How Garlic Can Save Your Life

garlic sprouting

By  Sayer Ji

Contributing Writer for  Wake Up World

Research on garlic indicates that it may provide an ideal low-cost and safe alternative to drugs and vaccines in reducing the three most common causes of death in the world.

In a world mesmerized by the false promises of pharmaceutical industry marketing copy, as well as inundated with aggressively marketed dietary supplements, many of which are manufactured by the same companies making a killing off patented chemicals (Bayer owns One A Day, Pfizer owns Centrum), it is reassuring to know that  the kitchen pantry will never fail us…

Inexpensive, time-tested, safe and delicious,  many spices are attaining recognition for being, quite literally, ‘life saving,’ which is likely one reason why, in ancient times, many were worth their weight in gold.

This time around, the health benefits of ancient ‘folk remedies’ like garlic are being confirmed by straight-laced men and women in lab coats. Which, when it comes to the conventional medical establishment, blighted as it is by the epistemological disease known as myopia, is considered the only valid way to ascertain the truth. Never mind the countless millions of people who, since the beginning of time, have used a different standard of proof:  if it works and it is safe, then its true.

We all know that garlic is not shy to make its presence known. The smallest culinary dose is enough to suffuse the entire body with its aroma. Garlic also permeates the research literature: the biomedical database known as MEDLINE, provided by the National Library of Medicine, contains  4245 study abstracts  on garlic, a number of which we have indexed and organized for your use on our site:  Health Benefits of Garlic.

A cursory perusal of the literature there indicates that garlic has a significant role to play in preventing or treating well over 150 health conditions, ranging from cancer to diabetes, infection to plaque buildup in the arteries, DNA damage to mercury poisoning.

In fact, a strong argument can be made (pun intended) that expanding the availability of garlic around the world as both a food and a medicine could prevent millions of deaths annually. According to World Health Organization statistics, the populations of poorer countries die manly from causes directly connected to communicable infectious diseases,  which incidentally are not caused by a lack of vaccines, rather, primarily through under-nutrition and malnourishment, lack of sanitation and hygiene, as well as the adverse physiological consequences of the depression and stress associated with poverty.   The greater use and availability of garlic might provide a perfect alternative to global vaccine initiatives, the use of which are driven less by compelling scientific research, and more by political and economic forces. Garlic is easier to acquire and distribute, and can often be grown by the affected persons or communities affected, making it essentially free.

Garlic Versus #1 Cause of Death for the Poorest Countries

As far as the research goes, garlic has immensely powerful anti-infective properties, experimentally confirmed to kill the following:

  1. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)[1],  [2]
  2. Thrush (Fungal overgrowth in oral cavity)[3]
  3. Pseudomonas Aerigonosima, including drug-resistant strains.[4][5][6]
  4. Cytomegalavirus Infections[7]  [8]  [9]  [10]
  5. Mycotoxin-associated aflatoxicosis[11]  [12]
  6. Helicobacter Pylori infection[13]
  7. Candida (Yeast) infection[14]  [15]  [16]
  8. Klebseilla infection[17]  [18]
  9. HIV-1 infection[19]  [20]
  10. Vibrio infection  [21]  [22]
  11. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, multi-drug resistant[23]
  12. Clostridium infections[24]
  13. Viral Infections:  Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, Parainfluenza virus type 3, vaccinia virus, vesicular stomatitis virus and human rhinovirus type 2.
  14. Group B Streptococcus Infection[25]  [26]

This is an impressive smattering of research, but it is likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to garlic’s ability to fight infection.  Remember, a lack of scientific proof does imply a lack of efficacy. Given that conventional antibiotics are not only failing, but driving bacteria and viruses into greater lethality, we can’t wait around for the multi-billion dollar clinical trial-based drug approval process to turn its attention to a non-patentable natural substance.   Such a profit-oriented approach would be highly unethical.

Garlic Versus the Developed World’s #1 and #2 Killers

The research on Greenmedinfo.com shows garlic has value in 167 health conditions or disease symptoms, but the greatest density of research indicates garlic’s role in preventing and/or treating  Cardiovascular Disease  and  Cancers, the two primary causes of death within high-income countries.[27]

This is an interesting finding. The drug industry has been fantasizing about a so-called ‘polypill’ for quite some time, an idea involving mixing various patented medicines together for a condition like heart disease (e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol, blood thinner), but to no avail. Patented chemicals have far too many side effects, so when you mix them together, you only compound their multitudinous chemical toxicities. Natural substances, on the other hand, and especially those which play a role in culinary traditions as “spices,” appear to have the opposite karma. Namely, they have far more ‘side benefits’ than ‘side effects.’

