Garlic - Allium sativum
- Daily use of garlic in the body has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart.
- One of the World's top producers of garlic is China, which produces 66 % of the world's garlic every year.
- Nutrients include calcium, potassium, phosphorus and Vitamin C.
- As an antiseptic, it's use has been long recognized. During the war, raw juice was diluted with water and applied to the wounds of soldiers.
- When this treatment was given, it was proved that there were no septic results, and the lives of thousands of men were saved by it's use.
- Extensive studies around the world on people over the age of 100 that are in excellent health show them using garlic extensively in their daily diets.
- Garlic has been thought to possess magical properties for centuries.
- The believed magical properties are related to speed, endurance, strength, protection and to ward off evil.
A cherished protector and healer in many cultures for thousands of years. Antiparasitic, anti-worm antifungal, anti-candida, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-cold & flu. Sulfur-based components help reduce liver's production of cholesterol. Immune, blood, heart and circulatory tonic. Strengthening to digestion. For overall vitality, energy and weight control. A longevity factor. Special high-tech process preserves optimal bioactivity.
Alliin, Allinase, Allicin, Vitamins & Minerals, Germanium, Sulfur
Allium sativum, commonly called garlic, is a bulb-forming herb of the Liliaceae (lily family). Its medical use traces back to 5,000 years ago in Asia where it was used by nomadic tribes to ward off evil spirits and improve health (Aaron, 1996). The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans praised and used garlic. Hippocrates recommended its use to combat constipation and as a diuretic. Aristotle suggested its use for a cure against rabies (Anon., 1997a). It was believed to give strength to the men who built the pyramids, courage to the Roman armies, and fighting spirit to the English gamecocks (Dobelis, 1990). During the early 1900s and the outset of World War I, British army surgeons used garlic as a bactericide (Anon, 1997a).
Garlic stimulates the immune system. The garlic stimulates the activity of macrophages and bulbs increase the activity of helper T cells. It is also effective in treating upper respiratory viral infections and protects cell membranes from DNA damage (Holladay, 1997).
Potent enzymes that inhibit the activities of adenosine deaminase and cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase have been identified from garlic extracts. The presence of such enzyme inhibitors in garlic may perhaps explain its effect as an antithrombotic, vasodilatory, and anticancer combatant (Agarwal, 1996). Many of the therapeutic actions of garlic parallel the physiological effects of nitric oxide and may be explained by its ability to increase nitric oxide synthase activity intracellularly (Das et. al., 1995).
Allium sativum has shown significant effects on cancers that affect the stomach and intestine. Persons who regularly ingest garlic have lower incidence of stomach cancer (Anon., 1994b). The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences reports that epidemiological studies show that dietary intake of garlic is inversely related to gastric cancers (Howe, 1997).
Diallytrisulfide (DATS) is a compound in garlic that lowers the spread of human lung cancer cells. DATS is extremely effective in reducing growth of human lung carcinoma cells in culture. Also, two other compounds in garlic have anticarcinogenic properties: S-allycysteine (SAC) and diallyldisulfide (DADS) (Anon., 1997c).
Like most plants, garlic contains more than 100 biologically useful secondary metabolites including alliin, alliinase, allicin, S-allycystein, diallylsulfide, and allymethyltrisulfide (Challem, 1995). The oil of garlic contains the amino acid alliin which, once the bulbs are crushed, is converted to allicin (Dreidger, 1996). The enzyme alline lyase catalyses the formation of allicin, which is in turn the precursor to several sulfur-containing compounds responsible for the flavor, odor, and pharmacological properties of garlic (Ellmore and Fekldberg, 1994).
Once exposed to air, allicin is further converted to diallyldisulfide which has antibacterial effects (Mabey, et al., 1988). Reduction by cysteine will disrupt the disulfide bond in microbial proteins. Prescriptions containing extracts ofAllium sativum, either used alone or with amphotericin B, have effects against human systemic fungal infections and cryptococcal meningitis (Howe, 1997). Ajoene, another sulfer-containing compound found in garlic oil, also decreases bacterial growth in gram negative and positive bacteria and yeast (Naganawa, et al., 1996). Ajoene is not found in commercial garlic preparations, it is only found in small quantities in the natural oil (Ishikawa et al., 1996).
