Garlic, which is part of the Allium class of bulb plants, is commonly used as flavorings in various cooking. This vegetable contains beneficial vitamins and compounds including arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium. But one of the most important compounds in garlic is allicin. Clinical studies show that allicin, which is garlic’s major bioactive compounds precursor, is a powerful anticancer compound.
Most bulb-plants like garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain allicin and are believed to slow down or prevent the growth of tumors.
Studies show that an increased intake of garlic minimizes the risk of developing stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast cancer. In one study, women who took the highest amounts of garlic slashed their likelihood of developing distal and colon cancer by up to 50%.
Garlic also contains a compound called diallyl disulfide. According to research, diallyl disulfide helps protect the skin, colon and lung from cancer although how the compound works is largely a mystery. These antioxidants fight off the free radicals found in the body and reduces or prevents damage which is caused by these toxins over time.
Garlic is also great in preventing heart diseases. Studies show that it helps slow down the high blood pressure as well as atherosclerosis at about 5-8%. It also makes the blood thinner which helps in preventing strokes and heart attack. Garlic is also one of the best cures for common cold. One study showed that people who took garlic during cold season has been proven to have lesser colds than those who did not.
As an antioxidant, garlic helps in strengthening the immune system by fighting diseases like cancer. It is suggested that eating raw or cooked (not supplements) garlic lessens the risks of getting colon and stomach cancers. Garlic is also used to treat common intestinal parasites like Ascaris Lumbricoides but it has not been tested on humans yet. It has also been proven to reduce prostate sizes in men. Ring worm, athlete’s foot as well as jock itch have also been proven to be cured by garlic.