going to encourage them to give garlic a try for themselves. Be blessed, be happy, and stay healthy!

  • Anonymous

    This information was so enlightening. Thankyou to all those who shared your beneficial experiences

  • Omedo Ochieng

    Ignore the smell, look at the positive part of it.

  • angela dikkurscn

    Eat lemon after taking garlic. Heard it cuts the smell.

  • Hussain

    I eat garlic cubes on a regular basis! I haven’t had a flu in the last few yesrs

  • http://www.dimosdental.com.au/ Vanessa K. Smith

    For me, garlic is unnecessarily vilified as a cause for bad breath, but on the contrary, it has agents that fight bad breath. Just be sure to brush your teeth afterward.

  • sean.

    I love it,eat raw garlic every day,feel great about it and I haven’t been bitten by a vampire yet.

  • cyril

    I cured my importency with garlic

    • Anonymous

      How did you do that LAWiggs?

    • matt

      How Cyril?

  • LAWiggs

    WOW very interesting and,informative

  • lynn

    I love the benifits of garlic had a friend with breast cancer she ate two bulbs aday doctors who had given her three months to live retested her, and too there amazement found that she was cancer free but did not believe that it was the garlic that cured my friend

  • http://www.gotinnituscures.com tincures

    God i love garlic, it goes with everything and i try to grow my own. I was never aware that there were so many health benefits though – I eat it because it tastes good! Good to know – at least I know that not only will vampires leave me alone but i'll also be pretty healthy too :)

  • love D

    I eat one clove of garlic every morning

  • http://www.aloe-vera.org David H.

    I "crush" two cloves of garlic in a blender. Let it set for about 15 minutes (with the lid on so that the smell doesn't permeate the room). Then I put in some low sodium V8 (vegetable juice) and aloe vera juice (aloe-vera.org) to flavor and for additional health benefits.

    I drink this every morning. I remember the first few days I got a little "gassy" but after a while my body adapted. It's great. I also crush garlic with a fork until it is a kind of "mash" and put it on my skin for anything – cuts, burns, etc. Just be aware that garlic has a natural blistering agent in its chemical makeup. So if you leave it on your skin too long you will get a "burn." – David H.

  • guest

    has anyone had any luck with using garlic to fight yeast infection and UTI's showing ecoli in testing?

  • Sirita

    God bless for all your info about garlic. This is the first time I post a comment.
    My opinion is that those who smoke pot stinks like blank, blank, blank, and not mention people who drink alcohol. Anyway a young guy saw many Drs. and none couldn't diagnose what was wrong with him. His symptoms were heart palpitation, anxiety, headaches, dizziness, weak, and breathing problems. His illness started since 2010. Last August 2012 he started to peal the garlic cloves cut them into small pieces and swallow them with water like taking a pill. The results were unbelievable! By December 2012 he reported that his health was great and he is back to work. My opinion: Gods remedies are the natural.

  • sushma

    I run cookery demos and classes highlighting on the benefits of spices, onions, garlic, ginger and various other ingredients. Garlic has amazing healing properties .http://www.yummymummycooking.com

  • OGBECHE EJEMBI

    MOST PEOPLE AROUND ME ARE ALWAYS IRRITATED WITH THE SMELL OF GARLIC EACH TIME I CHEW IT, BUT I PREFER MY LIFE TO LOSING MY FRIENDS.

  • vidawatee

    what doctors are discovering now is there from the beginning taught by the ancient yogic scholars. lets make use of this vedic knowlege and live healthier!!

  • Khurram

    I found a Garlic small piece can decrease the High Blood Pressure also.

  • Maurice

    I believe in garlic whole heartedly, damn it's a wonder food. It's potency I
    sn't for weak people, though.

  • Obina

    garlic a great herb for most of your health predicament.

  • val

    i love roasted garlic. everytime i make a roast, i always put one head of garlic for me and one for my husband. we both love it!