The Ames test revealed that ajoene inhibits mutagenesis induced by both benzo[a]pyreded (B[a]P) and 4-nitro-1,2-phenylenediamine (Ishikawa et. al., 1996). The inhibitions of mutagenesis by ajoene is especially effective for transition-type mutations (Agarwal, 1996).
Garlic has been shown to reduce blood clotting and to reduce blood pressure, therefore making it an important part of the treatment for cardiovascular disease (Mabey, et. al., 1988). Allicin and adrenosine are the most potent antiplatelet constituents of garlic because of their in vitro effects (Agarwal, 1996). Garlic oil administered to healthy students and patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) inhibited platelet aggregation in vivo. Low doses of garlic also appear to be effective over a long term administration (Bordia et. al., 1996). Dithiins and ajoenes possess antithrombic properties (Passwater, 1997). Ajoene is currently being developed as a drug for the treatment of thromboembolic disorders (Agarwal, 1996). Dithiin and ajoenes decrease clotting time because they are anticoagulants and thin blood. This activity indirectly reduces the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Garlic improves cardiovascular function because it provides protection against hypercholesterolemic, artherosclerosis, ischemia-reperfusion-induced, arrhythmias and infarctions. Oxygen-free radical have been implicated as causative factors in these diseases and antioxidants have been shown to effectively treat these conditions because it scavenges free radicals (Prasad et. al., 1996).
Whole books have been written about garlic, an herb affectionately called "the stinking rose" in light of its numerous therapeutic benefits. A member of the lily orAllium family, which also includes onions, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds includingthiosulfinates (of which the best known compound isallicin),sulfoxides (among which the best known compound isalliin), anddithiins (in which the most researched compound isajoene). While these compounds are responsible for garlic's characteristically pungent odor, they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects. In addition, garlic is an excellent source of vitamin B6, and a very good source of vitamin C and the trace minerals, selenium and manganese.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that regular consumption of garlic lowers blood pressure, and decreases platelet aggregation, serum triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol (the potentially dangerous form) levels while increasing serum HDL-cholesterol (the protective form) and fibrinolysis (the process through which the body breaks up blood clots). As a result of these beneficial actions, garlic helps prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Garlic's positive cardiovascular effects are due to not only its sulfur compounds, but its vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium and manganese:
Garlic is a very good source of vitamin C, the body's primary antioxidant defender in all aqueous (water-solouble) areas, such as the bloodstream, where it protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation. Since it is the oxidized form of LDL cholesterol that initiates damage to blood vessel walls, reducing levels of oxidizing free radicals in the bloodstream can have a profound effect on preventing cardiovascular disease.
Garlic's vitamin B6 helps prevent heart disease via another mechanism: lowering levels of homocysteine. An intermediate product of an important cellular biochemical process called the methylation cycle, homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls.
The selenium in garlic not only helps prevent heart disease, but also provides protection against cancer and heavy metal toxicity. A cofactor ofglutathione peroxidase (one of the body's most important internally produced antioxidants), selenium also works with vitmain E in a number of vital antioxidant systems. Since vitamin E is one of the body's top defenders in all fat-soluble areas, while vitamin C protects the water-soluble areas, garlic, which contains both nutrients, does a good job of covering all the bases.
Garlic is rich not only in selenium, but also in another trace mineral, manganese, which also functions as a cofactor in a number of other important antioxidant defense enzymes, for example,superoxide dismutase. Studies have found that in adults deficient in manganese, the level of HDL (the "good form" of cholesterol) is decreased.
Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Viral Activity
Garlic, like onions, contains compounds that inhibitlipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, (the enzymes that generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes), thus markedly reducing inflammation. These anti-inflammatory compounds along with the vitamin C in garlic, especially fresh garlic, make it useful for helping to protect against severe attacks in some cases of asthma and may also help reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition,allicin, one of the sulfur-compounds responsible for garlic's characteristic odor, is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent that joins forces with vitamin C to help kill harmful microbes. Allicin has been shown to be effective not only against common infections like colds, flu, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast, but also against powerful pathogenic microbes including tuberculosis and botulism.
