Medicinal value of garlic

Garlic is a natural antibiotic with amazing healing properties. Garlic promotes good heart health as well as protects against minor health issues. This foul-smelling herb is a powerhouse of chemically active compounds that have miraculous health benefits. Come discover the goodness of garlic.

Garlic is undoubtedly the most recognised herb. Garlic's culinary, as well as medicinal uses, are legendary. Historians believe that in ancient Egypt garlic was administered to men working at the pyramid sites to avoid dysentery and enhance strength. When Europe was afflicted with plague garlic was eaten to ward off the disease. It was also used during the World Wars, to sterilise wounds of injured soldiers.

The Greeks used it as a laxative, while the Chinese discovered it could lower blood pressure. In recent times it has been seen as a cure for coughs and colds, tuberculosis, athlete's feet and hypertension. It is also believed to be an aphrodisiac. Garlic, as we understand, is some sort of elixir that cures many diseases. Various studies on garlic have revealed that it is, in fact, potent against parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi and can help fight infections. Let's understand the many benefits of this wondrous herb.

What makes garlic a wondrous herb

There are over hundred chemically active compounds present in garlic. The most significant among these are sulphur compounds that get created when the allicin present in garlic goes through chemical reactions, upon being chopped, cooked and chewed. S-allyl cysteine (SAC), allyl sulphides and ajoene are some of the compounds that are released and these are known to have anticancer, antihypertensive, anticlotting, antioxidant, antifungal and cholesterol lowering effects. It has become increasingly clear that garlic is an extraordinary medicinal herb that can cure innumerable medical conditions.

Treating minor health issues with this herb

Garlic is quite the miracle herb with properties that cure varied internal and external ailments. It's good for the heart is a well-known fact, but what else is this bulbous herb good for; let's find out.

Garlic can get rid of warts

Having a wart suggests that the human papillomavirus (HPV) has attacked the skin. HPV is a common term for viruses that can manifest into warts anywhere on the body. Medical intervention includes freezing of warts using liquid nitrogen or burning them away with electric needles or lasers. However, garlic can effectively destroy warts too.

Crushed garlic when applied directly on warts and kept in place with surgical tape, can destroy the wart, over a period of time. The garlic must be replaced every day, with freshly squashed garlic. The wart soon begins to shrivel, dries and falls off within a week to ten days. Healthy skin should not come into contact with the garlic and it is suggested that petroleum jelly is applied to the area around the wart, to protect the skin. Chewing a few pods of raw garlic along with the topical application is said to hasten the drying of warts.

A natural antibiotic for cuts & grazes

Cuts and grazes can become infected because the wounds are open. Crushed garlic applied on open wound acts as an antibiotic and keeps infections at bay. If the garlic irritates the skin, it's best to remove it and try another remedy.

A natural and safe remedy for urinary tract infection (UTI)

A severe burning sensation while urinating generally signifies that a woman has UTI. Many cures are advocated, but garlic tea is beneficial. The potent bacteria-killing compounds present in garlic make it an effective antidote against the harmful bacteria that cause UTI. Garlic tea is made by adding 2-3 freshly chopped or crushed cloves of garlic, to a cup water and letting it seethe for 4-5 minutes before consumption. Drinking garlic tea after meals can cause the UTI to heal faster.

Making a stye to go away

Styes are tender and inflamed boil-like swellings on the lower or upper edge of the eyelids. They obstruct the vision and can cause a terrible itch. Rubbing it only worsens the condition. Garlic can help to ease the discomfort and hasten the healing process.

A clove of garlic can be eaten every day. It can be chewed or chopped into fine bits and used in a salad dressing. Garlic is a natural antibacterial herb and is most effective when eaten raw. Alternatively, a few flakes of garlic can be tied in a muslin cloth and heated in the microwave or in a pan, over a flame, and used as a warm poultice over the infected eye. Doing so soothes the eyes and provides relief from the pain, swelling, and soreness and itching.

Sore throat and the healing power of the herb

A sore throat can be painful, feel scratchy and make the voice to go hoarse. A sore throat is the result of a viral or bacterial infection and garlic, with its healing properties can be an effective remedy. Chewing on garlic flakes kills the infection causing virus or bacterium and speeds recovery.

Clears the sinusitis cavities

Being an antibacterial agent, the allicin present in garlic has tremendous healing properties. A finely diced clove of garlic mixed in 4tbsps of water and left standing for 10 minutes turns the latter medicinal. Filter the water and apply 10 drops in each nostril to clear the nasal cavity.

Eases earaches

Eating raw garlic is beneficial, as bacteria and viruses are effectively combated. In the case of an earache juice from freshly squeezed garlic, mixed with a tsp of warm mustard oil, makes an excellent antibacterial ear drop that fights infections in the ear cavity. Apply two drops when in the ear, for quick relief.

