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15 health benefits of garlic

Squeeze a juice of lemon in a cup of water. Chew three cloves of garlic and drink the lemon water over it. Do this over an empty stomach everyday to fight obesity. According to studies, garlic prevents fat accumulation in the body and also improves blood circulation.

Written by Dr Anitha Anchan |Updated : November 25, 2015 12:31 PM IST

Read this in Hindi

Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in Indian dishes but apart from imparting flavour to food, this tiny, white pod also has immense medicinal properties. Used since time immemorial to treat various ailments, garlic is one ingredient in your kitchen that has a number of uses. Here are the top 15 health benefits of garlic you should know about.

What makes garlic so special?

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  • It has a variety of potent sulphur-containing compounds which are the reason for its characteristic pungent odour.
  • Allicin, the vital compound in the pod, is known to have great anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties. That is why garlic is best had when it s finely chopped, minced or pureed and let sit for some time.
  • Garlic is also a reliable source of selenium.
  • Allicin, along with other compounds like ajoene, alliin, etc. also have a healing effect on your circulatory, digestive and immunological systems and help in lowering blood pressure, detoxification, healing, etc.

Helps keep bacterial and viral infections at bay

Due to its innate compounds, garlic can help keep both bacterial and viral infections at bay.

How does it help?

  • They help control bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast and worm infections.
  • Fresh garlic is thought to play a role in preventing food poisoning by killing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella enteritidis, etc.

Can help treat skin infections

Since it has both antibacterial and antiviral properties, garlic is great when it comes to treating skin infections.

How does it help?

  • The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete s foot.


If you have a skin infection, you could apply the juice of come crushed garlic cloves on the area once or twice a day. Wash the juice off with some clean, room temperature water.

Helps prevent the formation of clots in the body

How does it help?

The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. While this fact is great for people with heart ailments and those prone to suffering from a stroke and other clotting disorders, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.


To help stay healthy have one crushed garlic pod everyday on an empty stomach.

Can keep your blood pressure levels in check

How does it help?

  • Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II (a protein that is responsible for increase in blood pressure) and helps in reducing blood pressure.
  • The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by red blood cells that helps dilate your blood vessels and helps control blood pressure. If your blood pressure levels are of concern, there are natural alternatives to blood pressure medication that you could try after speaking to your doctor about the change.


To help control your blood pressure you could add garlic to your daily meals. Apart from that you could also eat one pod of raw garlic on an empty stomach to keep your blood pressure under control.

Helps protect your heart

How does it help?

  • With age, your arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch and garlic can help maintain their elasticity.
  • It also helps protect the heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals.
  • The sulphur-containing compounds of garlic also prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
  • The anti-clotting properties of ajoene (a compound present in garlic) helps prevent the formation of clots inside your blood vessels.

Can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol

How does it help?

  • The allicin present in garlic helps moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol.
  • This compound also helps reduce arterial plaque formation.


How does it help?

  • The anti-arthritic property of garlic is due to diallyl sulphide and thiacremonone.
  • Garlic has also been show to improve allergic airway inflammation (allergic rhinitis).


Raw garlic juice may be used to immediately stop the itching due to rashes and bug bites.

Can protect you against frequent colds and bouts of sore throat

How does it help?

  • The daily use of garlic might reduce the frequency and number of colds.
  • Its antibacterial properties help in treating throat irritations.
  • Garlic may also reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections.
  • Its ability to promote expectoration makes it irreplaceable in chronic bronchitis.

Helps keep your blood sugar levels in check

How does it help?

  • Garlic increases insulin release and regulates blood sugar levels in your body, especially if you are a diabetic.

Can help keep cancer at bay

  • Garlic's anti-cancer properties are due to the allyl sulphides it contains.
  • According to studies, diallyl sulphide found in garlic inhibits the transformation of PhIP (a type of compound that has been associated with increased incidence of breast cancer) into carcinogens.

Helps beat iron deficiency and anaemia

How it helps

  • Diallyl sulphides present in garlic increase the production of ferroportin (a protein that helps in the absorption and release of iron) and improves iron metabolism -- all of which helps prevent iron deficiency and associated diseases like anaemia.

Can give your sex life a much needed boost

How does it help?

  • Garlic s aphrodisiac properties which is due to its ability to increase the circulation and intensifying an orgasm.

Helps relieve pain caused due to a toothache

How does it help?

  • It can help relieve toothaches due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties. But be aware that it can be irritating to the gum


Simply put some crushed garlic clove directly on the affected tooth.

Can help you lose weight

How does it help?

  • According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body by converting pre-adipocytes to fat cells (adipocytes) by preventing the conversion.

Did you know even homemade food can cause food poisoning? Click here to find out how!


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