Although garlic alone appears unable to prevent infection withHelicobacter pylori, the bacterium responsible for most peptic ulcers, frequently eating this richly flavored bulb may keepH. pylori from doing much damage. A study recently conducted at Faith University in Istanbul, Turkey, compared two groups containing 81 healthy individuals each. One group was selected from individuals who regularly ate lots of raw and/or cooked garlic, while the other group was composed of individuals who avoided it. For 19 months, blood samples were regularly collected from both groups and evaluated for the presence of H.pylori. While the incidence ofH.pylori was pretty comparable - the bacterium was found in 79% of garlic eaters and 81% of those who avoided garlic - the garlic consuming group had a clear advantage in that antibodies toH.pylori were much lower in their blood compared to those who ate no garlic. (Antibodies are formed when the immune system reacts to anything it considers a potential pathogen, so less antibodies toH.pylori means less of the bacterium was present.) Among those who ate garlic, those who ate both raw and cooked garlic had even lower levels of antibodies than those who ate their garlic only raw or only cooked.(October 1, 2003)
Laboratory studies recently conducted at the University of Munich, Germany, help explain why garlic may be such a potent remedy against the common cold. In these studies, garlic was found to significantly reduce the activity a chemical mediator of inflammation called nuclear transcription factor (NF) kappa-B.
NF kappa-B is itself activated as part of the immune system's inflammatory response to invading organisms and damaged tissue. So, anything that sets off an inflammatory response ?e.g. allergenic foods, a cold or other infection, physical trauma, excessive exercise, excessive consumption of foods containing high levels of omega 6 fatty acids (e.g., meat, corn or safflower oil) - can trigger a surge in NF kappa-B, which in turn not only promotes inflammation but sets up ideal conditions for viruses, including HIV, to replicate. In the blood samples tested in these just published German studies, unfertilized garlic caused a 25% drop in NF kappa-B activity, while sulfur-fertilized garlic lowered NF kappa-B activity by a very robust 41%! (September 8, 2003)
Potent, Even Against Drug-Resistant Strains
Results of two recently published studies suggest that garlic is a potent antibiotic, even against strains that have become resistant to many drugs. One study conducted at the University of California Irvine Medical Center and published in the December 2003 issue ofNutrition showed that garlic juice, even when diluted up to 1:128 of the original juice, demonstrates significant antibacterial activity against a spectrum of pathogens including antibiotic-resistant strains such as methicillin- and ciprofloxacin-resistantstaphylococci, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and ciprofloxacin-resistantPseudomonas aeruginosa. A second study found that garlic was able to inhibit methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MSRA) from human patients that was injected into mice.(MSRA is one of the antibiotic resistant bacteria whose incidence has risen dramatically in recent years in hospitals.) Sixteen hours after the mice were infected, garlic extract, diallyl sulphide or diallyl disulphide (two of the active compounds found in garlic), was given orally. Twenty-four hours after they were infected, the mice were sacrificed and examined. Both garlic extract and its compounds were found to have exerted a number of protective actions against MSRA that significantly decreased the infection while also providing antioxidant protection in the blood, liver, kidney and spleen. (December 31, 2003)
The organosulfur compound found in garlic called ajoene may also be useful in the treatment of skin cancer. In a study published in the July 2003 Archives of Dermatological Research, researchers applied ajoene topically to the tumors of patients with either nodular or superficial basal cell carcinoma, and in 17 of the 21 patients, the tumors shrunk significantly. Lab tests of the tumors before and after the application of ajoene revealed a significant decrease in Bcl-2, an apoptosis-suppressing protein. (Apoptosis is the self-destruct sequence used by the body to eliminate cancerous cells.) (September 8, 2003)
Other studies have shown that as few as two or more servings of garlic a week may help protect against colon cancer. Substances found in garlic, such as allicin, have been shown to not only protect colon cells from the toxic effects of cancer-causing chemicals, but also to stop the growth of cancer cells once they develop. While more research is needed to confirm, recent animal research has also suggested that garlic may confer protection against the development of stomach cancer through its potential ability to decrease H.pylori-induced gastritits. Cooking garlic with meat appears to reduce the production of carcinogenic chemicals that can occur in meat as a result of cooking methods, such as grilling, that expose meat to high temperatures. Good intakes of vitamin C and selenium, with which fresh garlic is well-endowed, are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer, making garlic a smart addition to any colon cancer prevention plan.
