Garlic is well known as a natural health remedy that has long been used to treat various ailments. It is extremely easy to source in most countries and can be consumed cooked or fresh. It is most easily included in your food or can be eaten on its own. You don’t need to limit yourself to fresh garlic either. Garlic powder or dried garlic flakes are just as effective and super easy to keep in the cupboard for everyday use.
It is recommended that adults consume no more than one clove two or three times a day and that children have one quarter to one half a clove, once or twice a day.
As you will see from the list below, as well as being a tasty addition to almost every cooked dish, garlic has some amazing abilities to help in our everyday lives. When used for medicinal purposes, garlic can help to treat a wide variety of ailments as well as making your dinner taste amazing.
If you’re keen to find out how garlic can be used to assist in your health, sit back and read our 10 amazing health benefits of garlic!
1. Can Garlic Help Babies?
Garlic has been found to assist babies to gain weight while they are in the womb. Next time you have a baby prepare to have garlic breath. Except if you have a history of large babies in which case maybe you want to skip the extra doses?
Study shows: Garlic may help optimize growth. When aged garlic extract and allicin (a garlic component) were given to pregnant pigs, their offspring were larger than those of pregnant pigs that did not receive garlic. Investigators in this study concluded that garlic improved development of the digestive system, increasing growth.
2. Immune System
Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. In the winter months garlic is a great food to boost your immune system and ward off colds and flu. An old folk remedy is to eat a clove of garlic that has been dipped in honey at the first sign of a cold.
Why not try it and see if it works for you?
Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition.
4. Scurvy (Only if your a pirate)
Scurvy is treated by vitamin C and garlic contains good levels of vitamin C too.
It’s one of the oldest medicinal plants, used throughout history for all kinds of treatments. It has been widely accepted to have antifungal as well as antibiotic properties, and researchers are exploring possibilities for its use in treating heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. It has also been found to prevent scurvy because of its high Vitamin C content. An old folk remedy is to eat a raw clove of garlic dipped in honey at the onset of a cold. Try it out!
Popular folklore says that garlic is good for more than scaring hungry vampires away! Impotency has long been thought to benefit from doses of garlic, and treatment continues in many communities to this day. Why not try treating yourself with garlic for several months before you head off to the doctor for that Viagra prescription?
6. Healthy Fat
Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic. LDL cholesterol is no friend of garlic and the aortic plaque deposits that gather on the walls of your body’s veins can be reduced with the use of garlic too. Studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease.
7. Aids Disease
Fungal and bacterial vaginal infections are toast when treated with garlic! When crushed or bruised, garlic releases Allicin which is a sulphuric compound that is a natural antibiotic. WWI soldiers even apparently used crushed garlic on infected wounds suffered in battle. If you decide to take garlic in tablet form be sure to use powdered capsules. The processes used to create garlic tablets destroy the Allicin that is present.
Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy immune system and the efficient growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 can also assist with mood swings and improve your cheery disposition!
9. Help Prevent Cancer
Garlic can aid in the prevention of multiple types of cancer. Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer have all been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic. Vitamin B6 is said to have cancer fighting abilities.
10. Help Fight Diabetes
Garlic regulates blood sugar as it enhances the level of insulin in the blood. This may assist in the control of diabetes. Seek medical advice if you believe the use of garlic could help your condition.
A word of warning about consuming too much garlic; in large doses, garlic can be detrimental to your health and you should never take more than the recommended dosage.
Also be aware that the properties of garlic actually get into your bloodstream which is why it is so effective in so many ways.
What this does mean, however, is that when you sweat, garlic will leave your body through your pores. Many people who eat larger than normal amounts of garlic report increased body odor.
Also consider another area of your health when you choose to consume more garlic than your friends and family. If you are the only one taking increased doses of garlic, chewing a sprig or three of parsley after each garlic dose is recommended to combat the lovely aroma of garlic breath!
Recipes Using Garlic
Garlic-Braised Chicken with Olives and Mushrooms
- 1 small chicken (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut into pieces
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 heads garlic (at least 16 cloves), smashed and peeled
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and halved
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup green olives (preferably picholine), pitted or left whole
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- Heat a large straight-sided skillet (about 12 inches) over medium-high heat. While it’s heating, season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan and swirl. Add chicken, skin side down. Let brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan, followed by garlic and mushrooms; let brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add wine to mushrooms and garlic and bring to a boil, then cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to pan.
- Add olives and chicken stock to pan; bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ pound trimmed green beans
- 8 small red potatoes, quartered
- 4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3¼ pounds)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat.
- Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices.
- Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly.
- Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.
- Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.