The Medicinal Value of Garlic

For healing with food, it’s hard to do better than garlic, which can help with osteoarthritis, lower high blood pressure naturally, and much more.

| September/October 2016

How many of your salad dressing ingredients were once worshipped as a god and used as ancient currency? Probably only one: The glorious garlic bulb. Worshipped and used as money in ancient Egypt, garlic has been credited with warding off everything from the Black Plague to vampires. Despite its heady history, this flavorful and versatile herb is plentiful, inexpensive and a cinch to grow.

Garlic is a member of the Allium family, which also includes onions, scallions, chives and leeks. Its earthy flavor complements almost any cuisine, and it’s used heavily around the world. While in the United States we consume a decent amount of garlic—about two pounds each per capita—in countries such as Italy, Korea and China, where garlic is used liberally in the diet and seems to be protective against disease, per-capita consumption is as high as eight to 12 cloves a day, according to The New York Times.

When it comes to health, there isn’t just one reason to love garlic, but many, including its proven abilities to help combat some of the world’s most common killers, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity, all while boosting the immune system to help fight ailments as mundane as the common cold. In fact,, the U.S. National Library of Medicine run by the National Institutes of Health, includes about 5,000 garlic research studies. 

It’s amazing that something as simple as garlic could confer so many possible disease-repelling and life-extending benefits. Garlic owes its multifaceted health properties to the fact that “it’s such a potent antimicrobial (for most microbes), a great antioxidant (useful for good cardiovascular health) and a nice digestive stimulant,” says Sheila Kingsbury, a licensed naturopathic physician and chair of botanical medicine at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Kenmore, Washington. In studies performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers found that eating garlic helps boost our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide, an antioxidant that transmits cellular signals that relax the blood vessels and increase blood flow, The New York Times reports. This increased hydrogen sulfide production may explain garlic’s ability to protect the heart and help ward off a variety of cancers.

Kingsbury frequently uses garlic therapeutically with her patients. She often uses it in conjunction with probiotics to treat gastrointestinal yeast or, which is an imbalance in intestinal bacteria. She also employs garlic for cardiovascular health to improve lipid status (fat levels in the blood) and circulation. Kingsbury prefers freeze-dried encapsulated garlic or chopped raw garlic, usually mixed into salad dressing or other foods to make it more palatable.

“I also will have patients take garlic internally to treat a variety of infections,” she says. “I have many stories of various skin infections resolved with garlic.”

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265