Garlic, Healing Properties and Benefits for Health

Garlic, Healing Properties and Benefits for Health

Garlic is an essential ingredient that is used to cook plenty of recipes. But, apart from adding a touch of flavor to our meals, it has many benefits for our health.

What is Garlic

Garlic, also known as Allium Sativum, is a vegetable species with important medicinal properties for the immune and cardiovascular system.

Its medicinal properties are so powerful that people also refer to garlic as natural penicinillin

Therapeutic Benefits of Garlic

Garlic can improve the cardiovascular system, our physical, sexual and cognitive capacity, and our resistance against infections. In addition, it also has anti-aging properties.

Garlic belongs to the same genus as onion, leek and Welsh onion. For centuries, it has been used for cooking as well as for its therapeutic benefits for health

Composition of Garlic

Garlic is an excellent source of micronutrients such as vitamin B6 and C. Moreover, it also has a great mineral content, including manganese, selenium, phosphorus, copper, calcium, iron and potassium.

  • 65% is water
  • 28% is carbohydrates (mainly fructans, a derivative of inulin)
  • 2% is protein (mainly alliinase and glycoproteins 1.2 from free amino acids like arginine, cysteine, methionine…)
  • 2.3% is organosulfur compounds (bioactive principles like: alliin, ajoene, g-glutamyl-S-allyl-mercapto-L-cysteine, S-methylcysteine Sulfoxide…)
  • 1.5% is fiber
Composition of Garlic

The selenium level in garlic is higher than in any other plant

Properties of Garlic

The active principle of garlic is allicin (rich in sulfur) and it also has an enzyme called alliinase. A garlic clover does not smell until we physically alter it (cutting, smashing, chewing…). Therefore, the allicin will not be present until this happens.

Allicin only exists in raw garlic. Cooking “destroys” it and breaks it down into other compounds which are less effective.

How to obtain allicin

The physical action and alliinase stimulates the breakdown of alliin, which allows the release of the alliin metabolite: allicin. Thus, allicin transforms into a variety of compounds that have sulfur and which are water-soluble.

In fact, these compounds are so volatile, that they emit hydrogen sulfur, part of the unmistakable smell and flavor of garlic

Properties of Garlic

We suggest leaving garlic for 10 minutes after cutting or smashing it in order to activate the powerful properties of its compounds

Garlic relaxes the blood vessels and provides a lot of benefits for health by using the hydrogen sulfur signalling system.

What causes the smell of Garlic?

The process of cutting or smashing garlic causes the strong smell that comes from this ingredient.

The molecular change that happens due to the enzymatic action on alliin results in allicin. This is the sulfur compound that we can recognize through its smell.

What causes the smell of Garlic

The only way to get rid of the “scent” is excreting it though the normal bodily functions

After eating garlic, the sulfur molecules that release the smell (the allyl and methyl sulfur specifically) are absorbed by the bloodstream and the lungs.

What are the benefits of Garlic?

Heart Health

Garlic is an element that prevents and treats metabolic and cardiovascular diseases by improving the blood flow and reducing the risk of heart attack.

  • Some of these diseases are atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries, which increases the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.
  • Hyperlipidemia which is related to abnormal levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
  • Hypertension since it can regulate a high blood pressure, specially the systolic one. It produces a vasodilating effect that relaxes the blood vessels.

Garlic and Heart HealthReducing Clots

Garlic has anticoagulant properties that can be used to prevent clots that could increase the risk of heart attack. Therefore, it is a natural alternative to aspirin.

Cancer Risk

The Allium genus, specially garlic and onions and their bioactive sulfur compounds, can have effects on each stage of the formation of cancer. In fact, they are involved in many biological processes that change the risk of cancer or that slow down its growth.

Benefits of eating raw garlic

Garlic is one of the best natural “medicines”

For colds

Garlic can improve the white cells ability to combat infections by stimulating other immune cells. Moreover, it has expectorant and decongestant effects on colds.

Vitamin C, a series of enzymes and minerals like sulfur and selenium play an important role in shortening the healing process.


The antioxidant properties of garlic are particularly valuable when it comes to neutralizing the oxidative damage to the cells caused by the free radicals. Otherwise, it could result in the proliferation of certain diseases apart from accelerating the premature aging of the tissues. The sulfur compounds can be responsible for its high antioxidant effects.

Ajo Antiinflamatorio


The inflammation has a positive and negative effect on the body at the same time. On the one hand, it helps to respond to stress. However, if the inflammation is chronic, even if it is not serious, it can cause many diseases, premature aging, apart from worsening disorders like arthritis.


Garlic has natural antibiotic properties, to the point that is more powerful than penicillin. It is also used as an antiseptic for wounds.

