Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in Indian dishes but apart from imparting flavor to food, this tiny, white pod also has immense medicinal properties. Used since time immemorial to treat various ailments, garlic is one ingredient in your kitchen that has a number of uses.

1. Garlic strengthens the immune system as well as helps to fight chest infections, coughs and congestion. In the winter months garlic is a great food to boost your immune system and ward off colds and flu. An old folk remedy is to eat a clove of garlic that has been dipped in honey at the first sign of a cold. 2. Garlic contains high levels of iodine which makes it a very effective treatment for hyperthyroid conditions. Treatment with garlic has been shown to greatly improve this condition.

3. Scurvy is treated by vitamin C and garlic contains good levels of vitamin C too.

4. Popular folklore says that garlic is good for more than scaring hungry vampires away! Impotency has long been thought to benefit from doses of garlic, and treatment continues in many communities to this day. 5. Cardiovascular disease can be reduced by ingesting garlic. LDL cholesterol is no friend of garlic and the aortic plaque deposits that gather on the walls of your body’s veins can be reduced with the use of garlic too. Studies have shown the amazing benefits of taking garlic in relation to heart disease.

6. Fungal and bacterial vaginal infections are toast when treated with garlic! When crushed or bruised, garlic releases Allicin which is a sulphuric compound that is a natural antibiotic If you decide to take garlic in tablet form be sure to use powdered capsules.

7. Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy immune system and the efficient growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 can also assist with mood swings and improve your cheery disposition!

8. Garlic can aid in the prevention of multiple types of cancer. Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer have all been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic. Vitamin B6 is said to have cancer fighting abilities.

9. Garlic regulates blood sugar as it enhances the level of insulin in the blood. This may assist in the control of diabetes. Seek medical advice if you believe the use of garlic could help your condition. 10. Garlic has been found to assist babies to gain weight while they are in the womb.