The notion that herbs, spices and healthy foods are less potent than medication is not always the case. Sometimes culinary herbs and spices can address health issues very effectively. There is masses of research to support the health benefits of garlic.

Garlic is sometimes called the “stinking rose.”  While some people are concerned about it’s aroma, others don’t care and can’t get enough of it.  Garlic is documented as being beneficial in disease conditions like cancer, stroke, infections, atherosclerosis and diabetes. It’s documented to have 57 pharmacological effects on the body.

Here are some evidenced-based reasons to eat more garlic every day.

• Garlic Cuts Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

Garlic has a beneficial effect on triglycerides, blood pressure and blood clotting.  Garlic use is associated with a 38% decreased risk of heart problems in general.

German researchers found that garlic resulted in a reduction heart attack and stroke by more than 50%.

• Garlic Slows Atherosclerosis

Studies show garlic inhibits the formation of arteriosclerotic plaque.It also fights arteriosclerosis, calcification of the arteries, and plaque. 

• Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure

A groundbreaking study in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences compared garlic tablets with blood pressure lowering.  It found that garlic in daily doses ranging from 300 to 1,500 mg significantly reduced blood pressure. How? Sulfur compounds in garlic enter the red blood cells and dilate the blood vessels, which helps boost blood flow and so reduces blood pressure.

Chinese researchers recruited 125 stroke patients and asked them how often they ate garlic. The average was 2.9 grams per day – about one clove.  Then they measured arterial blood flow using ultrasound. Amazingly, the researchers found they could accurately predict blood flow based on the amount of garlic the patients reported eating.

• Garlic Fights Infection.

Garlic has potent antibacterial powers and may be  something medicine will need to turn to  with growing problem of multi-drug resistant bacteria.  Studies how that garlic can address both viral and bacterial infections.

One study used two 500 mg garlic tablets or two 250 mg doses of Flagyl (metronidazole) for women with vaginal infections.  After seven days the garlic reduced the active infection by 70% compared to 48% for the drug – without side effects.

Even though eating garlic is a good idea, few of us are willing to consume a clove of garlic every day. Even if we love eating raw garlic, the social impact may deter us! (Chewing raw parsley is said to neutralise the odour of garlic.) That leaves us with taking garlic supplements, but there’s nothing like the fresh herb. Adding crushed garlic to salad dressing, steamed veggies potatoes is one way to get your garlic dosage up. Garlic bread would be the most popular – easy on the butter, and make the bread wholemeal. Delicious. Use it in cooking, but fresh, raw garlic will deliver the most health benefits.

Read about a man in his 50s with heart disease and diabetes whose doctor told him he had a few months to live, used nutritional therapy and recovered to live a full and active life. He tells his story in Good News for People with Bad News.