Garlic comes from the lily family of plants. Before being used for flavor enhancement, garlic was traditionally used for medicinal purposes. Garlic contains unique compounds that effectively reduce white blood cells that produce inflammation. Four different compounds that contain sulfur have been identified to have anti-inflammatory properties. The reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body can reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune forms of arthritis. This is because these cytokines are the agents the affected individual's immune system directs to attack the joint's healthy tissues.
The compounds in garlic stop the production of other white blood cells that attack the joints. They can also prevent the immune system from producing prostaglandins, which are a type of lipid. They typically control inflammatory processes. By interrupting the usual cascade of actions that lead to inflammation, garlic effectively reduces arthritis symptoms.
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