5 Health Benefits of Wild Garlic

1. A natural antibiotic

This flavorful plant may best be known for flavoring dishes, but it’s also one of the best natural antibiotics on Earth. Research in 2012 from Washington State University found that it was 100 times more effective than two of the most commonly used antibiotics for fighting off a bacteria called Campylobacter, something that’s responsible for multiple intestinal ailments around the world. It can even kill strains of staph and bacteria that have become immune to modern antibiotics. This is something we’ve known for centuries, long before science ever proved its abilities. In fact, garlic has been used for thousands of years as a healing agent, even utilized to ward off the plague in the 18th century.

Wild garlic is an incredible food as it doesn’t just kill bacteria, but viruses, fungi, and pathogens, without harming healthy gut flora. It’s jam-packed with phytochemicals and healing sulfur components, guards against DNA damaged with its potent antioxidant properties and is even known to fight parasites and worms. It also provides a wealth of nutrients, like B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. It should really be a staple in everyone’s diet.

2. Detoxification

As mentioned, wild garlic offers many beneficial properties for the body. Other than its use as a natural antibiotic, it’s ability to detoxify, removing harmful toxins from the body, may be the most important. Keeping the body free of toxins and other potentially harmful substances is one of the key factors in overall health and longevity. A 2012 study published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacologydemonstrated that garlic was just as effective at eliminating lead from the body as d-penicillamine, minus the serious side effects.

Lead poisoning, as the researchers noted, accounts for 0.2 percent of all deaths worldwide. Unfortunately, the heavy metal that was once commonly used in paints, is still used in some places today despite the fact that it’s widely known to potentially cause damage to the digestive, cardiovascular and skeletal systems, with particularly devastating impacts on the reproductive organs, nervous system, and kidneys. It is known to have significant negative effects on the kidneys, nervous system and reproductive organs.

Of course, the detoxifying properties of garlic don’t just apply to lead, but the long list of other toxins we’re all exposed to from day to day. There are toxins in many of the foods we consume, in the air we breathe, in cleaning products, secondhand smoke and more.

3. Supporting good cardiovascular health through better blood pressure and cholesterol levels

The instance of cardiovascular disease is typically lower in populations that consume lots of garlic. One of the reasons for that may be that garlic has the ability to reduce high blood pressure, or hypertension. A 2013 study out of Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid University published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, revealed that garlic was at least as effective as the powerful blood pressure lowering medication atenolol for decreasing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants who’d been diagnosed with essential hypertension.

Garlic can also help improve cholesterol levels, further supporting heart health. It lowers both overall cholesterol and LDL, otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol as shown in numerous studies. On average, studies have shown that it may reduce LDL and total cholesterol by about 15 percent.

4. Regulating blood sugar levels

A 2012 study on diabetic rabbits found that garlic offers hypoglycemic effects, meaning that it can help lower or maintain normal blood sugar levels. A review of studies in 2014, also supported the idea that consuming garlic regularly can help lower blood glucose levels.

5. Slowing the aging process and preventing brain aging diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s

When your body suffers from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, that serves to speed aging. Wild garlic provides antioxidants that help to support the body’s defenses to protect against oxidative damage. Multiple studies have found that garlic has been linked to increased antioxidant enzymes in addition to the ability to reduce oxidative stress. The combined effects of lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure, coupled with garlic’s potent antioxidant properties, may help prevent common brain aging diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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