Written by: Ann P Sorgent RN, BSN, Clinical Supervisor – Agnesian Cancer Center
A study in China has determined that eating raw garlic two times per week may decrease the incidence of lung cancer by 44%! Even among smokers (who comprise the vast majority of lung cancer cases), there is a reduction in incidence of lung cancer by 30%. The National Institutes of Health also rates raw garlic as “possibly effective” against colon, rectal, and stomach cancer. The same substance that is responsible for garlic’s strong odor is thought to be responsible for garlics’ cancer-protective properties. This substance is allicin, and is thought to be a powerful antioxidant as well as functioning to reduce damage from free radicals. To release this substance, the raw garlic should be chopped or crushed (or chewed!). To reduce odor, some bloggers have suggested chewing parsley. Garlic has also been observed to reduce common colds, gout, fungal infections, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.