Garlic may have a stinky reputation, but in reality it’s a super-food loaded with great things like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals; and it’s good medicine as well, as garlic has been found to have antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties.
Throughout history, when antibiotics and other medicines did not exist, a bulb of garlic represented a whole pharmacy providing remedies for a variety of illnesses. Superstitious medieval medicine? Maybe not.
In modern day, multiple scientific studies indicate numerous benefits of the consumption of fresh garlic. One recent study showed that a clove of fresh garlic a day may cut prostate-cancer risk in half. Other research links consumption of fresh garlic to a lowered incidence of stomach, colon, and breast cancers. Garlic has also been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent blood clots, and fight high blood pressure.
And because of its antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, garlic is great for the immune system. It seems that fresh garlic may have the ability to fight off a cold, a sore throat, a cough, the flu, ear infections, and chest congestion.
Garlic’s analgesic and anesthetizing properties can help treat toothaches too.
The secret to garlic’s many beneficial qualities is in its unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients. But take note: researchers have found that for maximum benefits, the cloves should be chopped or crushed and then let sit for 5 to 15 minutes before using to allows garlic’s beneficial compounds to fully develop. The more you damage garlic’s cell walls the more sulfide-transforming enzymes you release. Just be sure to use the crushed garlic within an hour or so, as garlic left longer than that will begin to lose its active health agents.