Garlic may be able to help protect against a number of the most damaging degenerative effects of diabetes - retinopathy (disease of the retina), nephropathy (kidney disease) and neuropathy (nervous system disease) - all of which are caused by an imbalance between the free radicals generated when blood sugar levels remain high and the body's protective antioxidant defenses. A study published August 2003 showed that when diabetic rats were exposed to the cancer drug, streptozotocin, which would normally have produced not only a significant rise in blood sugar levels, but an increase in triglycerides, cholesterol, damaged fats, and other markers of increased inflammation, along with a decrease in the antioxidants the body produces to protect itself, that giving the rats garlic oil both lowered the drug's negative effects while boosting protective antioxidant levels. The rats in this study were given 10 mg of garlic oil per kilogram of body weight daily for 15 days. In humans, a comparable dose of garlic oil would be .7 grams per day, an amount that could be easily consumed if using a garlic oil product, but would take real dedication if consuming cloves. Since a typical garlic clove weighs 3 grams and contains 15mg of total fat, which we can treat as basically synonymous with oil, this would translate to about 46+ cloves of garlic! (October 1, 2003)
Protection Against Diabetes-Linked Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is a well-known side-effect of diabetes, but garlic may provide some protection, according to a study published December 2003. When diabetic rats were given garlic extract for an 8-week period, the hyperreactivity of their blood vessels to noradrenaline (a vasoconstrictive hormone) and acetylcholine (a compound involved in nerve transmission) was significantly lessened. According to the researchers, their results suggest that garlic may help prevent the development of abnormal vascular contraction seen in diabetics. (December 31, 2003)
The most potent active constituent in garlic, allicin, has been shown to not only lower blood pressure, insulin and triglycerides in rats fed a fructose (sugar)-rich diet, but also to prevent weight gain, according to a study published in the December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension. In this study, after 5 weeks of being fed a high fructose diet consisting of 21% protein, 5% fat, 60% carbohydrate, 0.49% sodium and 0,49% potassium, male rats had developed high insulin levels, high blood pressure and high triglycerides. The rats were then divided into 3 groups for the remaining 5 weeks of the study: the first group served as a control; the second was given allicin during the final 2 weeks of the study, and the third was given allicin during the initial 3 weeks. Despite the fact that all three groups consumed the same amount of food, weight rose in the control group and in groups 2 and 3 when not receiving allicin, but remained stable or declined slightly when allicin was given. The researchers concluded that allicin may be of practical value for weight control. (December 31, 2003)
Increased Antioxidant Protection
A study published in the November 2003 E-version of the journalCarcinogenesis showed that levels of a critically important internally produced antioxidant enzyme,glutathione-S-transferase, rose substantially in the stomach and small intestine, and to a lesser extent in the liver and colon, in rats that were put on a short-term feeding regimen that featured two compounds from garlic, diallyl disulfide and diallylthiosulfinate (allicin). Researchers discovered that these garlic compounds selectively induced two genes to produce more of the messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that encode glutathione-S-transferase, and the greatest increases were noted in mRNAs that are normally present only at low levels. The bottom line: eating more garlic may help increase your body's production of this vitally important antioxidant enzyme.(December 31, 2003)
For a small vegetable, garlic (Allium sativum) sure has a big, and well deserved, reputation. This member of the Lily family, a cousin to onions, leeks and chives, can transform any meal into a bold, aromatic and healthy culinary experience. Garlic is arranged in a head, called the ?bulb,? which is made up of separate cloves. Both the cloves and the entire bulb are encased in paper-like sheathes that can be white, off-white or pinkish.
Garlic cloves are off-white in color, and although they have a firm texture, they can be easily cut or crushed. The taste of garlic is like no other - it hits the palate with a hot pungency that is shadowed by a very subtle background sweetness. The teardrop-shaped garlic bulbs range in size; however, they usually average around two inches in height and two inches in width at their widest point. While elephant garlic has larger cloves, it is more closely related to the leek and therefore does not offer the full health benefits of regular garlic.
Native to central Asia, garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world and has been grown for over 5000 years. Ancient Egyptians seem to have been the first to cultivate this plant that played an important role in their culture.
Garlic was not only bestowed with sacred qualities and placed in the tomb of Pharaohs, but it was given to the slaves that built the Pyramids to enhance their endurance and strength. This strength-enhancing quality was also honored by the ancient Greeks and Romans, civilizations in which athletes ate garlic before sporting events, and soldiers consumed it before going off to war.
Garlic was introduced into various regions throughout the globe by migrating cultural tribes and explorers. By the 6th century BC, garlic was known in both China and India, the latter country using it for therapeutic purposes.
