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9 Health Benefits of Garlic 

1. Acne — Raw garlic can help control acne but is best used in conjunction with other treatments.

2. Antibiotic/Antibacterial/Anti-fungal — Studies show garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and has 1 percent of the potency of penicillin. It fights bacteria including E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus and others, as well as fungi such as athlete's foot.

3. Antioxidant — Aged garlic in particular can help protect the body against free radicals by producing hydrogen sulfide. The allicin in garlic naturally increases antioxidant enzymes and works against the damaging effects of nicotine and aging processes in the liver.

4. Blood pressure — A study in the Journal of Hypertension showed volunteers who took garlic supplements experienced a reduction in blood pressure up to 5 percent, which can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent and the risk of stroke by up to 40 percent.

5. Cancer — Garlic not only supports your immune system, but compounds formed when garlic is crushed reduce the formation and slow the growth of cancer cells, especially in the breast, bladder, colon and prostate.

6. Colds — Taking two or three cloves of garlic has been shown to make the sniffles disappear at the onset of a cold. Eating the herb regularly boosts your natural immune system to fight the virus and conserves antioxidants already in your system.

7. Heart disease — The allicin in garlic is believed to keep LDL (bad cholesterol) from oxidizing. It also is believed to raise HDL (good cholesterol), keep plaque and blood clots from forming in arteries, relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. Note: Results of medical studies about garlic's cholesterol-reducing abilities have been mixed.

8. Impotence — Garlic helps with blood circulation and keeps veins and arteries healthy. It also helps stimulate the production of the enzyme nitric oxide synthase, which is required for erections.

9. Insect repellent — Eating garlic prevents or reduces mosquito and tick bites.

Tips: Eating too much garlic could cause irritation or damage to the digestive tract. It may also disrupt anticoagulants, so don't eat it before surgery. Microwaving garlic kills the active ingredients. Crush and chop garlic, then let it sit 15 minutes before cooking it to retain all the nutrients. Eating fennel seeds helps neutralize the smell of garlic on your breath.

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