It has been said: Using garlic is the secret to good health; the problem is keeping it a secret.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is in the same botanical family with onions, leeks, chives, shallots and turnips. Two common features of this family are that they have strong odors, and, when eaten, they permeate the entire person’s body. A person’s breath, urine, feces and sweat can all smell like the vegetable they had eaten.

Because of their wonderful ability to permeate every corner of a person’s body, they also have the ability to make great changes within.

Well-Known Healing Properties of Garlic

In modern times,the main focus of Garlic is its heart-health benefits. It was found to have anti-coagulant “blood-thinning” properties; therefore, those opting for a natural blood-thinning agent would reach for Garlic tablets at the local health food store. Luckily, Garlic tablets are now made “odor free” so that no one would know you are taking Garlic.

Of added benefit to the heart is that it can lower blood pressure, improve circulation and also lower lipid (fat) levels as well as cholesterol.

For diabetics, Garlic helps to stabilize blood sugar levels either though increasing liver metabolism of sugar or by increasing the release of insulin.

Garlic Helps Inhibit the Spread of Common Viruses and Bacteria

But a little-known benefit of eating this wondrous bulb is its effect on viruses and bacteria.

For centuries, Garlic has been used for colds, flus and other viruses that affected the respiratory system (lungs and sinuses). Its main use was “antiviral,” to keep the viruses from either taking hold or to keep them from becoming worse.

An added benefit for the respiratory system was that is also loosened phlegm for easier removal from the lungs; a great help for bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia. For the sinuses, it also helps during sinus infections to rid the sinuses of the virus or bacterium that was causing troubles there.

Aside from inhibiting the Influenza(flu) virus, Garlic also can inhibit the spread of Herpes Simplex 1 and 2!

As for bacteria, the ulcer-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)is also affected by Garlic, as are other bacteria that cause digestive ailments, most notably E. coli and Salmonella. These two bacteria are often in the news for causing digestive upsets that lead to massive recalls of beef, spinach and tomatoes.

Bacteria of the lungs that respond to this medicinal bulb: Klebsiella, Pneumoniae, Mycobacteria, Bacillus, StaphylococcusandStreptococcus.

Do Not Take Garlic If…

Despite the great medicinal value of Garlic, not everyone should take this supplement. Because of its strong, helpful benefits, people have to be careful if they are taking a medical drug that lowers cholesterol or increases bleeding time (such as a “blood-thinning” agent like warfarin or aspirin). Also be careful if taking vitamin E as vitamin E has been shown to increase bleeding time; combining vitamin E and Garlic might increase the risk of bleeding more so.

Before taking Garlic, discuss its use with someone knowledgeable in BOTH medical drugs and natural supplements. Garlic may be natural, but it is only safe if used correctly and under the supervision of someone who knows its potential.

Also, never take more than directed on the package. Each manufacturer has their own way of doing things, so what is standard for them may not be the same for a different company.

Watch for Signs of Bleeding

As the main side effect of taking Garlic is bleeding, do watch for the signs that your blood may be too “thin.” If you have any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately for diagnosis and treatment:
 unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time, such as:
• nosebleeds that happen often or spontaneously without injury
• bruising, even from the smallest injuries
• unusual bleeding of the gums when brushing teeth or when eating
• menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal or vaginal bleeding between periods
• bleeding that is severe or out of control
 red, pink or brown urine
 bright red or black, tar-like stools
 coughing up blood or blood clots
 vomiting blood or having vomit that looks like coffee grounds
 headache, feeling dizzy or weak
 pain, swelling or new drainage from a wound or wound site

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ronda Behnkeis a distinguished practitioner of Classical Homeopathy and other Natural Healing methods.As co-founder of The Homeopathic Centers of America, Dr. Ronda passes on what she has learned through her seminars, articles, books and when working with individuals. You can contact Dr. Ronda via the or by calling 920-558-9806.