Throughout the millennia, garlic has been a beloved plant in many cultures for both its culinary and medicinal properties. Over the last few years, it has gained unprecedented popularity since researchers have been scientifically validating its numerous health benefits.
Habitat: Cultivated worldwide.
Collection: The bulb with its numerous cloves should be unearthed when the leaves begin to wither in September. They should be stored in a cool dry place.
Part Used: Bulb.
- Volatile oil, consisting of sulphur-containing compounds,
- including allicin (=S-allyl-2-propenthiosulphinate), allyl-methyltrisulphide, diallyldisulphide, diallyltrisulphide, diallyltetrasulphide, allylpropyldisulphide, ajoene, 2-vinyl-4H-l, 3 dithiin, and alliin, which breaks down enzymatically to allicin;
- with citral, geraniol linalool and a- and b-phellandrene
- Miscellaneous; enzymes including allinase, B vitamins, minerals flavonoids.
Actions: Anti-microbial, diaphoretic, cholagogue, hypotensive, anti-spasmodic.
Indications: Garlic is among the few herbs that have a universal usage and recognition. Its daily usage aids and supports the body in ways that no other herb does. It is one of the most effective anti-microbial plants available, acting on bacteria, viruses and alimentary parasites. The volatile oil is an effective agent and as it is largely excreted via the lungs, it is used in infections of this system such aschronic bronchitis,respiratory catarrh, recurrent colds andinfluenza.
It may be helpful in the treatment ofwhooping cough and as part of a broader approach tobronchitic asthma. In general it may be used as a preventative for most infectious conditions, digestive as well as respiratory. For the digestive tract it has been found that Garlic will support the development of the natural bacterial flora whilst killing pathogenic organisms. In addition to these amazing properties, Garlic have an international reputation for lowering both blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels and generally improving the health of the cardio-vascular system.
A recent study was conducted on two groups, one consisting of 20 healthy volunteers who were fed Garlic for 6 months and the other of 62 patients with coronary heart disease and raised serum cholesterol. Beneficially changes were found in all involved and reached a peak at the end of 8 months. The improvement in cholesterol levels persisted throughout the 2 months of clinical follow-up. The clinicians concluded that the essential oil of Garlic possessed a distinct hypolipidemic, or fat reducing, action in both healthy people and patients with coronary heart disease. Garlic should be thought of as a basic food that will augment the body's health and pretect it in general. It has been used externally for the treatment ofringworm andthreadworm.
Preparations & Dosage: A clove should be eaten three times a day. If the smell becomes a problem, use Garlic oil capsules, take three a day as a prophylactic or three times a day when an infection occurs.
David L. Hoffmann B.Sc. (Hons), M.N.I.M.H.
Alterative, anthelmintic, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, disinfectant, expectorant, rejuvenative, stimulant.
Garlic is beneficial in:
Congestive heart failure
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglycerides)
Recurrent ear infection
More than 250 publications have shown that garlic supports the cardiovascular system. It may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, inhibit platelet stickiness (aggregation), and increase fibrinolysis-which results in a slowing of blood coagulation. It is mildly antihypertensive and has antioxidant activity.
Note: Garlic only keeps clotting in check, a benefit for persons at risk for cardiovascular disease. It cannot effectively replace stronger anticlotting drugs; its primary value is as a preventive.
Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal activity' It may work against some intestinal parasites. Garlic appears to have roughly 1 % the strength of penicillin against certain types of bacteria. This means it is not a substitute for antibiotics, but it can be considered as a support against some bacterial infections. Candida albicans growth is inhibited by garlic, and garlic has shown long-term benefit for recurrent yeast infections.
Human population studies show that eating garlic regularly reduces the risk of esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer. This is partly due to garlic's ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic compounds. Animal and test tube studies also show that garlic, and its sulfur compounds, inhibit the growth of different types of cancer-especially breast and skin tumors.
Arteriosclerosis, asthma, blood and lymph cleanser; nerve and bone tissue rasaana (rejuvenative); cholesterol, colds, colic, convulsions, cough, detoxifier, ear problems (external use), edema, flu, gas, heart disease, hemorrhoids, hypertension, hysteria, impotence, indigestion, lung/bronchial antiseptic and antispasmodic, memory, paralysis, rheumatism, skin diseases, T. B., tremor, tumors, Vayu fevers, Vayu/Kapha rasayana, worms (round). Used effectively on parasites in dogs.
