Welcome to the third post of my blog series, “Spicing your way to Health.” In this series, we will focus on spices with documented health benefits and discuss easy and delicious ways you can add these spices to your everyday eating. So far, we have talked about curcumin and cinnamon. Today, we are going to talk about garlic!
What is garlic?
Allium sativum, garlic, is a member of the onion genus, Allium. It is closely related to the onion, shallot, leek and chive.
What are the health benefits of garlic?
Garlic has tons of healthy phytochemicals in it to help prevent and treat disease. Lots of peer-reviewed articles have been written about the health benefits of garlic.
Here is a sampling of those studies:
- Garlic supplementation reduced the accumulation of cholesterol in animals (source)
- Garlic extract has shown to improve blood lipid profile and decrease blood pressure (source)
- Garlic inhibits platelet aggregation and, thus, may help prevent cardiovascular disease (source)
- Garlic has favorable effects on cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and HDL-cholesterol (source)
- Garlic has been used by herbalists for hoarseness and coughs (source)
- Garlic plus an anti-diabetic remedy improved glycemic control (source)
- A garlic based mouthwash proved to be antimicrobial (but left the subjects with bad breath!) (source)
- Garlic is anti-fungal (source)
Some people are allergic to garlic.
As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to take a herbal supplement for the same condition you are taking a pharmaceutical for, unless you are being supervised by a physician.