Medicinal Health Benefits of Garlic (Raw, Supplement) – Science Based

Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a plant that is used for its many powerful medicinal benefits and as a pungent herb in cooking. Raw garlic has been used as a medicine for centuries. Recent scientific research has shown that garlic has many health benefits such as boosting your immune system, improving cardiovascular health, helping to fight colds and flu, and reducing inflammation.

You can use raw garlic as a medicine by chopping or crushing cloves from the garlic bulb and eating it. Some people prefer to buy garlic supplements or garlic pills to help boost their health and prevent some of the side effects of consuming raw garlic.

In this article, I will look at what science says about how to use garlic as a medicine. You will learn how to use raw or dried garlic to boost your immunity and protect yourself against cold and flu infections.

Nutritional Value of Garlic

Garlic is closely related to onions, shallots, chives and leeks. Each segment of a garlic bulb (or head) is called a clove. There are about 10–12 cloves in a single bulb or head.

Mincing 1 small clove of garlic yields about ½ teaspoon and 1 large clove yields about 1.5 teaspoons.

Garlic is a very nutritious food and is low in calories. In fact, you may be surprised to learn about the nutrition facts of garlic.

Just 3 garlic cloves contain the following vitamins, minerals, and nutrients:

  • 8 mg vitamin C (5% recommended daily intake)
  • 1 mg vitamin B6 (6% RDI)
  • 16 mg calcium
  • 36 mg potassium
  • 13 mg phosphorus
  • 8 mg omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 g carbohydrates
  • 13 calories

As well as the above nutrients, garlic also contains traces of vitamins A and K, as well as B-group vitamins.

Medicinal Components of Garlic

The health benefits of garlic are mostly due to chemical compounds that have an antioxidant effect in the body.

The main medicinal property of garlic is a compound called allicin. A review of the therapeutic effects of garlic stated that allicin is the principal bioactive chemical in raw garlic. This is a sulfur-based compound that has an anticancer, anti-hypertensive, and antimicrobial effect. Allicin becomes active when garlic bulbs are chopped or crushed.

Garlic also contains compounds with well-known medicinal properties such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and antioxidants.

Garlic bulbs also contain omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. They play a central role in the normal development and functioning of the brain and central nervous system.

Medicinal Health Benefits of Garlic (Raw and Dry)

Let’s look in more detail at science-based research that sheds light on the health benefits of eating raw garlic or taking garlic supplements.

Garlic Can Boost Your Immune System

Consuming fresh garlic gives your immune system a powerful boost. Although many people choose garlic supplements like aged garlic extract to increase immunity, there is evidence that active compounds have the same effect.