Saturday, November 5, 2011


Garlic, that smelly little bulb, more
than any other herb has played a
major role in all cuisines of the
world, and in the medicines of
every great civilization. With such a
reputation it’s not surprising that
this humble vegetable continues to
astound modern researchers.
Although small in size, the clove
of garlic is a source of over 100
health-promoting compounds: 75
different organosulfur compounds
(allicin being one of them),
saponins, polyphenols, selenium,
arginine, vitamin C, potassium and
zinc, to name but a few. As with
most whole foods, garlic's healthpromoting
abilities are probably
due to the sum of the whole, rather
than a single component.
With that said, science has discovered
some compounds are more
abundant than others, and the sulfur-
containing compounds in garlic
appear to be responsible for many
of its powers.
Studies indicate garlic protective
against some cancers
A number of studies have reported
on garlic’s ability to fight cancer,
and research continues to find out
just how. A review of more than
thirty-five studies report some protective
effect against cancer in
about 75% of the published articles.
Garlic supports cardiovascular
Garlic has gained lots of attention
for its benefit to cardiovascular
health. Specifically, powerful
antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
compounds in garlic protect LDL
cholesterol from oxidation, raise
levels of HDL cholesterol, improve
triglyceride levels, reduce levels of
heart-damaging homocysteine,
inhibit blood clotting, improve
blood pressure, reduce plaque formation,
and protect against the
damaging affect of free radicals and
toxins such as cigarette smoke.
Powerful antibiotic activity
In the oldest records of medicine
garlic has been used as an antiinfectious
Four Thieves Vinegar was a concoction
fed to condemned criminals
in the 1700s made of vinegar wine
and crushed garlic. During the
bubonic plague in 1721, as part of
their death sentence, criminals were
condemned to collect dead bodies
and dig their graves. Surprisingly,
the criminals avoided catching the
plague due to the garlic concoction
they drank!
Today, garlic has been the subject
of many studies into its antibiotic
and antiviral powers. Not surprising,
garlic has been shown to
defend against a host of pathogens.
Even antibiotic-resistant strains of
staphylococci have been no match
for garlic.
How to buy garlic supplements
When purchasing garlic supplements
look for a supplement that
provides all the components of
fresh garlic. Some odourless products
have removed important constituents
of the fresh bulb. Look for
a supplement that guarantees
Cardioprotective effects of garlic found in
various clinical studies
Condition studied % of improvement from garlic
Platelet adhesion 35-58%
(sticking together)
Platelet aggregation 10-25%
LDL cholesterol 5-12%
Total serum cholesterol 6-31+%
Triglycerides 10-19%
Blood pressure 6-8%
Homocysteine 24-35%
LDL oxidation 35-51%
Oxidative damage caused by smoking 29-48%
Microcirculation 67%