Here is a list of identified substances in garlic:
alanine 1, 320-3, 168
allicin 1, 500-27, 800
alliin 5, 000-10, 000
desgalactotigonin 400 rt
3, 5-diethyl-1, 2, 4-trithiolane
glutamic-acid 8, 050-19, 320
2, 3, 4-trithiapentane
Garlic has been prized for its antimicrobial effects long before microbes were even discovered. French priests of the Middle Ages used garlic to protect themselves against bubonic plague, now known to be a bacterial infection. During World War I, European soldiers prevented infection by putting garlic directly on their wounds. Nearly every culture has used garlic for general health and longevity, from ancient Chinese to colonial Americans. Today, garlic is one of the best selling preventive medicines in Europe, where it is accepted as safe and effective by both medical authorities and government officials.
Some of the most popular traditional uses of garlic have been for colds, flu and other infections, earaches, vaginal yeast infections, and high blood pressure. Modern research has focused on four main areas: heart disease, cancer, infectious disease, and antioxidant effects. The effects of garlic on cardiovascular health have been studied for more than 30 years. Garlic reduces cholesterol levels, raises the level of healthy high-density lipoproteins, and has antiplatelet or "blood thinning" effects - important factors in preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Fresh Garlic also lowers blood pressure directly, when taken in large therapeutic doses.
The newest area of garlic research involves its cancer-preventive properties. One large study drew a direct correlation between consumption of garlic and other Allium vegetables (such as onions) and a 40% decrease in the rate of stomach cancer. A 1994 study in 41,000 women showed that one or more servings of garlic a week was associated with a 35% decrease in risk of colon cancer - the most significant decrease of all 127 foods studied. In other studies, garlic interfered with the development of a number of different types of tumor cells. Garlic also appears to have immune-stimulant, antioxidant, and liver-protective benefits, although these effects have not yet been as well studied.
The Virus Killer You Should Know About
There's an invincible weapon against disease and infection-a cure-it-all remedy that kills any virus it comes in contact with. That includes the most feared biological agents like anthrax, ebola, and H5N1 (the infamous bird flu virus). No known germ has ever managed to develop a resistance to it. It is proven to wipe out cancer cells without harming healthy cells, and it clears plaque-clogged arteries like a charm.
Why haven't you heard about this wonder drug?
Because it's not a drug. It's a food, and its name is garlic.
Garlic cloves, to be exact, emphasizes health journalist Bill Sardi. Garlic pills, while being a staple in health food stores, do not contain or produce allicin, the healing component found in fresh garlic cloves, despite saying so on the label. The garlic powder in the pills, explains Sardi, releases allicin in water, but stomach acid destroys the enzyme aliinase that is necessary to make allicin.
Most garlic pills have acid-resistant shells that are supposed to keep them intact until they reach the upper intestine. But often the resilient shell doesn't dissolve in time, and the pill passes through the entire digestive system without benefit to the body. What it boils down to: Eat the garlic raw (not cooked) or find a supplement like AGE (aged garlic extract) whose components are uncompromised.
The ancient Romans knew about the beneficial effects of the miracle bulb-their soldiers munched fresh garlic prior to a battle (no doubt also as a deterrent for enemy troops), field doctors treated infections with garlic, and conquerors planted garlic first thing in newly usurped soil.
These are garlic's amazing health benefits:
- It kills every virus, bacterium, fungus, and amoeba known to man-without the risk of creating resistance.
- It can be used as prophylaxis to prevent stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.
- It can prevent and successfully treat anthrax, dysentery, salmonella, staphylococcus, klebsiella, SARS, herpes, etc.
- Studies have found that it penetrates and kills cancer cells, without harming the healthy ones.
- It inhibits the formation of plaque on artery walls.
- It controls insulin levels and helps prevent weight gain.
Interestingly, while garlic reliably kills influenza viruses, no exceptions, the much-touted flu vaccines or the new "miracle drug" Tamiflu that tens of thousands panicked people have started hoarding, are not so lucky. In fact, it is not at all clear that they do anything. In other words, in the unlikely event of a true avian flu epidemic with human-to-human transmission, fresh garlic will be your best bet.
But don't count on hearing much about this in the mainstream media. After all, Big Pharma makes its money by peddling drugs, not things you find in the produce aisle.