Bites & stings

Mosquitoes, wasps, ants, bees and even jellyfish, garlic can take their bite and sting away. A sliced piece of garlic can be rubbed directly on the bite. Enzymes naturally present in this herb destroy the inflammatory compounds that cause the itching and burning sensation.

Avid gardeners' plant garlic between plant beds as it's known to repel pests that infest the garden. Here is another handy use of garlic that can help campers, hikers and trekkers – chewing on a few cloves of garlic a few days before excursions can make their sweat smell of the herb, which acts as a natural insect repellent.

Phenomenal effect on serious health conditions

The therapeutic benefits of garlic have been well documented. Extracts of this wonder herb are now available as supplements. Some people swear by its efficacy in lowering cholesterol and its heart-friendly compounds.

A heart friendly herb

Garlic is an amalgamation of over a hundred 'chemically active compounds', which makes it the powerhouse of goodness that it is. Allicin is the best of these – it a sulphur compound that turns into allicin when the herb is chewed, chopped or crushed. There is evidence that proves that the incidence of heart problem is lower in garlic eating people.

Discover the many benefits of garlic on heart health –

  • Prevents clotting of blood:

    Certain studies indicate that specific chemicals present in garlic are as powerful as aspirin at preventing the formation of blood clots. The platelets in our blood are responsible for blood clots. These cell-like structures that are present in the blood have a tendency of clumping together, to form blood clots and eventually blocking the coronary arteries. Garlic can hamper this action of the platelets, thereby reducing the formation of blood clots in individuals who consume 6-7 garlic cloves a day
  • Controls cholesterol levels:

    Garlic constrains the production of cholesterol in the liver. Cholesterol is a fatty acid that lines the inside of the arteries. Over a period of time, it hardens into a plaque and increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Eating garlic each day reduces the risk of heart disease, because of its ability to lower cholesterol levels as effectively as prescription drugs
  • Improves flow of blood:

    Garlic is a vasodilator, which means it helps relax the arteries and arterioles, which contributes to easy flow of blood
  • Lowers blood pressure:

    Since garlic helps the blood vessels to enlarge it helps to bring down blood pressure a few notches, in those who eat it every day

Garlic destroys cancer cells and cuts the risk of the disease

Garlic has always featured in research related to cancer and the results have been astounding. The following findings are based on some such research:
  • Garlic obstructs changes in cells that can cause cancer
  • Garlic is also capable of destroying cancer cells, thereby eliminating the disease
  • Eating a single flake of garlic every day can cut the risk of prostate cancer in men
  • Women who eat garlic are at a lower risk of developing colon cancer
  • Eating garlic reduces the risk of cancer of the stomach

Garlic – the natural antibiotic

Garlic is a wonderful antibiotic. It can be squashed and applied on open wounds, as its compounds can destroy various microorganisms that cause infection. Eating garlic can also heal a variety of disease caused by fungi, such as vaginal infections, athlete's foot and ear infections as well.

Additionally, garlic is also a powerful defence against disease-causing bacteria, like E.coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) that causes tuberculosis. It is also capable of destroying strains of bacteria that are resistant to prescribed antibiotics.

Garlic kills germs both within the body and on the outside. Eating garlic makes you resistant from attacks of bacteria that can cause ailments, such as H. pylori that cause peptic ulcers. Another bit of interesting fact about this wonderful herb is that it's the lungs that excrete the essential oils that are released during digestion. This strengthens the respiratory tract and is beneficial for patients with respiratory disorders.

Final word on this pungent herb

Garlic is best eaten raw, chopped, crushed or diced. It is only when the herb is bruised and comes in contact with air that its compounds are released. One to two cloves of garlic is sufficient to provide health benefits.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 548 articles authored by Juana


Author: K Mohan14 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Irrespective of knowledge that garlic has immense medicinal value, our villagers used to add garlic and Adrak paste in every menu preparation which gave high taste and also good for health. But both garlic and adrak were used to be mixed and grounded by manual process and no mixers were used those days. However, now a days the households are getting ready made paste of garlic and ginger or adrak which makes the cooking more easy and yet tastier.

Author: Juana15 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 6

The use of spices and herbs is most prevalent in Indian cuisine. What I understand is that traditionally seasonings were added to food more for their medicinal values than for flavour enhancement. India has a complete ancient science that supports the use of plant products as cure from various ailments.

Modern day science has only now begun identifying various compounds found in garlic and other plant products, and given them fancy names. The discoveries being made today have been known since ancient times – not just in India, but in other ancient civilizations as well. Scientists are just reconfirming the benefits after carrying out tests and giving their stamp of approval.

Indian villagers have traditionally been using garlic in their cooking because it was always known for it medicinal properties. I love garlic in my food – and add chopped bits of garlic to a lot of dry dishes and as a ‘tadka’ to dal. It enhances the flavour many fold in addition to providing health benefits.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: