Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes in many cultures for thousands of years and to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases. There have been lots of claims about using garlic as a remedy for many conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis and various types of cancer. Most of the health benefits of garlic come from the sulphur containing compounds it contains – the most notable is allicin.
Some of these uses are supported by science, but even science itself has sometimes conflicting results or mixed evidence. Some studies are better than others, or larger and more comprehensive than others, and some studies have been conducted on animals but not on humans.
Even when researching the medicinal benefits of garlic, I encountered many medical websites whose claims regarding the medicinal properties of garlic were not exactly the same. Some of them used the words “possibly effective” or “more evidence is needed”, but still there are medical areas in which garlic shows a promise potential:
Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of many types of cancer. Some people use garlic to prevent colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer. Some findings require further studies to be carried out. And indeed garlic is one of the top 14 foods that protects against cancer development.