Certain time-honored remedies have had such a reputation in folk medicine that it can be difficult to determine how much of the reputation is hype and how much could be supported by science. Garlic is certainly one such natural product. It has a long history. More to the point, plenty of people attest to the healing power of garlic.

The Healing Power of Garlic:

Q. You recently had a letter from a doctor who was skeptical that garlic can be medicinal. I can attest to its healing powers!

Chronic Yeast Infections:

I have type 2 diabetes and I had constant yeast infections due to high blood sugar. My yeast infections were so terrible that I was in constant pain.

I read online about treating my condition by eating crushed garlic. I consumed three tablespoons of raw crushed garlic four times a day with a pint of warm lemon water for three days. The infection went away completely. This worked better than Monistat or Diflucan or anything else that had been prescribed.

High Blood Pressure:

Once the infection was gone, I took three tablespoons of raw crushed garlic three times a day instead of four. This dropped my blood pressure from 189/96 to 134/86. Based on my experiences with using garlic, I can truly say that it heals the body.

A. Thank you for sharing your extraordinary story. We’re not sure, though, that very many people could tolerate three or four tablespoons of crushed garlic a day. That is a lot of garlic!

Garlic for Heart Health?

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was reputed to prescribe garlic for patients suffering chest pain. Modern science has confirmed that garlic has anti-platelet activity, meaning it may reduce the risk of blood clot formation.

Research has also revealed that garlic lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and combats fungi (Journal of Nutrition, Feb. 2016; Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Oct., 2010).

Garlic Lowers Blood Sugar:

There is also evidence that garlic helps control blood sugar (Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec. 2015).  For people who would prefer alternatives to the healing power of garlic to maintain good blood sugar levels, we offer our Guide to Managing Diabetes.

Will an Extract Work as Well as Crushed Garlic?

There is conflicting evidence on whether an aged garlic extract (such as Kyolic, for example) is able to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation as well as fresh garlic does. One recent study suggested that an aged garlic extract holds promise (Integrated Blood Pressure Control, online Jan. 27, 2016). Another study in people with type 2 diabetes did not find that aged garlic extract made blood vessels more flexible or reduced their inflammation in a month-long placebo-controlled trial (Journal of Diabetes Complications, online Jan. 6, 2016).

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  1. Chris

    Tree tea oil works for toe nail fungus. Takes time but does work. Is there really a difference I order less garlic pills and the ones that you burp after taking?

  2. Joe

    Garlic worked for me to lower my cholesterol. It can act as a blood thinner. Excessive amounts can aggravate the lining of the stomach and cause bleeding. And, it is an excellent vampire repellent. Works everytime.

  3. Glynis

    I find garlic pills with the oder still in the pill work best. If the pill is orerless, it doesn’t work for me.

  4. Wini

    Adding raw garlic to yogurt with a bit of dried mint makes a traditional Middle Eastern condiment for dishes such as falafel and can easily be expanded to accompany many other foods. The synergy of these three ingredients results in a savory sauce that is good for you in multiple ways.

  5. Liz

    I wouldn’t want to chew raw garlic either, but I have not problem swallowing a spoonful of crushed or minced garlic without chewing. When taken at bedtime, there is no odor in the morning.

  6. Cindy M. Black
    Seattle, WA

    I take a garlic supplement (Kyolic) and have always suspected that that’s one major reason why mosquitos NEVER bite me. I never wear any repellant.

    Dr. Mercola (a big web dr) just this week put out an interesting article on garlic; and he, also, touts garlic’s MANY wonderful health benefits and says it should be taken by everyone — also onions, which are related to garlic. Interestingly, he said that when you COOK garlic or onions, the health benefits go way down (with a few interesting minor exceptions which I won’t expound on since I can’t quite remember the details). SO, the raw garlic seems to be the best way to go. But like so many others, I can barely stand the idea of eating raw crushed garlic! I’m sure my friends would agree with me on that.

  7. Margie

    I have put a peeled clove of garlic in my ear when I had pain in the ear which seemed to be leading to an ear infection. The pain went away and there was no ear infection. I am not sure if the pain would have resolved anyway, but I have done this several times in my life, with similar results.

  8. Larry
    New Jersey.08021

    Consuming raw garlic daily is a must in my diet.I am a 62 yr old male of Asian Mix Latino decent,have not visited a MD. 12 yrs.and do cross a body weight of 120lbs.and everything works fine ,lots of energy,no pains of of any kind.May be the raw garlic helps to attain and sustain me in this regard I can’t say for sure but consuming a lot of leafy green veggies stir fried with a lot of fresh raw garlic certainly works for me.And I also consume animal proteins in moderate amounts ,another must in my diet is steamed Bitter Melon &Ochras also Bok Choi.And as I mentioned before every thing works just fine.

  9. Larry M
    Raleigh, NC

    Please, please find a citation for your readers addressing effectiveness of garlic for onychomycosis (toenail fungus)!

    Given the number of letters posted on this topic, you could gratify thousands of people.

    Does it work? Have studies been done? Would a sufferer have to take garlic forever, or would e.g., a six-month course of treatment solve the problem?

    I detest garlic, but I would gladly undertake a six-month course of garlic treatment to clean up these toes.

  10. Duke

    Garlic is not supposed to be good for dogs or cats,as well as onions, due at least to changes in red blood cells. This defies that but is only anecdotal. Garlic was added to food in the good old days to stimulate eating a poor product. It was also sold for flea prevention added to brewers yeast and was on the market for a long time.
    I’m not quite sure what to think about the poisonous nature of the garlic family.

  11. Roger S
    Saginaw, Mi

    Would pickled garlic have the same benefits as fresh? My wife and I eat pickled garlic often and love the taste. Because it’s pickled, slightly sweet like bread and butter pickles, it is nothing to eat 4 to 8 cloves a day.

    • Elizabeth

      Please take care when eating pickled foods. Consuming too many pickled products in your diet can heighten your risk of developing cancer of the stomach – please refer to studies done in cultures who have diets high in Kimchi and Saurkraut, or just pickled foods in general – it has something to do with the acidic nature of the food. I read an article once that cancer thrives in an acidic environment, which is why Health and food practitioners stress the importance of maintaining a body pH balance (I think it’s 7.5pH).

  12. Mavis

    It would be interesting if a study was done comparing the taking of fresh garlic as against garlic in capsule form

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