There are so many great things about garlic: robust flavor, versatility, and beauty just to name a few.  Maybe the most important quality of all is their health benefits!

It has been well-documented throughout history that garlic has been the go-to remedy for many ailments including colds, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cancer to name a few. 

Read on and discover the plant that provides as much of a health benefit as it does robust flavor to your favorite dishes!

The Key Ingredient

I feel pretty good about now knowing that I spent the better part of four years toiling in labs, mixing up chemical concoctions, and dissecting those poor animals to get a B.S. degree in Biology so that I can give you a short little lesson in botany.  Okay, ready? 


Allicin is a key organosulfur compound formed from the main components in garlic​: alliinase and alliin.  When garlic is crushed it forms the above-mentioned compound, allicin, which is known to be a very important anti-bacterial enzyme formed within the plant when invaded or harmed by microbial pathogens or fungi.  Pretty cool defense mechanism I must say, and this allicin is what makes the aroma you're smelling with your fresh garlic.  Various research studies have shown that because allicin has these anti-microbial and antioxidant properties it is responsible for helping to fight off the common cold, lower hypertension, fight against cancers and diabetes, and positively impact cholesterol in the body.

Common Cold

I had a great-uncle who was a doctor and would facetiously provide us with the so-called facts surrounding  remedies for the common cold.  "In fact," he would say, "you can expect a cold to last 2 weeks, but if you take supplements you can expect it to last 14 days."  Maybe he didn't know about garlic!  In research studies it has been shown that those eating garlic reduced their number of colds by 50-60%.  Of those who did get colds, they were over it quicker by 3 days.  It doesn't hurt to experiment!

Garlic is a powerful, immunity-boosting plant that fights off bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.  In a display of defiance and reckless pursuit of pungent flavors (and breath), my grandfather used to eat raw onions like apples.  I'm not sure why he didn't try to impress us by devouring raw garlic; I'm sort of glad he didn't.


There have been various studies done over the years showing that garlic significantly lowers the LDL cholesterol in the body.  LDL or "bad" cholesterol at high levels in the blood can significantly increase blockage and clotting of the arteries which in turn can lead to heart attacks or strokes.  A study conducted in India showed that garlic eaters had significantly reduced levels of LDL, triglycerides and body fats.


Garlic has shown promise in both the prevention and treatment of cancer. Studies found that cultures with a high garlic intake have comparatively low cancer rate. (1) Clinical studies also suggested that garlic/allicin may inhibit the formation of nitrosamine, possibly reducing the role of nitrosamine in cancer. (2)

  1. Dorant E, et al. Garlic and Its Significance for the Prevention of Cancer in Humans: A Critical View. Br J Cancer. 1993;67:424-69

  2. Dorant E, et al. Garlic and Its Significance for the Prevention of Cancer in Humans: A Critical View. Br J Cancer. 1993;67:424-69

Heart Disease

Nearly 630,000 Americans die from heart disease each year which is approximately 1 in 4 deaths.  It's a sobering statistic, but there are ways to help reduce the risks and take a stand against this deadly epidemic.


Garlic is known to possess sulfur which is a relaxing agent on smooth muscle tissue that can aid in widening blood vessel walls to help control hypertension.  Vasodilation is the technical term for this, and it's been known to lower blood pressure and ease tension on vessel walls.  That's great news for the many who suffer from hypertension in that eating a consistent diet of garlic could prove to be a great strategy in helping to fight the effects of this disease.

Bone Health

Garlic also contains vitamin B6 and manganese which are bone-healthy nutrients.  Research has found it can improve the absorption of calcium and helps to create and strengthen bone and connective tissue.

More Information

After reading through this information, it's pretty exciting to know that your favorite and most flavorful vegetable is also providing such benefits for your body.  

See the link below for more information on Allicin and its positive impact on the body's health.

Allicin Facts

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