Garlic’s cardioprotective effects include:

  1. Retards progression of arterial plaque[28]  [29]  [30]
  2. Beneficially decreases white adipose tissue, increases white adipose tissue around heart muscle.[31]
  3. Protects against clotting[32]  [33]
  4. Positively modulates blood lipids[34],[35],[36]
  5. Vasodilator[37]
  6. Reduces blood pressure[38]
  7. Antioxidant[39]
  8. Endothelial Dysfunction[40]  [41]
  9. Vascular Inflammation[42]

Here is a quick review of the cancers that garlic has been found to kill:

  1. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia[43]
  2. Acute Myeloid Leukemia[44]
  3. Basal Cell Carcinoma[45]
  4. Breast Cancer[46],[47]
  5. Cervical Cancer[48]
  6. Colon Cancer[49]
  7. Endometrial Cancer[50]  [51]
  8. Gastric Cancer[52]  [53]
  9. Leukemia: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)[54]
  10. Liver Cancer[55]  [56]  [57]    [58]
  11. Lymphoma[59]  [60]
  12. Melanoma[61
  13. Osteosarcoma[62]
  14. Pancreatic Cancer[63]

Garlic, like so many other complex foods, contains a wide range of phytocompounds that articulate at least 150 distinct physiological responses in the mammalian body (see our 157 pharmacological actions list on the  Garlic Research  page).

How can this be so?

One explanation is that all foods contain not only physical building blocks, e.g. carbs, proteins, lipids, and are not only a source of energy (caloric content), but contain gene and epigene regulatory information. There are ‘packets’ of energy and information contained within the conformational state of the biomolecules found within these plant tissues. Our co-evolution with the plant kingdom for the past half a billion years has resulted in the very genetic/molecular fabric of our body depending on certain key compounds from plants in our diet, delivered in natural form, not irradiated, overly-cooked, petrochemically-farmed. Garlic’s ability to fit like a key, into many different types of locks (an impossible feat for monochemical ‘magic bullets’), reflects an likely infinitely complex intelligence in the relationship between plant and animal species. Which speaks to how important foods are not simply as ‘medicine,’ but that from which our bodily health grows organically, and without which disease is a natural consequence.

Article Resources

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[27]  World Health Organization, The top 10 causes of death

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[39]  Greenmedinfo.com,  Garlic’s Antioxidant Activity: 21 Studies

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[42]  Marcela Alejandra Vazquez-Prieto, Cecilia Rodriguez Lanzi, Carina Lembo, Claudio Rà³mulo Galmarini, Roberto Miguel Miatello.  Garlic and onion attenuates vascular inflammation and oxidative stress in fructose-fed rats.  J Nutr Metab. 2011 ;2011:475216. Epub 2011 Aug 25. PMID:  21876795

[43]  Greg Hodge, Stephen Davis, Michael Rice, Heather Tapp, Ben Saxon, Tamas Revesz.  Garlic compounds selectively kill childhood pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells in vitro without reducing T-cell function: Potential therapeutic use in the treatment of ALL.Biologics. 2008 Mar;2(1):143-9. PMID:  19707437

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[45]  C M L J Tilli, A J W Stavast-Kooy, J D D Vuerstaek, M R T M Thissen, G A M Krekels, F C S Ramaekers, H A M Neumann.  The garlic-derived organosulfur component ajoene decreases basal cell carcinoma tumor size by inducing apoptosis.  Arch Dermatol Res. 2003 Jul;295(3):117-23. Epub 2003 May 20. PMID:  12756587

[46]  K Hirsch, M Danilenko, J Giat, T Miron, A Rabinkov, M Wilchek, D Mirelman, J Levy, Y Sharoni.  Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation.  Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):245-54. PMID:  11525603

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[49]  GreenMedInfo.com,  Garlic’s Anti-Cancer Activity: 6 Abstracts

[50]  Carlotta Galeone, Claudio Pelucchi, Luigino Dal Maso, Eva Negri, Maurizio Montella, Antonella Zucchetto, Renato Talamini, Carlo La Vecchia.  Allium vegetables intake and endometrial cancer risk.  Public Health Nutr. 2009 Sep;12(9):1576-9. Epub 2008 Nov 6. PMID:  18986589

