Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food." Those are famous words from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, often called the father of Western medicine. He actually used to prescribe garlic to treat a variety of medical conditions. Modern science has recently confirmed many of these beneficial health effects. Here are 11 health benefits of garlic that are supported by human research. 1. Garlic Contains Compounds With Potent Medicinal Properties Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family. It is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called a clove. There are about 10–20 cloves in a single bulb, give or take. Garlic grows in many parts of the world and is a popular ingredient in cooking due to its strong smell and delicious taste.