What are the health benefits of garlic?

12 min read

Learn how the onion's humble cousin can help boost immunity, fortify bone health, and even help with your blood pressure!

Although no supplement is a "wonder cure”, garlic has been used for thousands of years to assist with various ailments.

In fact, there are records dating from Ancient Egypt prescribing garlic for many different uses. Since Hippocrates takes prolific inspiration from the medical "journals" of the time, many throughout Ancient Egypt and historical accounts, you may even say that these sorts of applications helped us get to where we are today.

Garlic for the Immune System

Garlic has been taken for centuries under the guise of preventing illnesses. From serious ones to the common cold, garlic has smashed cancer cells as easily as it's dismissed the flu. For our modern usage, garlic does reduce the risk of minor illnesses. Those who had high garlic consumption either as fresh garlic in food, garlic supplementation, garlic oil, crushed garlic, or any number of inclusive supplements, had a significantly lower risk of developing the flu or the common cold.

Indeed, even those currently afflicted may see some health benefits from garlic. Along with typical folk cures like chicken noodle soup or excessive doses of vitamin C (such as orange juice), garlic can assist in the antibiotic nature of these home cures as well as add its own power to them. Garlic may also help in bolstering the immune systems of those who have taken a significant hit to their own. Those who have weakened immune systems due to various medical treatments should consult their doctor about a garlic regimen to assist their current medical plans. We always recommend speaking with your medical professional before adding any regimen to your diet. They know what will interact with your medication and what won't, making it safe to guide you through any health issues you may be facing.

Garlic and Blood Pressure

Garlic may be an effective treatment for those with hypertension. While we do not recommend tossing your beta blockers in the garbage, garlic may help you lower your blood pressure enough that, over time, you may be able to relieve yourself of typical medicinal practices.

In fact, many suffering heart disease seem to be drawn to garlic and other plants in the allium family. Whether this is from an instinctual knowledge that these plants assist with the lowering of blood pressure, the opening of veins and arteries, the clearing of those arteries, and other potential oxidative stressors. Better yet, the side effects of garlic taken in correct dosage are very mild. At worst, some may have a little bit of bad breath if the garlic is used fresh or crushed in their food. Those who take garlic in a pill or capsule find that there is almost never any halitosis.

Garlic and Bone Health

During menopause, many women lose a great deal of their estrogen. This means that they see the slow, sometimes painful collapse of several estrogen-dependent systems. This is when heart disease leaps at its chance, and also when osteoporosis sets in. In fact, this is when many women start to see a decline in their health overall. Cancer risk jumps and so do issues such as diabetes.

There is evidence that garlic may help.


Garlic encourages the production of estrogen in women. Though this is not a replacement for estrogen supplements, if deemed necessary by your doctor, it may be enough to help boost your body's production for those without a prescription. Garlic also works well with a number of other menopausal and post-menopausal supplements to assist with estrogen production, relieve menopause symptoms, and help women enjoy their golden years.

For men, estrogen may not be the most important thing on their minds, but it is a building block for their bodies nonetheless. Garlic may help with the production of estrogen and estradiol, both of which protect bones and help with erectile dysfunction.

Garlic and Brain Health

Though it was thought for a long time that the primary benefits for the brain were in circulation and the various benefits mentioned above, that may not be true. There is evidence in recent studies that the brain may also benefit from garlic supplementation. This is largely due to the nutrients garlic has to offer. The brain uses these nutrients to repair damaged cells, grow new ones, and protect itself against aging and disease.

For those suffering through memory-based issues, garlic may help push these problems away for a time. The use of garlic for better memory and all-around better brain function is something that has been used for years but, as we said above, has only recently come into the limelight of scientific discovery and proof. We are certain that it will continue to impress scientists as time goes on, hopefully helping those who need it.

Garlic as Antibiotic

Garlic is both an antibiotic and an antifungal. As always, no supplement should be used outside of a doctor's recommendation. If you are on pharmaceuticals for an infection and your physician recommends that you stay only on those drugs, we back them.

However, if you are suffering from a constant yeast or bacterial infection and your doctor okays it, garlic has many antibiotic properties. These can work on their own or work with many pharmaceuticals to provide better health benefits than ever. In fact, many antibiotics contain compounds from sulfur-heavy alliums (that's the family garlic belongs to) as a base for their cures. Doctors have been getting back to basics for years when dealing with infections.

As stated above when talking about the immune system, garlic also seems to speed up the rate of recovery with bacterial and viral infections. Therefore, if you are already ill, a dose of garlic may boost your immune system enough and knock down what you're suffering from. This allows your body to really go to battle for you and may end illnesses faster.

Which Garlic Should I take

Though there are benefits to taking any form of garlic, the easiest version is to take a simple gel capsule daily. This is a concentrated form of garlic that leaves you without "garlic breath", so it's perfect to pop after lunch with no worry about ruining your meetings for the rest of the day.

The typical dose for most adults is 1,000 mg (1g). This capsule offers that in one tiny package. Better yet, this supplement is completely gluten-free and GMO-free. You'll find only the purest garlic in this supplement and in an easy-to-use dosage, too.

Vegans and vegetarians should be aware that this does contain bovine gelatin, as stated on the page. If you desire vegan or vegetarian supplements, simply ask. Care/of will do what they can to supply you with the very best.

Can garlic help control diabetes?

It can, but that doesn't mean you should neglect your other diabetic medication. Garlic will assist those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, though those with type 2 may find a more significant effect. We recommend speaking to your doctor about starting a garlic regimen for diabetes, no matter how well-controlled your blood glucose levels are at the moment.

