Garlic can boost the immune system
One of the best known benefits of garlic is boosting your immune system. In fact, one study found that a daily garlic supplement, in comparison to a placebo, was able to reduce the number of common colds by over 60%. In another study, the length of cold symptoms was reduced by 70% in comparison to a placebo, reducing cold symptoms from 5 days down to just 1.5. It has also shown a 61% reduction in number of days affected by the flu. Try supplementing daily with raw garlic, or upping your intake around cold season.
Garlic can reduce blood pressure
Garlic may also contribute to lower blood pressure with regular supplementation. It was found in a study to be just as effective as a common blood pressure medication in reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period. It is said to be a natural blood thinner, helping to stabilize blood pressure and keep it at normal levels. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns or are on any medication.
Garlic supports healthy cardiovascular function
Garlic has been found to be helpful in the treatment and management of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, the bad kind, showing reduction rates around 10-15%. Again, I’d recommend talking to your doctor before starting any regular treatment along with taking prescribed medication.
Garlic can relieve pain and inflammation
Garlic may also reduce internal inflammation, especially inflammation in between joints that causes pain
. Inflammation can occur from so many things – injuries or otherwise – and can be a source of chronic pain for some people. Regular garlic supplements can be used as a remedy for relieving inflammation and reducing pain.
Garlic for long term health
Garlic is high in protective antioxidants that help the body fight against oxidative damage to healthy cells, and can even put up a fight against things like Alzheimer’s and different types of cancer. Antioxidants can help slow down the signs of aging too, by preventing damage to existing cells and promoting the growth of healthy new ones.
Garlic can fight bacteria and infections
Garlic has antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties that have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of skin conditions, rashes, fungus, infections, and it may even help with cavity-causing bactiera in the mouth. Topically these beneifts can be put tho use be rubbing crushed garlic on the irritated area. It can even help with common skin irritations like eczema, athlete’s foot and ring worm. Garlic can also be used for a healthy scalp in the same way, for thinning hair, to prevent and reverse hair loss.
Garlic supports healthy digestion
Upset stomach or digestive problems? Try garlic cloves as a regular remedy. Daily consumption of raw garlic can be an effective treatment for so many stomach problems, parasites, and bad bacteria in the gut. It stimulates digestion too, and if you’re going to use it for stomach issues, it’s best consumed on an empty stomach so that the garlic compounds have full exposure to the irritation.
How to use garlic for treatment
To supplement with garlic for a desired effect, you will want to consume 3 -4 cloves of raw garlic per day, erryday. Yep, everyday! Just like a vitamin, or your morning coffee, if you really want to see the effects, it has to become part of your normal, everyday routine.
Real health is more about the seemingly-boring daily grind, maintaining, and doing the right things for a long time before you see results. So maybe don’t think of benefits in terms of a short term fix, or a solution to something that you want to go away, but rather something you keep in your regular routine as part of long term maintenance and prevention for all of the issues I’ve mentioned.
Some of the benefits of garlic are destroyed with cooking, so try to eat it raw or less-cooked whenever you can. Raw garlic can be pretty spicy, but that can be a good flavor for a lot of things, and try not to overdo it. I love adding raw garlic to hummus and vinaigrettes for a little kick. Chimmichurri is a delicious mix of parsley, cilantro, lemon, garlic, olive oil, and it’s fantastic on all kinds of meats and veggies.
If chopped or minced garlic is still too pungent for you, try grating it into a paste on a microplane.
I also like to make garlic confit and keep it in the fridge for everyday use. It lasts a long time, and the garlic is cooked on lower heat, so it’s not like blasting it in a 400 degree oven.
Just put some oil in a pot and fill with some peeled garlic cloves. Cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft and spreadable. It will start to caramelize (and get better) the longer you let it cook, but once the cloves start browning you’re good to go. Keep the garlic submerged in the oil when you’re done, and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. The soft garlic cloves are excellent to cook with, and you can use the garlic oil for a million things too.
To keep your (fresh) garlic fresh, store it in a cool, dark place. Fresh garlic will be plump, tight bulbs that aren’t moldy and haven’t sprouted. Fresh garlic has a higher concentration of active ingredients, so fresh is best! Garlic can last for a few months, buest to use it within a few weeks if possible.