A new study from Washington State University has found that garlic is 100 times more effective than two antibiotics that are routinely used to kill bacteria that causes food-borne illnesses. The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Garlic has been used for centuries for all kinds of different medicinal purposes. In 1858 Louis Pasteur reported that bacteria died the moment he put garlic on it. It was used to treat wounds in the Middle Ages. It was sliced or crushed and was put directly on the injury. This helped to stop the bacteria that would have caused an infection from spreading.
One of the most common food-borne illnesses is caused by the bacteria campylobacter. This bacteria can cause cramping, stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. It is also one of the known causes of the Guillain-Barre Syndrome and is responsible for around one-third of the cases. When researchers in Vietnam looked at the properties of garlic they began using different types of bacteria to see what was resistant to the garlic and what wasn’t. The diallyl disulfide, a compound that is found in garlic, is what breaks down the bacteria. Even when they put it up against a bacteria that has a slimy protective outer layer and a 1000 times more likely to resist antibiotics they found that it was no match for the garlic.
On the back of these different studies they have found that the disulfide that is found in the garlic is 100 times more effective than the common antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin. The potential of the diallyl disulfide seems to be great as the researchers said that it could improve the shelf life of foods, could get rid of certain food-borne illnesses, and can even be used to clean the surfaces that we cook foods such as raw meat on.