However, another big benefit for diabetics is the antibiotic properties of garlic. We all know that diabetics often find infection and inflammation from the smallest cut or the slightest ankle twinge. Garlic will help keep these problems at bay as you heal up from your most recent incident.

Not only that, but it may also help with your blood circulation. This means better blood flow to your feet, toes, and other extremities that often cause serious issues for diabetics, especially those who have been struggling with this disease for quite some time.

Is garlic good for weight loss or weight gain?

Given the effects of garlic, it may press for either one. We realize that sounds a bit wild, but give us a moment to explain. Those with denser, healthier bones and thicker muscle will weigh more than those without it. Garlic may give you denser bones, thicker muscle, and a better body. Hence, garlic may cause weight gain--but it will be healthy weight gain, the sort that your doctor will applaud.

For those looking to lose weight, garlic is happy to help there, too. Garlic is a natural appetite suppressant, as with many other alliums. The sulfur compounds in these alliums will prevent you from overeating while encouraging your body to burn more calories to digest them. This means that you'll lose weight without starving. Ever had a salad with chopped, roast garlic? Did you notice that you felt less hungry than you normally do after a salad? That's what this special allium does. You stay full, you stay fit, and garlic helps you along the way.

Does that mean it’s ok to eat garlic bread?

Well, that's between you and your stomach. We love garlic bread, too, but we all know it's not the healthiest thing on the menu. The garlic in garlic bread is actually pretty far down on most ingredient lists. Even if you're making it at home, you're more likely to have a higher content of butter than garlic--and garlic is the important stuff, here.

We recommend a moderate amount of garlic bread on a semi-regular basis for general enjoyment and happiness. Who doesn't love it? But if you want to maximize your garlic benefits, you need a form that is concentrated and easily consumed by your body. Not only does high heat in your oven break down a lot of the beneficial diallyl disulfides and diallyl trisulfides (the stuff in garlic that helps your heart), but you won't be getting the same quality through garlic bread.

So, eat your garlic bread, enjoy your garlicky pasta, and cover your salad in garlic dressing, but don't count that as supplementation. Heavily processed garlic, such as in the foods above, will only help so much. A supplement does much more.

Is it safe to eat raw garlic? Does it have side effects?

For the majority of the population, raw garlic is completely safe. This does come with a few provisions. Those who have stomach ulcers or GERD should not eat raw garlic since it may make this condition worse. Raw garlic has many strong acids and will likely discomfort those with sensitive stomachs. It may also lead to diarrhea in those with IBS or other gastric sensitivities outside of the ones mentioned here.

We must also note that those particularly sensitive to mouth ulcers may find them irritated if they eat garlic raw. Significant amounts of raw garlic may cause a change in body odor or bad breath due to the reaction of sulfur within your body. This doesn't happen to everyone, but suffice to say, it is much easier to simply take a supplement that releases directly in the stomach. This eliminates the chance for bad breath, lowers the risk of issues with gastric problems, and, due to the gelatin suspension, removes the problems with potential body odor since the sulfur is expelled in other ways, typically through bowel movements.

What are the benefits of garlic for men vs. women?

Men and women will see a number of positive changes in their bodies if they begin supplementation with garlic. However, each sex does receive garlic benefits in different ways. Here we'll cover the differences, the whys, the hows, and if either sex should be cautious about taking garlic based on those benefits.

Benefits of garlic for men

As we covered above, men usually see better bone density and a heightened ability to perform sexually. Garlic is an excellent ally for all men in their health battle. It's hard to really enforce a single supplement for men, especially since so many supplements made for men worry about testosterone.

Testosterone levels are important and as we age, men find that their levels are usually falling. Garlic may assist in working toward a better you, therefore raising those testosterone levels. However, it is more likely to push estrogen on your body. If you are already struggling with estrogen levels that are very high, garlic may not be the right supplement for you. As in all things, we recommend that you speak with your physician and your pharmacist to find the best supplements for you.

With men suffering from all-time highs in heart failure, heart disease, and hypertension, garlic may be one of the best supplements for men to take. But a quick trip to your doctor or a call with your pharmacist is in order first.

Benefits of garlic for women

Due to so many reproductive issues making women more prone to hypertension and diabetes, garlic is an excellent supplement for women. It helps bolster your system during menopause, works to improve estrogen production and uptake, and really knocks it out of the park to help a woman's body. Again, like the men's section, we recommend speaking to your physician before starting any supplement regimen.

More women are suffering through osteoporosis than ever before. Despite our high calcium intake, women are not consuming the right supplements to create healthier, stronger, long-lasting bones that can deal with the stress of aging. That means that we're missing something else, that another system is failing us. Garlic helps to replace that, to work with what we already have and make it better.

If you are coping with a disease or an illness in which higher estrogen levels would worsen your condition or your disease, we recommend that you discuss this potential issue with a doctor, first. Some reproductive cancers are intentionally treated with estrogen blockers in order to delay the disease in the best way possible. Since garlic encourages the production of estrogen, this would be a poor choice for someone in this condition. For the majority, garlic as a supplement will help women with many issues, especially as they age into their golden years.

Final Thoughts on the Benefits of Garlic

With all the possible health benefits of a garlic supplement, those who are candidates to take it should speak to healthcare professional about adding it to their diet. Though not every supplement is right for everyone, garlic is a standout in a crowd made of so many thousands of others.

It treats so many common problems in today's world, even going so far as to work with multiple pharmaceuticals to assist better use of those drugs as well.

If you're considering adding garlic as a supplement to your diet, you're already taking the first steps. We know you'll want to research and learn about it yourself, so we've included links to studies within this article for you to read at your leisure.

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