  • mahleka juliana

    so interesting

  • francette

    when I was small I had scabies and my skin remained with black spots. My father crushed garlic and put it in a bottle with oil and made me rub it on my fool. The spots eventually disappeared. We used the potion on all cuts and bruises even the neighbour brought the pet rabbit who was bitten by a rat for us to put the potion on. my nephew who was just learning to talk at that time nicked named it 'meds' and when ever he got a cut or bruise he would say 'put meds'. it always work for him.

  • Felicia

    WARNING, that most people dont know though about garlic. It increases your sex drive, a lot! I started taking garlic supplements every night before bed 3 months ago for over all health. What I didnt know was that it increases blood flow to your genital area, increasing your sex drive. You can look it up for yourself. I still take garlic every night, but I at least now know why my sex drive was way to much.

    • Anonymous

      Wow!! Is there a certain brand u take that may have more grams?

    • Qureshi

      Wow its amazing!

  • balasubramaniyam

    GARLIC,PEARLS CONTROL NERVE,PROBLEM+

  • darkangel

    Oh if you suffer gasses afther eating garlic drink a plicle water is good for gas dont trow plicle water is another healthy benefit for you

  • darkangel

    I love garlicand onions I'm peruvian and we use garlic and onions like a crazy when I was 17 I gain weigh so! I used to take 2 or 3 cloves of garlic with a glas of milk 2 cloves a day I lost weigh and I always was helathy and I'm still healthy and slim I'm over 40 now young and I believe in all the garlic health benefits one day I catch some infection in my finger at hospital I work it was swelling to hell I was in pain popping pain killer for 2 days finally I went home afther my last day of work open the infected area kick out the puss cut a piece of onion and slices of garlic toated a lil bit put on the affected area fold it with gause and wait until the next day my pain went away my finger was cure!! Anss always garlic I put in everything even in a toasted bread with butter garlic oregano and cheese yummy so!! Enjoy I never have high blod preusure I never have high cholesterol and I'm in a good shape one more thing I. Think it helps to look younger because not one believe my age so good luck and enjoy garlic

  • AJIT SINGH ISSAR

    I read your artical about the Garlic & how to eat it.From the last two months i am taking two peace of garlic with one glass of water but till day i could not relief from gastirc problem .i will be thank full if any give his advise in this regard.

  • Reshad

    I believe, because my wife was also suffering from a bacteria attack in her feet and thus we went to skin specialist. They suggested for anti-fungal cream and high dose anti-biotic. After two month it improved a little. The doctors advise was to continue the medicine for next 2 years (Taking one month gap after each two month's anti-biotic) Then when she stopped the medicine for few days it increased more. Then my wife's mother a (traditionally knowledgeable person) advised my wife to crush a few pieces of garlic and put it into the feet where the fungal attack was caused. Then she covered with cloth…& take it for 3/4 days…Though getting extreme alargic reaction after that she cured 100%.

  • Anonymous

    just use mouthfreshner spray after eating garlic dont worry be happy

  • Roni

    a week ago my thumb finger cuts by a knife and it's bleeding. I used a piece of garlic i rubbed it and thanks for the garlic and now my thumb finger wounded suddenly healed.

  • Alexandru

    Against the "bad smell"- which by the way I love it- after eating garlic, take some 5-7) coffie bones and masticate long in your mouth and then after minutes mastication swallow it . It is very good also for the proper saliva production and celannign the touth.

    The same with the onions !

    Good luck !

    Garlic is the wonderfull remedy as well the best spice we can get.

    • nirmal awasthi

      garlic is most useful in indian dishes

      in blood pressure it is very useful to reduce the cholestrol level when we take early morning 2 to 4 pieces of garlic with one glass of water

      ans also helpful in gastric patients

  • Carrie

    :))) Thomas T. you sound ridiculous.

    Power to all those who eat raw garlic! I eat 3 raw cloves a day and feel great. YAHOO!!!