[51]  K Hirsch, M Danilenko, J Giat, T Miron, A Rabinkov, M Wilchek, D Mirelman, J Levy, Y Sharoni.Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation.  Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):245-54. PMID:  11525603

[52]  J-Y Yan, F-M Tian, W-N Hu, J-H Zhang, H-F Cai, N Li.  Apoptosis of human gastric cancer cells line SGC 7901 induced by garlic-derived compound S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC).Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Mar ;17(6):745-51. PMID:  23609357

[53]  J-Y Yan, F-M Tian, W-N Hu, J-H Zhang, H-F Cai, N Li.  Apoptosis of human gastric cancer cells line SGC 7901 induced by garlic-derived compound S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC).Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Mar ;17(6):745-51. PMID:  23609357

[54]  Fabian D Arditti, Aharon Rabinkov, Talia Miron, Yair Reisner, Alain Berrebi, Meir Wilchek, David Mirelman.  Apoptotic killing of B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia tumor cells by allicin generated in situ using a rituximab-alliinase conjugate.  Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Feb;4(2):325-31. PMID:  15713903

[55]  Hye-Sook Chang, Miyan Ko, Mayumi Ishizuka, Shoichi Fujita, Akira Yabuki, Mohammad Alamgir Hossain, Osamu Yamato.  Sodium 2-propenyl thiosulfate derived from garlic induces phase II detoxification enzymes in rat hepatoma H4IIE cells.  Nutr Res. 2010 Jun;30(6):435-40. PMID:  20650352

[56]  Angelo De Martino, Giuseppe Filomeni, Katia Aquilano, Maria R Ciriolo, Giuseppe Rotilio.  Effects of water garlic extracts on cell cycle and viability of HepG2 hepatoma cells.  J Nutr Biochem. 2006 Nov ;17(11):742-9. Epub 2006 Jan 24. PMID:  16520031

[57]  K B Soni, M Lahiri, P Chackradeo, S V Bhide, R Kuttan.  Protective effect of food additives on aflatoxin-induced mutagenicity and hepatocarcinogenicity.  Cancer Lett. 1997 May 19;115(2):129-33. PMID:  9149115

[58]  Hideki Ishikawa, Tomoko Saeki, Toru Otani, Takaichiro Suzuki, Kojiro Shimozuma, Hoyoku Nishino, Sanae Fukuda, Kanehisa Morimoto.  Aged garlic extract prevents a decline of NK cell number and activity in patients with advanced cancer.  J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):816S-820S. PMID:  16484572

[59]  Talia Miron, Meir Wilchek, Ayala Sharp, Yoshihito Nakagawa, Makoto Naoi, Yoshinori Nozawa, Yukihiro Akao.  Allicin inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway in HL60 and U937 cells.  J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Aug;19(8):524-35. Epub 2007 Dec 21. PMID:  18155508

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[61]  Hoda Hakimzadeh, Tooba Ghazanfari, Batool Rahmati, Hossein Naderimanesh.  Cytotoxic effect of garlic extract and its fractions on Sk-mel3 melanoma cell line.  Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2010 Feb 11. Epub 2010 Feb 11. PMID:  20148706

[62]  Yong Kui Zhang, Xu Hua Zhang, Jian Min Li, De Sheng Sun, Qiang Yang, Dong Mei Diao.  A proteomic study on a human osteosarcoma cell line Saos-2 treated with diallyl trisulfide.Anticancer Drugs. 2009 Sep;20(8):702-12. PMID:  19550292

[63]  Hideki Ishikawa, Tomoko Saeki, Toru Otani, Takaichiro Suzuki, Kojiro Shimozuma, Hoyoku Nishino, Sanae Fukuda, Kanehisa Morimoto.  Aged garlic extract prevents a decline of NK cell number and activity in patients with advanced cancer.  J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):816S-820S. PMID:  16484572

Further articles by Sayer Ji

About the author:
Sayer-JiSayer Ji is the founder and director of  www.GreenMedInfo.com  and an advisory board member at the  National Health Federation, an international nonprofit, consumer-education, health-freedom organization.

He co-authored the book  Cancer Killers: The Cause Is The Cure, and is currently co-authoring another book with Tania Melkonian entitled  EATomology: An Edible Philosophy of Food.

Check out Sayer Ji’s new collaborative project  EATomology.


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