The Health Benefits of Natural (Non-Irradiated) Garlic
Garlic and Other Alliums - A Basic Look at How Garlic Works
The Generally Agreed Upon Physiological Effects of Consuming Natural (non-irradiated) Garlic:
Important notes...Not all garlic has health benefits and it is important to know which don't and why. firstly - Garlic that has been deliberately subjected to radiation to kill the sprouting tip in every cove to prevent sprouting while still in the produce department of grocery stores, kills more than the growing tip; it also kills the enzyme, Alliinase, in natural garlic that causes allicin to form and if a garlic produces no allicin, it has little or no measurable odorous fat-soluble antimicrobial properties. It may still be able able to produce odorless water-soluble S. Allyl Cysteine (SAC), which has many healthful properties when pickled in 5% - vinegar or wine. SAC has many systemic (heart and circulatory system benefits but minimal , if any antimicrobial properties.)
Secondly - Garlic that is roasted whole until it is mushy tastes good but since the bulb remains whole and is subjected to sustained high heat and there is no remaining firmness or spiciness (hotness of taste), no allicin forms and it is all taste and no health benefits because particular compounds cause particular effects but it is not my purpose to get that specific on this page as this page is for traditional folk remedy-type general lore. I will have other pages and books to deal with specifics later on.
Studies by competent accredited scientists have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that consuminging garlic in different ways generally has the following physical effects:
Garlic lowers blood pressure a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
Garlic lowers LDL Cholesterol a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
Garlic helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arterial system. One recent study shows this effect to be greater in women than men.
Garlic lowers or helps to regulate blood sugar.
Garlic helps to prevent blood clots from forming, thus reducing the possibility of strokes and heart attacks caused by blood clots. (Hemophiliacs shouldn't use garlic.)
Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the prostate in men and the digestive system, prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reduces the size of certain tumors.
Garlic helps to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body.
Raw Garlic is a potent natural antimicrobial that works differently than modern antibiotics and even kills strains of bacteria, like MRSA, that have become resistant to modern antibiotics.
Garlic has antifungal and anti-viral properties.
Garlic dramatically reduces yeast infections due to Candida species, even resistant Candida Albicans.
Garlic has antioxidant properties and is a rich source of selenium.
Eating garlic gives the consumer an enhanced sense of well being - it makes you feel good just eating it.
Eating garlic probably has other benefits as well.
To get some results requires crushing firm raw garlic, diluting it in water and applying it topically or in various other ways.
If garlic has all these benefits, why aren't doctors and hospitals recommending it for their patients? In many other countries, they are, but not in the United States. Why? One reason is that medical doctors simply don't know about it as they have very little nutritional instruction or herbal medicine in their medical school education and may be unaware of how garlic works in the human body and there's no FDA-approved treatment protocol that includes garlic. Another reason is that herbal medicine may sound too old fashioned and unsophisticated to them. A third reason is that pharmaceutical manufacturers do not recommend garlic, they recommend their own expensive prescription medicines complete with their side-effects. And, perhaps modern allopathic physicians concentrate more on alleviating symptoms, and surgery than prevention of illness through better nutrition and healthier lifestyles, although that is more the responsibility of the patient than the doctor.
Perhaps the overriding consideration may be that fresh garlic is a living thing that continuously changes and is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to quantify. Slicing and dehydrating the garlic arrests the changes and arrests it in whatever state it was in and preserves it and allows us to know that it is what it is and will not be changing. Another obvious reason is that pharmaceutical manufacturers cannot patent natural plants but only processes and so cannot prohibit anyone else from growing and using it and cannot make billions of dollars from it and so are not interested in it. Garlic is a herb almost everyone can grow and use at home.
It is our purpose on this page only to discuss the results of many studies mainly in general terms. For those who want greater details as to how to use natural (non-irradiated) garlic to get these and other clearly demonstrated benefits, you'll need to do internet searches and go to other websites where this subject is discussed in greater detail or buy or check out from your local library this book: Garlic The Science and Therapeutic Application of Allium Sativum L. and Related Species by Larry D. Lawson, Ph.D. ISBN 0 - 683 - 18147 - 5 Published by Williams and Wilkins. This book was written in the 1990s when Larry was involved in research and development at Nature's Way, a widely-respected vitamin & supplement company.
Another book I highly recommend is Garlic and Other Alliums - The Lore and the Science, ISBN978-1-84973-180-5 by Eric Block, a distinguished professor of Chemistry at State University of New York in Albany, NY and author of over 220 scientific papers and the recipient of many honors. Published by RSC Publishing in 2010. This page last updated on June 10, 2019 - more updates on the way.