Benefits of garlic for immune health

Published May 7, 2014

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Garlic is a pungent herb that has been used as both a food and medicine for thousands of years, dating back to the time of the Egyptian pyramids, when it was used to support workers’ immune defenses.1 Garlic is still recognized today for its immune benefits and appears to have several effects on immune system function including:

  • Enhances the activity of some white blood cells1 that are important for supporting immune health and protecting against illness e.g. macrophages and T‐lymphocytes.
  • Direct anti‐microbial activity, specifically against a wide range of bacteria and fungi strains.

While garlic contains a number of nutritional components, it’s the sulphur compounds in garlic, particularly alliin and its by‐products, allicin and ajoene, that are believed to be responsible for its health effects.1 These compounds are produced when garlic is crushed, cut or chewed. They are also accountable for garlic’s distinct odor.

Garlic and the common cold

In addition to supporting immune health to defend against illness, garlic can assist in the symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections including the common cold. Garlic helps alleviate cold symptoms and may provide relief from mucous congestion and coughs. In a clinical trial involving 146 volunteers, those taking garlic over a 12 week period in winter were less likely to get a cold than those who took the placebo. If they did catch a cold, they also appeared to recover faster.2

Garlic supplements

Garlic is available as a supplement on its own or in combination with other immune boosting vitamins and herbs to support the immune system and to provide relief from cold symptoms. Due to its pungent odour, Nature’s Own™ Garlic Oil is available in an ‘odourless’ form to reduce any garlic aftertaste.

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

Learn about which Nature's Own product may be appropriate for you.

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