By Dr. Mercola
Garlic is one of the most important culinary herbs there is, but it’s also one that’s a proven health tonic. Eating a clove or two of garlic a day really might keep the doctor away, as it benefits health on multiple levels.
Interestingly, while garlic is often described as an herb or a spice, it’s actually neither. Garlic grows underground in a bulb and sprouts long green shoots. It is more accurate to call garlic a vegetable than an herb, and, in fact, it belongs to the allium family of vegetables, along with onions and leeks.
This is where its health benefits begin, because allium vegetables are known for their stink (and garlic is sometimes referred to as “the stinking rose”). That unique scent comes from sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, that have many health-promoting effects.
Garlic Fights 160 Diseases, Including Cancer
Studies have demonstrated garlic’s effects for more than 160 different diseases.1 In general, its benefits fall into four main categories:
Reducing inflammation (reduces risk of osteoarthritis and other diseases associated with inflammation)
Boosting immune function (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties)
Improving cardiovascular health and circulation (protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids, and reduces blood pressure)
Toxic to 14 kinds of cancer cells (including brain, lung, breast, gastric, and pancreatic)
In terms of cancer, garlic has been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory studies, as well as shown promise when consumed via your diet. One study showed that women who regularly ate garlic (along with fruits and vegetables) had a 35 percent lower risk of colon cancer.2Those who consume high amounts of raw garlic also appear to have a lower risk of stomach and colorectal cancers.3
Furthermore, among people with inoperable forms of colorectal, liver, or pancreatic
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