Researchers from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences in India have revealed that garlic (allium sativum) can be used to combat antimicrobial resistant urinary tract infections (UTI).

Around 150 million people are diagnosed with UTI per year across the globe and is claimed to be the second most common infectious disease found in community practice.

In the recent study published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, garlic extract was found to be effective against multi-drug resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria associated with UTI.

According to researchers, the study showed that ‘even crude extracts of’ Garlic showed good activity against multidrug resistant strains where antibiotic therapy had limited or no effect.

“This provides hope for developing alternative drugs which may be of help in fighting the menace of growing antibacterial resistance.”

Researchers stated: “This provides hope for developing alternative drugs which may be of help in fighting the menace of growing antibacterial resistance.”

In the study, the researchers witnessed that 56% of 166 bacteria strains isolated from the urine of people with UTI demonstrated a high-degree of resistance to antibiotics, while around 82% of the antibiotic resistant bacteria were susceptible to a crude aqueous extract of garlic.

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Researchers said: “Ours is the first study to report the antibacterial activity of aqueous garlic extract against multidrug resistant bacterial isolates from infected urine samples leading to UTI.”

Garlic has been historically used to treat diseases and a broad range of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses are sensitive to its preparations.

The vegetable contains allicin and other sulphur compounds, which are said to be the main antimicrobial factors.

Image: Garlic has been traditionally used for the treatment of diseases for thousands of years. Photo: courtesy of ACN Newswire.