  • Texas Truth Seeker

    I CURED A SKIN CANCER ON MY NOSE WITH GARLIC, RUBBED ON

    IT FOR ABOUT ONE WEEK. IT DISSAPEARED—THAT WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO AFTER A DOCTOR TOLD ME THEY NEEDED TO BURN IT OFF OR CUT IT

    OUT—-COMPLETELY INSANE. I CHECKED INTO MY ON RESEARCH, AND FOUND THE TRUTH. MEDICAL DOCTORS, BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS, JUST DON'T KNOW THAT MUCH, ESPECIALLY ABOUT NUTRITION. "SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND,

    KNOCK AND IT SHALL BE OPENED TO YOU." OLD TESTAMENT

    VERSE—-GOD HAS GIVEN THE HERBS FOR A HEALING OF THE NATIONS."

    • mahmoud

      good discovery

      I keep that in mind, thanks

    • nirmal awasthi

      thats very intresting dear

    • maggie

      Well said, God has given us so much, yet people still eat rubbish and wonder why they are sick.

    • Peace be with you.

      Thanks very much for the old testament verse. God is great. God also said that , "let those who have eye, should see, ears ,should hear etc……

      May peace be on earth and on every being.

      God bless you.

  • Texas Truth Seeker

    Hey Thomas T.

    What plantet are you living on? You better wake up

    and "smell the garlic." Sounds to me like you have been

    listening to the same crowd that told you sunshine is

    bad for you too. "FOOLS RUCH IN WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO

    TREAD."

    • Peace be with you.

      Dear beloved, many are called but few are chosen. Only few are chosen to understand the gifts of GOD. Those who can`t understand , spend time and energy to discourage others.

  • ThomasT

    Garlic and onions, leaks, etc, do not belong in the human body.

    They are alkalyting agents that interfere with bio-chemical pathways, and also form a part of the cancer complex, essential to start & fuel all malignancies. Clark HR, PhD ND, 2007.

    Garlic is high in allicin a severe bladder irritant, that can develop inflammation, then bleeding from cysts, then DNA mutations.

    Its 2012, we need to catch-up on the science-

    • PJ

      Yeah ok, Mr. looks like you need to catch up to the science of food as medicine.

    • mahmoud

      Wow, that is interesting; can you show some reference to your findings. This is important to make sure becasue most people don't believe this unless there is scientific research behind it.

      Thanks for your research and please use any reference you may have.

    • Anonymous

      i just cured a bladder infection with garlic. I was bleeding and it stopped so you are wrong

    • Nita

      I agree with Thomas T What planet are you from? Garlic, onions, leeks, etc., is perfect for humans. Just two days eating garlic drop my blood pressure. The top number drop 18 points and the bottom number drop 13 points. It isn't in the normal range yet, but it will be. I'm going to eat garlic every day and fresh parsley to take care of the bad breath.

      • Nita

        I mean I disagree with Thomas T and agree with Texas Truth Seeker.

    • PIstol Pete

      Science has been so wrong on so many issues, especially when it comes too food. There has been a deliberate disinformation campaign against natural foods. I find it difficult to believe that garlic is bad for you and causes cancer. In what book did you read this from Dr. Hulda Clark? I don't remember reading it.

    • BKS527

      Your choice not to eat them, then. I will take my chances with them. If you think that the crap the pharmaceuticals companies and doctors are pushing on people do belong in the human body, then have at it.

  • chipperfrank

    I lost many "friends" who couldn't stand the smell of my garlic chomping. Go ahead and be sick then.

    • Richard

      Regarding the bad smell…….Well,yes it does "pong!"One method i use is to get two,maybe four cloves of garlic(size depending} and chew them raw with a mouth full of honey…..Seems to stop the smell and also no burning mouth.Lastly,i do this just before going to bed……and i do brush my teeth!I do this everyday and am NEVER sick! Good luck to you!

  • chipperfrank

    What bad odor? The odor of garlic is more to be prized than the company of those who detest the botanical gods and goddesses that populate the supernatural world that's all around and in every thing/one. Whether aware of it or not. Old people benefit most from garlic because of its' abilities. Trust me that garlic is so yin it's yang. Eat it Raw! Your belly will love YOU.

    • Anonymous

      hey..i think garlic really is most effective herbal esp.for hypertension…im having a high blood pressure it works for me..so not bad if u try it too..

      • Peace be with you.

        can u please tell me your prescription ?

      • Lovely

        how many cloves in a day