Can Garlic Prevent Hypertension?
Closely related to the onion, garlic has a pungent smell, and is used widely as flavoring in cooking. In Ancient Egypt, it was used for both culinary purposes and its health and therapeutic benefits. Because of its significant antibiotic properties, medical surgeons used garlic juice as an antiseptic for treating war wounds during World War I.
Garlic is an excellent source of manganese (23 percent of the daily value), which contains essential enzymes and antioxidants that perform all kinds of amazing feats in the body, including the healthy formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, calcium absorption, and proper thyroid function. It also contains 17 percent of the daily value in Vitamin B6, and 15 percent in Vitamin C and useful minerals like phosphorous, calcium, and iron, as well as trace minerals like iodine, sulfur, and chlorine.
Numerous studies have unveiled the amazing health potential of garlic, ranging from removing heavy metals to the prevention of numerous ailments, such as the common cold, hardening of the arteries, and even in slowing the aging process. Garlic is often employed for conditions associated with heart and blood system, including high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
A study that was published February 2015 in
Journal ‘Human Molecular Genetics’ reported that garlic in the form of a daily
dietary supplement would help lower diastolic and systolic blood pressures.
Researchers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in China
carried out a meta-analysis of 17 distinct randomized and controlled trials that
examined the effects of garlic powder, garlic oil, and aged garlic extract on
blood pressure. The meta-analysis used all of the studies that had randomized
controlled trials and were included in Cochtrane Library, PubMed, or Ovid
People with hypertension, or elevated blood pressure, were found to experience reductions in blood pressure from garlic doses of 300 to 900 mg per day. Garlic supplements proved to be more effective than placebo controls for reducing blood pressure, especially in hypertensive patients. For those who received this dosage, diastolic blood pressure was lowered by 3.39 mmHg and systolic blood pressure was cut by 3.75 mmHg on average. People who had normal blood pressure did not experience any significant drop in systolic blood pressure. The studies in this analysis lasted 12 to 23 weeks because the body takes time to adjust.
Hypertension is a common disorder and the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke as well as premature deaths worldwide. For many years, people in Asia have used garlic as an anti-hypertensive medication, and it has also been used frequently in Germany. It was first experimented with in America in the early 20th century. Scientists believe it is allicin, an active ingredient in garlic, helps lower blood pressure. The allicin compound contains sulfur, which gives the herb its pungent savor and peculiar smell.
Besides being a natural blood pressure medicine, garlic has other health benefits. Garlic boosts the immune system, improve cholesterol levels, and it contains antioxidants that could help prevent dementia. Garlic can also help detoxify the body of heavy metals, improve bone health, and strengthen athletic performance. It can even help a person to live longer. Garlic has been examined by many studies as an anti-fatigue agent, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
There are some side effects when taken by mouth,
though. Garlic can cause bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or
stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odor, and diarrhea. These can be
worse with raw garlic. Garlic may also raise the risk of bleeding. There have
been findings of bleeding after surgery in people who have taken garlic.
Meanwhile, asthma has been reported in people working with garlic, and other
allergic reactions are possible.
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