Garlic is good for people because it has a variety of health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, helping with certain cancers and treating fungal infections. Researchers believe that allicin, a chemical in garlic, is responsible for many benefits, but not all garlic products have a high concentration of it.
Garlic is beneficial for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. Evidence suggests that it can be effective in decreasing the risk of atherosclerosis and can reduce blood pressure by as much as 8 percent. It may also help with high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and heart attack. Some use garlic to decrease the risk of developing certain cancers, such as colon, stomach and breast cancer. Research shows that those who take high doses of aged garlic extract daily for 12 months have a reduced chance of developing new tumors if they have colon or rectal cancer.
Garlic can help treat many types of fungal infections, including ringworm, jock itch and athlete's foot. Gels containing 1 percent ajoene, a chemical in garlic, seem to be as effective as Lamisil for treating athlete's foot. There is also evidence that fresh garlic can kill bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella enteritidis in the laboratory, making it possibly effective against food poisoning.