Garlic (Allium sativum) is a herb from the Liliaceae family. Evidence suggests that garlic confers significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on animals and humans due to the complex phytochemistry it possesses. One of the health effects of garlic may be a protective effect on mental health. In particular, garlic has been investigated for its antidepressant effects in animals. In one study, researchers administered garlic extracts to mice for 14 days and then subjected the mice to experimental stress. The garlic extracts were compared to the pharmacological antidepressants fluoxetine and imipramine. The results of the study showed that the garlic was significantly effective at conferring antidepressant effects on the mice, as measured by the time they remained immobile when under stressful conditions. In fact, the antidepressant effects of the garlic were as effective as both fluoxetine and imipramine. Regular consumption of garlic may therefore be protective of the development of depressive disorder.
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