For thousands of years, garlic (Allium sativum) has been known to have a variety of medicinal benefits. It contains amino acids, vitamins, trace minerals, flavonoids, enzymes, and 200 additional compounds. Garlic’s main active ingredient is allicin, an antibacterial compound that is produced when the garlic is crushed or chopped. Because allicin is most effective immediately after its production, garlic should be eaten soon after it is prepared.

Functions of Garlic

• Balances blood sugar
• Boosts natural killer cell activity (which helps prevent cancer)
• Boosts your immune system
• Decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol
• Increases nitric oxide
• Lowers blood pressure
• Lowers triglycerides
• May lower risk of prostate cancer
• Natural blood thinner
• Raises HDL (good) cholesterol

Recommended dosage

Garlic products are described in terms of fresh or whole garlic equivalent. An average daily dose is 1,500 to 1,800 milligrams of fresh garlic equivalent, which equals approximately one half a clove of fresh garlic.

Side effects and contraindications

Garlic is a blood thinner. If you are taking a blood thinner, therefore, check with your physician before ingesting large amounts of garlic. Do not take large doses of garlic if you are pregnant because they may cause uterine contractions.

Diseases/disorders that garlic can treat or protect against

Atherosclerosis, Cancer (colon, esophageal, and stomach), Heart disease, High blood pressure and High cholesterol levels

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