Can Garlic Help Urinary Tract Infections?

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Posted: 15/07/2015 Print

Can Garlic Help Urinary Tract Infections?

Guest article by Sam Hadadi,

Garlic and UTIs

Loved by vampire hunters, foodies and health bloggers across the globe, garlic has long been renowned for its body-boosting, body-loving properties.

Yet packed with goodness and known to protect the heart, garlic isn’t just a tasty addition to your favourite recipes – it’s also an essential food in the battle against all kinds of illnesses.

As if you needed another reason to toss the garlic into your homemade pasta sauce, this super bulb has now been proven to protect the body against urinary tract infection, or UTIs.

Garlic bulbs

According to a new study, published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, this little superfood can fight drug-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria, which can cause UTIs.

The study, carried out by researchers at the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, found that "even crude extracts of [garlic] showed good activity against multidrug resistant strains where antibiotic therapy had limited or no effect. This provides hope for developing alternative drugs which may be of help in fighting the menace of growing antibacterial resistance.”

How Can Garlic Help Me?

Urinary tract infections are massively common. In fact, they’re the second most common infectious disease across the globe. Worldwide, about 150 million people are diagnosed each year with a UTI, which costs billions of dollars to treat.

Although UTIs are usually treated with antibiotics, the fact that bacteria are now becoming resistant to many medicines means that doctors are being forced to look to "traditional medicines or herbal products, which may provide appropriate/acceptable alternative solutions.”

One of the potential solutions? Garlic! Also known as allium sativum, a member of the onion family, garlic has been used since the ancient times to treat all manner of illnesses and conditions.

You see, all sorts of microorganisms - including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - are known to be sensitive to compounds found in garlic, such as allicin and sulphur. 

What Did The Study Show?

In this study, the team found that 56 per cent of 166 bacteria strains found in the urine of those with a UTI showed a high resistance to antibiotics.

However, about 82 per cent of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria were damaged or killed by a crude, aqueous extract of garlic. According to the researchers, "ours is the first study to report the antibacterial activity of aqueous garlic extract against multi-drug resistant bacterial isolates from infected urine samples leading to UTI.

"To conclude, there is evidence that garlic has potential in the treatment of UTI and maybe other microbial infections.”

What Are the Other Health Benefits of Garlic?

Garlic is one clever little bulb. Add it to your daily diet to see the following health benefits:

  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Reduce bad cholesterol levels
  • Prevent common colds and other illnesses by boosting the immune system
  • Lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, thanks to garlic’s high content of antioxidants
  • Boost longevity
  • Aid athletic performance by reducing fatigue
  • Improve bone health 

Clever, isn’t it? Yet it’s so easy to enjoy this simple health boost! 

Garlic Recipes

Want to up your daily dose of garlic? Try our Lucy Bee favourites with these garlic-loving recipes here:

Beetroot hummus

Lucy Bee-troot Hummus with Garlic

Lemon tarragon chicken

Roasted Lemon Garlic and Tarragon Chicken

Pasta tomato & anchovy

Tomato and Anchovy Sauce

For further reading on this please see Science Daily.

Sam Hadadi


About Lucy Bee Limited 

Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health.

The views and opinions expressed in videos and articles on the Lucy Bee website/s or social networking sites are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect those of Lucy Bee Limited.

1 comments on this post

How much garlic should i eat everyday to cure UTI ??

Many thanks for your query. The Lucy Bee Registered Associate Nutritionist, Daisy, ANutr, advises that, "garlic won’t 100% prevent UTIs but has been shown to help. In the study, which is referred to in this blog, they used fifty grams of garlic cloves." I hope this helps.

About Sam

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Sam Hadadi is an ex-BBC journalist and now a freelance writer specialising in fitness and food.

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