Garlic supplements have become increasingly popular over the past several years. The ancients knew of garlic’s powerful infection-fighting properties. Nostradamus, the famous 16th century seer and physician, was credited with saving many lives during the Black Plague, by stringing garlic cloves around the necks of his patients. Some regard this account as more legend than fact, but modern double-blind clinical studies have shown that garlic is a natural antibiotic that kills 27 different pathogens. These are impressive credentials for such a humble, everyday plant.

Other modern studies prove that garlic normalizes cholesterol levels on a par with the leading pharmaceutical alternatives, but without undesirable side effects. This is certainly good news!

Despite this, most people will opt for a pharmaceutical antibiotic or cholesterol-lowering pill over chewing a piece of garlic, due to the unpleasant social issues!

Garlic supplements now usually counter the bad-breath effect with other plant additions to the formula, such as parsley. The combination of garlic and parsley do away with the halitosis, while still giving you the healthful benefits.

When you buy a garlic supplement, look for a brand that specifies a guaranteed potency on the label. Allicin is the component of garlic that is responsible for killing germs and lowering cholesterol. A cheaper product may not necessarily be worth your while. If the garlic supplement is made from garlic from various sources, one batch may contain more allicin than another, so you cannot be assured of its relative effectiveness in a given dose. Garlic supplements with a guaranteed potency assures that each capsule contains a specific amount of allicin.

One Japanese company has a patented garlic formula, Kyolic( which is cold-pressed, ensuring that none of the volatile oils are lost and that the potency is high. The patent also covers a process whereby no garlic smell issues from your mouth and no stomach irritation occurs. The Kyolic line of garlic supplements come in several formulas to best address your particular condition, such as the immune system booster formula of garlic and Echinacea.

If you are already taking an antibiotic or cholesterol lowering pharmaceutical medication, consult your doctor before using garlic supplements to be sure there are no adverse interactions between them.

You don’t need to be ill to add a garlic supplement to your diet. Garlic can help prevent illness and works to keep your heart healthy even if you do not currently have heart or circulation problems.

Garlic supplements are one of the safest plant medicines. Studies have shown that people who consume large quantities of garlic over a lifetime tend to live to a ripe old age. One last tidbit on this illustrious member of the plant kingdom: if you’re suffering from toothache, a thin slice of fresh garlic placed on the gums adjacent to the offending tooth, will start to work immediately, killing bacteria. This will see you through to the dentist, but you’ll have to forget the social engagements for the time being!