The diallyl disulfide has a protective effect against bacteria.

Garlic to treat the acne

Moreover, garlic contains a wide range of thiosulfinates like the allicin which are responsible for the anti-bacterial activity.

The nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds from garlic make of this condiment a true natural remedy.

Better skin

Acne is a disease of the skin, particularly of the face, which affects many young people and sometimes even adults. It consists of the accumulation of certain bacteria in the pores. They end up obstructed due to an excessive production of oil by the sebaceous glands (it is worsened with hormone changes, an inadequate hygiene, and/or a bad diet).

The allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-septic properties that can destroy the bacteria that cause acne

Eat garlic for a healthy skin

Moreover, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can decrease the swelling, pain, and irritation as well as improving the nutrient transport to keep the skin healthy by improving the blood flow.

You can eat it or apply it externally on the skin.

Improving the Digestion

The allicin promotes the secretion of gastric juices by stimulating the mucous membranes of the stomach.

Garlic and Digestion

It regulates the functioning of the stomach by activating the large intestine. Consequently, it helps to reduce the constipation and diarrhea

Digestive System Diseases

Bacteria and viruses cause infectious processes that trigger several diseases like gastric ulcers, ulcerous colitis, coronary disease, Kaposi sarcoma, and cervical cancer.

Garlic can treat or prevent some of these diseases

Garlic supports Digestive Health

Helicobacter Pylori causes some stomach ulcers and garlic can kill this type of bacteria.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerous colitis are inflammatory diseases that are caused by the Mycobacterium Paratuberculosis, which can be killed by eating raw garlic.

Remedy for “Athlete’s Foot”

Also known as tinea pedis, it is an infection caused by fungi that affects the skin of the foot.

It has been called like this because people tend to be infected in dressing rooms or gyms where the floor is wet.

Athlete's Foot

The symptoms are scales and cracks between the fingers of the feet that are very itchy

You can treat this disorder by applying a few smashed garlic cloves (after washing your feet) for 30 minutes, or you can mix the garlic with some olive oil and use a cotton pad to rub it on the affected area.


The alopecia is a common autoimmune skin disease which causes hair loss in the scalp and sometimes in other areas of the body.

There are different treatments, but there is no cure yet

Aplicación del ajo

Those who undergo the treatment against alopecia areata can obtain better results if the add an elaboration of garlic as a gel, apart from reducing the absorption of corticosteroids by the skin.

How can we eat Garlic?

We can eat garlic in many different ways: fresh / raw garlic, aged garlic, garlic oil, and boiled garlic.

Boiled garlic prevents the alliin from creating its metabolites which contain sulfur. Garlic oil, even though it is effective as a supplement, has a high level of toxicity.

Allicin, Active Ingredient from Garlic

If you are going to eat the garlic raw, you have to smash, cut, or chew it to ensure the highest production of allicin

All the beneficial components of garlic can be found in the raw garlic. That is why taking garlic supplements or raw garlic are the best ways of consuming garlic if we want to benefit from its properties.

Take One Garlic Clove Daily

One garlic clove daily with a meal is enough if we want to start experiencing the benefits of garlic for the organism.

It is advisable to avoid its consumption on an empty stomach in order to prevent gastrointestinal problems, as well as a bad breath

Ajo y Perejil

Regarding the latter, if we have difficulties to get rid of the smell, we can eat a little bit of parsley…

Hummus Recipes to eat Garlic


A simple, quick and nutritious recipe, suitable for a paleo and vegan diet, to enjoy garlic


  • Half a kilo of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 spoonful of olive oil
  • 1 spoonful of Tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A little bit of lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin

Hummus Recipe Elaboration


  1. Add blend all the ingredients with a blender until you get a homogeneous mass.

Garlic Nutritional Supplements

One of the greatest advantages of taking garlic supplements is that it does not leave any trace of its characteristic flavor nor smell in our mouth.

Most of us would like to get the beneficial qualities of garlic, but we do not want to taste that particular flavor.

Garlic Supplements

We can enjoy all the great benefits of garlic in a comfortable format in tablets or capsules

But we can always purchase a garlic extract supplements, which are made of a garlic concentrate powder that comes from the fresh garlic clover, which is flavorless and odorless.

Is Garlic safe?

It is safe, regardless of the way we choose to use it, either by eating some garlic cloves or by using supplementation.

However, some people may experience mild stomach discomfort.

Garlic has the ability to stop the coagulation of the blood, like Fish Oil, which means that it can increase the risk of bleeding if we suffer an injury. You should consult a professional if you are under medical treatment.



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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
"Knowledge Makes Stronger", Javier Colomer's motto, sets out his clearest statement of intentions expressing his knowledge and fitness experience.
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