According to studies and research conducted by University of Thessaly, Platikampos area microclimate and, in particular, the considerable temperature difference between day and night, have favoures cultivation of garlic for centuries. Use of garlic by humans, has been detected for the last 5000years, while its therapeutic benefits have been known to medical and scientific communities for over 3000 years!
Garlic bulbs have been extensively used for medicinal purposes. It can be used fresh, dried or as an extract. Garlic has a high concentration in sulphuric compounds, which are the main active ingredients in garlic infused medicine. Its main effective substances are alin and alinase.
Both these substances are found in garlic separately and are chemically bound to form allicin, when a clove is cut-off the bulb. Allicin is responsible for the particular and widely known taste and scent of garlic. This is the reason garlic cloves are usually crushed before added to the food mix. (source: iatronet.gr)

According to research, garlic’s main therapeutic and health benefits are outlined below:

It has been proved that allicin acts as a toxic to cancerous cells. Epidemiological data from individual health checks and further area wide studies have shown that consumers of garlic and other vegetables with similar ingredients, present a lower risk of developing stomach and colon cancer.

Lower risk of deep-vain thrombosis or heart disease
According to studies published by ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’, garlic can protect from heart disease, because it contributes to the reduction of LDL Cholesterol levels. Garlic supplement assists human body to dissolve small blood clots easier, thus, reducing the risk of heart attacks caused by blocked arteries.

Reduced levels of blood lipids, cholesterol andtriglycerids
Studies using standard packaged garlic powder, have shown significant reduction of LDL and general cholesterol levels, within 8-12 weeks. A European trial, comparing garlic with the most commonly used pharmaceutical product for the reduction of lipoproteins in the blood, showed equally effective results.

Antihypertension effects
According to a study published recently in Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, daily intake of garlic supplement, contributes in the more affective control of hypertension , mainly because garlic components have vasodilative action, resulting in easier blood flow through the vains.

Antimicrobial action: Protection from common cold and skin acne
According to a study published in Advances in Therapy, garlic supplement may reduce possibility of common cold symptoms by 63%, while reducing symptoms severity by 70%. In addition, according to a study published in Angewandte Chemie in 2009, garlic is a natural remedy for skin acne, because allicin can kill acne causing bacteria. If applied locally on the affected skin area, it can also contribute in the reduction of skin scars or allergies.

Enhanced bone health
Garlic contains zinc, manganese, vitamin B6 and C, which are known to enhance strong bone structure and calcium absorbance by the human body.

Deceleration of hair loss
Garlic’s sulphuric chemical compounds, contain keratin, which is one of human hair’s structural components. According to a study published in Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology, application of a garlic gel, combined with betamethasone valerianate, promotes new hair growth in patients suffering from alopecia areata.

Improved Sports performance
Garlic enhances human body endurance, while reducing fatigue observed following intense exercise. According to a study published in Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Venerology and Leprology in 2005, garlic oil consumption for 6 weeks or more, helped people with heart disease issues to reduce tachycardia incidents and therefore, improve their body endurance, during tests using a gym treadmill.

(source: iatronet.gr, onmed.gr)