World-first Australian research has cemented a long-held theory that garlic can help people sick with the flu or Covid-19.
One particular variety found near Mildura in regional Victoria’s been tested by The Peter Doherty Institute, who’ve been looking into the properties of the popular cooking ingredient.
They’ve discovered this specific Australian-grown variety has up to 99.9% efficacy against Covid-19 and the influenza virus.
While the research was commissioned by the Australian Garlic Producers group, the testing was organised by the highly respected Doherty Institute, which conducted testing on over 20 varieties.
“For the past 18-months we have assessed a variety of AGPs products,” said Dr Julie McAuley, who heads up the Institute’s Covid-19 research lab.
“We performed several blinded experiments and found one of AGPs products could reduce the infectious titre of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza by 3-log-fold (99.9%).”
She said the particular variety was tested in different environments, to ensure the results weren’t connected to nutrients, water or anything else.
“We could barely detect any remaining virus genome, indicating nearly complete virucidal activity.”
However, experts are warning that “not all garlic is created equal”.
CEO of Australian Garlic Producers Nick Diamantopoulos says the vegetables can vary widely, not just physically, but also in their biochemical properties.
“This type of detailed analysis is the key reason that has led to the identification of unique and specific garlic varieties with superior properties.”
He says the organisation now wants to look into whether any varieties are able to lower cholesterol.
A patent has also been lodged to offer the benefits via a supplement, as scientists have previously said cooking the garlic can reduce the effects.