Garlic tea is an herbal tonic made from garlic, lemon, and honey. What medicinal uses and benefits can garlic provide that is supported by scientific research?
Table of Contents
- Garlic – Allium sativum – is a perennial plant from Central Asia.
- The plant produces a bulb that is used in cooking and in health remedies all over the world.
- Garlic powder, oil, and supplements are available.
- Supplements can be made from garlic oil or from fresh, dried, or aged garlic.
- Each form may have a different effect on the body. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2020)
- The tea is commonly made with garlic, lemon, and honey, but can be made with a variety of different ingredients.
- It is used for cold symptoms like congestion and cough.
Some, but not all benefits are supported by scientific evidence. It is important to keep in mind that these studies are analyzing garlic, and not necessarily garlic tea. The dose of garlic in tea may not be the same as a more concentrated dose that is used in the studies. Also, cooking or boiling garlic can change its therapeutic effects.
However, some of these are not backed up by research: (Leyla Bayan, Peir Hossain Koulivand, Ali Gorji. 2014)
- Improves immune health
- Prevents and treats cancer
- Helps with Weight loss
- Helps fight infections
- Helps reduce cholesterol
- Helps to disinfect wounds
- Helps treat vaginal yeast infections
- Relief from mouth ulcers
- Improves exercise performance
- Treatment for atherosclerosis
- Helps to ward off mosquitos
Research-Backed Benefits of Garlic
- The scientific evidence about garlic’s benefits. Garlic is a healthy source of organosulfur compounds, including alliinase, which is released when it is crushed or chopped. (Leyla Bayan, Peir Hossain Koulivand, Ali Gorji. 2014)
- Organosulfur compounds are believed to provide health benefits.
- An overview of garlic studies found that there are promising health benefits, however, the researchers caution that larger studies are needed to confirm the results and verify the right dosage to get the results. (Johura Ansary, et al., 2020)
The current studies show the following possible benefits:
- Raw garlic could be beneficial in reducing high blood pressure. (Shunming Zhang, et al., 2020)
- Some studies have also shown that garlic could be able to stimulate the immune system and decrease tumor growth in certain cancers, like colorectal cancer.
- However, research investigating the cancer-preventing benefits has shown mixed results. (Xi Zhou, et al., 2020)
- Garlic does have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. (Aslihan Avci, et al., 2008)
- A study in animals found that garlic has antifungal properties. (J P Burian, L V S Sacramento, I Z Carlos. 2017)
Honey and Lemon
Honey and lemon provide their own health benefits.
- Lemon is a healthy source of vitamin C.
- Research has found that lemons may help reduce blood pressure when combined with walking. (Yoji Kato, et al., 2014)
- Honey can help soothe cold and flu symptoms, including cough and congestion.
- It is also an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. (Saeed Samarghandian, et al., 2017)
According to the NIH, garlic is safe for most individuals in moderate amounts. ((National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. 2020)
- Common side effects of garlic consumption include bad breath, upset stomach, and body odor.
- Garlic can also cause bloating, gas, and heartburn for some.
- There are allergies to garlic and individuals with an allergy can experience more severe symptoms.
- The NIH also advises that taking garlic may increase your risk of bleeding.
- Individuals taking a blood thinner like warfarin or about to undergo surgery should discuss taking supplements or drinking garlic tea with their healthcare provider.
- Garlic has been found to interfere with the effectiveness of some drugs that are used to treat HIV infection.
- Lemon can cause tooth erosion so it is recommended to rinse teeth after drinking.
- Honey has sugar content so it is recommended to use it in small quantities.
Healthy Diet and Chiropractic
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Garlic.
Bayan, L., Koulivand, P. H., & Gorji, A. (2014). Garlic: A review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine, 4(1), 1–14.
Ansary, J., Forbes-Hernández, T. Y., Gil, E., Cianciosi, D., Zhang, J., Elexpuru-Zabaleta, M., Simal-Gandara, J., Giampieri, F., & Battino, M. (2020). Potential Health Benefit of Garlic Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(7), 619. doi.org/10.3390/antiox9070619
Zhang, S., Liu, M., Wang, Y., Zhang, Q., Liu, L., Meng, G., Yao, Z., Wu, H., Xia, Y., Bao, X., Gu, Y., Wang, H., Shi, H., Sun, S., Wang, X., Zhou, M., Jia, Q., Song, K., & Niu, K. (2020). Raw garlic consumption is inversely associated with prehypertension in a large-scale adult population. Journal of human hypertension, 34(1), 59–67. doi.org/10.1038/s41371-019-0257-0
Zhou, X., Qian, H., Zhang, D., & Zeng, L. (2020). Garlic intake and the risk of colorectal cancer: A meta-analysis. Medicine, 99(1), e18575. doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000018575
Avci, A., Atli, T., Ergüder, I. B., Varli, M., Devrim, E., Aras, S., & Durak, I. (2008). Effects of garlic consumption on plasma and erythrocyte antioxidant parameters in elderly subjects. Gerontology, 54(3), 173–176. doi.org/10.1159/000130426
Burian, J. P., Sacramento, L. V. S., & Carlos, I. Z. (2017). Fungal infection control by garlic extracts (Allium sativum L.) and modulation of peritoneal macrophage activity in a murine model of sporotrichosis. Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 77(4), 848–855. doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.03716
Kato, Y., Domoto, T., Hiramitsu, M., Katagiri, T., Sato, K., Miyake, Y., Aoi, S., Ishihara, K., Ikeda, H., Umei, N., Takigawa, A., & Harada, T. (2014). Effect on blood pressure of daily lemon ingestion and walking. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2014, 912684. doi.org/10.1155/2014/912684
Samarghandian, S., Farkhondeh, T., & Samini, F. (2017). Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research. Pharmacognosy Research, 9(2), 121–127. doi.org/10.4103/0974-8490.204647
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