April 5, 2006

Ancient health remedy 'rediscovered' by Weill Cornell and others

NEW YORK -- New evidence shows that garlic, recognized for its healing powers in ancient times, is effective against cancer and heart disease, according to Richard Rivlin, an attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, who serves as the guest co-editor of a special March peer-reviewed supplemental issue to the Journal of Nutrition.

The supplement includes 35 articles on the latest research on garlic -- findings that were first presented at a symposium held last year at Georgetown University.

"Medical texts from China, India, Egypt, Greece and Italy mention medical applications of garlic," said Rivlin, who is also professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of the Nutrition Center at the Strang Cancer Prevention Laboratory. "Cultures that developed independently came to the same general conclusions, namely, that garlic could be administered to provide strength and to increase work capacity. Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, used garlic as an essential component of one of his therapies."

Rivlin said that promising research points to the disease-preventive and therapeutic effects of garlic, and, thus, garlic should be considered complementary medicine, not alternative therapy.

"The rapid pace of advances in garlic research provides increasing evidence that garlic has significant potential as a complement to established therapies," he said.

The Journal of Nutrition's special issue includes articles on these health benefits of garlic: