Garlic is known for its distinctive aroma and flavor. This small vegetable is full of many health benefits and is actually one of the most potent natural medicines and functional foods on the planet.
From the first parts of history, garlic (Allium sativum) has been used by humans. It has its place in the daily diet of the ancient Egyptian, especially among the working class, and occupies a valuable place as a medicinal herb and functional food. It was thought to inculcate and maintain strength for greater productivity.
Allicin, which is the active ingredient in garlic, is a sulfur-containing compound and is responsible for the strong taste of garlic and pungent odor. In addition, it is the one that makes the medicinal herb extremely powerful.
Garlic as a cancer treatment and cardioprotective
In developed countries, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are among the main killers. Garlic has been shown to have benefits against these 2 groups of conditions.
In one study, their results suggest that garlic can delay the formation of plaque in blood vessels, effectively slowing the progression of atherosclerosis. The vascular plaque restricts blood flow and is one of the main causes of heart attacks.
Garlic was also found to have hypotensive properties. High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the main factors behind heart disease and can cause damage to different organs, including the kidneys.
Antioxidant properties of garlic protect cells from oxidative damage
In addition, garlic has also been found to have antioxidant properties that protect cells from oxidative damage. It helps to modulate the level of lipids in the blood and prevents the abnormal clots that lead to heart attack and stroke.
Many studies have shown the ability of this vegetable to fight different types of cancer cells. Indicates the benefits against the 2 most common cancers in women, breast and cervical cancer. It can also help against cancer of the liver, colon, skin, blood and pancreas.
Garlic as an antimicrobial agent
There have been many studies detailing the health benefits of garlic. Numerous investigations found their effectiveness against infectious diseases, some of the main causes of death in poor and developing countries.
According to the results shown in a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, garlic is effective against Staphylococcus aureus, even those strains that are resistant to methicillin, an antibiotic. Although S. aureus is usually harmless or only causes minor infections, it can cause life-threatening Staphylococcus infections in people with a weak immune system.
In a separate study, it was discovered that garlic can fight Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to multiple drugs and not resistant to multiple drugs, the pathogen behind tuberculosis (TB). In developed countries, TB is generally well controlled, but it remains a disease of considerable risk to poor populations. In addition, conventional chemical drugs have led to the development of M. tuberculosis strains resistant to multiple drugs, which makes the disease much more difficult to treat in many cases.
In addition to its effectiveness against bacteria, garlic can also fight fungal infections that cause diseases. Many studies have analyzed the benefits of garlic against Candida albicans, a fungus in the form of yeast that causes fungal infections, as well as several other types of infection. Due to its nature, Candida is difficult to treat with conventional medications, but, fortunately, it was found that garlic is effective against it.
Another study confirmed this result, since he discovered that garlic can help prevent oral candidiasis, a condition that occurs when Candida infects the mouth and throat of babies.
In addition, garlic was also effective against viral pathogens, such as HIV-1, and infections, including herpes and flu.