How garlic kills resistant bacteria

Cultures worldwide, from the Philippines to China, to Russia and Poland, have vampire legends.

And across the board, there’s just one way in all of these tales to protect against these un-dead, blood-sucking creatures: Garlic.

Maybe you’ve heard this before and wondered, “why garlic?” Is it just because it smells so strong that it repels vampires?

In fact, the reason is a lot more fact-based than that…

  • As far back as 5000 years ago, people around the world have known that garlic is a powerful healing agent.
  • The ancient Egyptians fed garlic to their slaves to increase their strength and productivity.
  • Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed it for infections, wounds, leprosy and digestive disorders.

And since many ancient societies saw disease and illness as the result of evil spirits, it makes sense that garlic was thought to have power against vampires.

Today, we are finding out that garlic has the power to protect us from another “evil”: the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the diseases they cause.

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Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide health crisis.

Our misuse and over-use of antibiotics has caused more and more “superbugs” to become immune to just about any antibiotic we have.

And since the development of new and more effective drugs is a tediously slow process, our best bet has been to look to natural remedies like:

Manuka honey heals open wounds. Grapefruit seed extract has been found effective against over 800 strains of virus and bacteria. And coconut oil kills C. diff, a antibiotic-resistant bacteria that’s rampant in hospital settings, and causes colitis and kidney failure.

But it’s garlic that’s been getting attention in recent years for its proven power to kill specific strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Studies prove the power of garlic

At least four recent studies have proven the effectiveness of garlic against various strains of superbug:

  • Researchers at the University of Dohuk in Iran found crushed garlic effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most virulent forms of superbug.
  • Prior to that, a Chinese study had confirmed these findings, but additionally proved that the compound allium that is released when garlic is crushed can make MRSA less resistant to certain antibiotics.

In other words, it reversed antibiotic resistance.

  • A 2015 study looked specifically at antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. Researchers found that 56 percent of the bacterial strains found in the urine of people with UTIs were resistant to antibiotics.

However, 82 percent of those strains responded to treatment with allium extract.

  • Finally, in 2017, Professor Michael Givskov of the University of Copenhagen conducted research that isolated the compound ajoene, another active molecule in garlic. It seems that ajoene acts against the very mechanism that allows bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.

Superbugs protect themselves by developing a sort of shield against antibiotics, known as a biofilm. Ajoene, in combination with antibiotics, was able to pierce that biofilm in at least two common superbugs.

How to use the “garlic cure”

Raw garlic offers the best antimicrobial power. Chewing on garlic cloves can help prevent gum disease . But if munching on a raw garlic clove doesn’t appeal to you, fear not; cooked garlic still has great value.

Whether raw or cooked, crushing garlic is the best way to release its disease-fighting compounds. And as far as cooking goes, the possibilities are truly endless.

Almost any cuisine you can think of features garlic in its dishes. Used in sauces, stews, and soups, or added to chicken, meat, fish or vegetable dishes, it’s easy to include in your daily diet.

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.