Garlic is a perennial that originated in central Asia and is now used globally. Its medicinal and culinary benefits have been well known for thousands of years. Japanese garlic is a large variety of garlic with three to seven cloves, sometimes growing as large as elephant garlic. It's pungent and strong, with a pleasant flavor and contains the same general health benefits common to all garlic varieties.

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Potential Cancer Risk Reduction

Garlic is linked to immune system support, helping protect against diseases such as cancer. Eating raw and cooked garlic may, for example, help reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancer and cancer of the esophagus, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 7. An article published in "Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry" in March 2011 noted that garlic extract reduced chemotherapy side effects, and the use of garlic and garlic-derived compounds in controlling breast cancer looks promising 2.

Might Reduce Blood Pressure

Garlic for Chest Congestion

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Hypertension -- abnormally high blood pressure -- is a significant risk factor for heart disease, including heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. Garlic may help reduce hypertension 4. A study that evaluated the effect of garlic on blood pressure revealed that garlic significantly reduced both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients experiencing hypertension, according to an article published in "Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" in September 2013 4.

Might Prevent Common Cold

Evidence points to garlic as an effective common cold preventive. An article published in "Advances in Therapy" in July 2001 noted that an investigation into the effect of allicin-containing garlic on common cold infections and symptoms revealed that volunteers who received garlic were less likely to get a cold and recovered faster than those who did not take garlic. The conclusion was that allicin-containing garlic could prevent a common cold virus attack.

Potential Powerful Antioxidant Benefits

Garlic for Herpes

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Garlic is packed with vitamin C. Acting as an antioxidant, vitamin C serves as a powerful substance that helps protect your body against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage healthy cells. An article published in "Veterinary and Human Toxicology" in October 1999 noted that garlic increases the antioxidant activity against free radical damage caused by nicotine 5. A 3.5-ounce portion of fresh garlic contains approximately 31 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 52 percent of the daily value set by the United States Food and Drug Administration based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.