4 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Garlic
Sure, it won’t win you any “best smelling breath” awards, but the more I read about garlic, the more I’m sure I’ll be using it for the rest of my life.
Long before garlic became a popular culinary spice, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese used garlic for its medicinal properties.
And now that modern science put garlic to the test, it only confirms the incredible power of this herb.
Let’s start with its heart health benefits:
1. Garlic Supports Healthy Blood Pressure
According to two separate studies, garlic supplementation was able to reduce systolic blood pressure by 7-16mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure by 5-9mmHg. 1
Researchers believe garlic does this in two ways. First, garlic can lower C-Reactive Protein, which is a common marker of systemic inflammation. Secondly, garlic contains ‘allicin’ - a sulfuric compound that relaxes the blood vessels and prevents blood vessel constriction.
2. Garlic Supports Healthy Cholesterol
In a meta-analysis of sixteen trials with data from 952 subjects, supplementing with garlic appeared to lower total and LDL cholesterol by 10-15%.2
Researchers noted that garlic deactivated cholesterol-producing enzymes, which may explain this effect.3
3. Garlic May Fight Plaque Buildup
A 2016 study asked 55 patients, aged 40-75 years old, to take either a placebo or a garlic supplement. One year later, those who took the garlic supplement had slowed total plaque accumulation by 80%.4
4. Immune Support and May Repel Insects
In a large 12 week study, those supplementing with garlic were 63% less likely to get a cold compared to the placebo group.
Even better, the average cold length of the garlic group was reduced by 70%, from 5 days for the placebo group to 1.5 days for the garlic group.5
Garlic’s sulfur smell may repel insects as well. In fact, some find that spraying a garlic solution on their plants can keep insects away. Does it work for humans? Right now evidence is mostly anecdotal, but you’ll find many people swear that supplementing with garlic keeps the bugs away.
A word of caution: Those taking blood-thinning medications should speak to their doctor before increasing garlic intake.
Well, there you have it!
Garlic is truly incredible. We’d add it to more of our supplements, but I’m not sure you’d enjoy the taste!
- MJ;, Varshney R;Budoff. “Garlic and Heart Disease.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26764327/.
- A;, Silagy C;Neil. “Garlic as a Lipid Lowering Agent--a Meta-Analysis.” Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8169881/.
- YY;, Liu L;Yeh. “S-Alk(En)Yl Cysteines of Garlic Inhibit Cholesterol Synthesis by Deactivating HMG-CoA Reductase in Cultured Rat Hepatocytes.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12042421/.
- labiomed52. “New Study Shows Aged Garlic Extract Can Reduce Dangerous Plaque Buildup in Arteries.” EurekAlert!, 21 Jan. 2016, www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/labr-nss012116.php.
- P;, Josling. “Preventing the Common Cold with a Garlic Supplement: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Survey.” Advances in Therapy, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11697022/.