- May help lower high blood pressure and elevated blood cholesterol
- May prevent or fight certain cancers.
- Antiviral and antibacterial properties help prevent or fight infection.
- May alleviate nasal congestion.
- Causes bad breath.
- Can cause indiggestion, especially if eaten raw.
- Direct contact irritates the skin and musous membranes.
Harbalists and folk healers have used arlic to treat myriad diseases for thousnds of years. Ancient Egyptian healers prescribed it to build physical strenght, the Greeks used it as a laxative, and the Chinese traditionally used it to lower blood pressure. In the Middle Ages, eating liberal quantities of garlic was credited with providing immunity to the plague. Of course, just because garlic has been used for a longg time doies not mean that it has been used effectively for a long time.
EFFECT ON HEART DISEASE : While garlic may not reduce cholesterol, it may still have an effect on heart disese, "Ajoene," one of the breakdown products of allicin, may reduce the risk of heart attacks by preventing the formation of blood clots.
PROMISING STUDIES ON GARLIC AND CANCER : The situation is more encouraging with respect to cancer, perhaps because most studies investigted the effect of raw or cooked garlic instread of supplements. A meta analysis showed that consuming an average of six or more cloves a week lowered the risk of colorectal cancer by 30 percent and stomach cancer by 50 percent when compred with the consumption of less than one clove a week. Even the risk of prostate cancer may be reduced,. A National Cancer institute study of men in Shaghai showed that eating a clove a day reduced risk by more than 50 percent. There is a caveat to these types of studies though.Consumption of specific foods is determined by means of questionnaires and peoples' memories may not be all that reliable.
TREATING GARLIC BREATH : While there is no guarantee that garlic will have an effect on health, it most assuredly will have an effect on the breath. Eating parsley might help to reduce this unpleasant odor, possibly because of its chlorophyll content. Garlic may cause indigestion, especially if eaten raw, Handling raw garlic can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Garlic (both fresh and supplements) may enhance the effects of blood-thinning medications..