You may read all of this information about garlic, about how it was used in the past, and think that this was all just a lot of superstition, like breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck or throwing salt over your shoulder protects you from bad luck. But this is different. It’s not all just superstition, though some of it is. There’s actually a lot of scientific evidence that garlic does have certain medicinal benefits.

First of all, garlic does kill bacteria. In 1858, Louis Pasteur conducted some research that showed that garlic does actually kill bacteria. When garlic was used during World War I to prevent infection, there was good reason. There is actually research to back up garlic’s ability to kill bacteria. It’s raw, or uncooked, garlic that has this property. Raw garlic has been shown to kill twenty-three different kinds of bacteria.

Then, when garlic is heated, it’s been shown to have different medicinal properties. When it’s heated, garlic forms a compound that thins the blood. The blood-thinning property can help prevent arteries from clogging and reduce blood pressure, which may have some impact on preventing heart attacks and strokes.