Does Garlic Thin Your Blood?

Garlic is one of the most popular ingredients used when cooking, and it has only grown in popularity through the decades in the United States. It's estimated that 250 million pounds of garlic is consumed every year, four times higher than the garlic consumption in the 1970s, according to the New York Times. However, despite the amount of garlic eaten by Americans, most of it is grown by China and India, 20 million tons and 1.25 million tons respectively, explains World Atlas.

It's a good thing that Americans love to eat garlic. The plant of the onion family has a myriad of health benefits, including having tons of nutrients like manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin c, and selenium, according to Healthline. Other benefits include protections against the common cold, improvement of cholesterol levels, prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia, and help to lower blood pressure (via Healthline). That's right, research has shown that certain compounds in garlic acts as a natural blood thinner, helping to avoid clots and lower blood pressure.

Garlic has anti-platelet properties

Heart disease, which can lead to heart attack and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite the grim numbers, garlic may be a way to combat these statistics. The plant contains compounds that lower your risk for heart disease. In fact, one study showed taking 600 to 1500 mg of garlic extract a day was as effective over a 6-month period as a drug used to combat high blood pressure.

However, it should be noted that the amount of garlic needed for the health benefits is quite heavy. Specifically, it's the equivalent of four cloves of garlic every day, according to Healthline. Still, the anti-platelet properties of garlic have been well-researched. One study compared the blood thinning properties of garlic to that of aspirin, warfarin, dipyrimadole, and clopidogrel. If you are at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, you may want to talk to your doctor about potentially taking garlic extract supplements.