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The Great Garlic War.

Botanical name:

Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 13:11:24 -0800
Sender: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
From: Paul Bergner <bergner.TELEPORT.COM>
Subject: Re: GARLIC

> June, you undoubtedly have already heard of this, as it's already appeared on our national radio (CBC : this is Canada speaking), and I can't tell you anything much about it myself but wanted to add to your question..... do any of you learneds know about *aged* garlic? which is now getting such press/praise?

In the last decade, American consumers have been witness to (whether they knew it or not) The Great Garlic War. In this war, several large corporations, each with their own priprietary garlic-making process, have funded scientific research (into their own products) and spent millions of dollars on negative advertising claiming not only that their products are best, but sometimes implying that all other products are either worthless or even possibly toxic. Some of the "experts" on garlic, whether writers or researchers, are overtly or covertly paid by one or the other of these comapnies to say what they say, but invariably either brush over or deny their connection in order to appear more authoritative. Let the buyer beware.

"Aged garlic" has a lot of research done on it, especially clinical trials, but that does not mean that it is better than any other form. As far as I can tell it has not been tested in a head-to-head trial with other products in a clinical trial.

The reason garlic has become such an item in recent decades is because of initial research that found lower cholesterol and thinner blood in populations that ate DIETARY amounts of COOKED garlic, so beware of anyone telling you you need their fancy biochemical preparation to do you any good.

It's my opinion that IF you are senstive to garlic and find it irritating, and IF you want to take it for a long time, on an ongoing basis, say, to lower cholesterol, the aged garlic MIGHT be less irritating.

Paul Bergner
Editor
MEDICAL HERBALISM


From: Steven Finkelman <slfink.NETCOM.COM>

I like taking garlic on my toast in the morning,

  1. Take and dice a lot of garlic and put it into olive oil, and let it sit. this softens the garlic and you get it and plant oils at the same time.
  2. roast garlic, cut a whole bulb of garlic about 1/3 the way from the top, save the top, coat the bulb in olive oil, roast in an oven at 350-400 for about a half an hour, until the cloves turn soft. These can be used as a spread for bread instead of butter, less pungent and sweeter than raw.
  3. microwave garlic-cut the bulb as in 2. put in a microwave for about 7-8 minutes or until the cloves turn soft.

for added flavour add chive, rosemarry or curry powder to the mix.

I understand that garlic contains sulphur compounds, which have an antibiotic action, and it is a hot food good for opening up the channels, like licorice and balancing ki.

Hope this helps.


From: moon2peg.NATURE.BERKELEY.EDU

>I understand that garlic contains sulphur compounds

Yes, and those sulphur-containing compounds are found in the volatile oil of garlic. Therefore, while one can achieve, by eating cooked garlic, the benefits that garlic has to offer the cardio-vascular system, the anti-microbial effects of garlic are easily destroyed or lost in cooking. Raw garlic (or garlic oil caps) for the anti-microbial benefits.

Cheers,
Peggy


From: "Brett J. Savary" <bjs8.PSU.EDU>

>Yes, and those sulphur-containing compounds are found in the volatile oil of garlic.

Which garlic sulphur compounds are antibiotic? Allicin? Allyl disufide? Aren't some of these volitile/low molecular weight chemicals activated/released by exposure to enzymes upon tissue rupture (ie. pressed cloves), and are these what give raw garlic a stronger taste? I know enyzmatic activation occurs with the sulphur compounds (glucosinolates) in radishes (Brassicas) when you bite into them.

Brett


From: "FRED W. BACH , TRIUMF Operations" <music.ERICH.TRIUMF.CA>

>Which garlic sulphur compounds are antibiotic? Allicin? Allyl disufide?

I am not a biochemist, but from my experiences with sore throat and clearing nasal passages, the whole garlic is the best, and whole garlic oil (not the de-odourized kind) is next best. Garlic oil with lemon oil or parsley is also effective, IMHO.

The de-odourized garlic oil or powder is *still* thought to be good for the blood vessels. I do NOT find them effective for sore throat and sinus trouble. Frankly, I think it is the stinky stuff that does the job for me.


From: Jack van Luik <jackv.PACIFIER.COM>

> and whole garlic oil (not the de-odourized kind) is next best. Garlic oil with lemon oil or parsley is also effective, IMHO.

You are still talking RAW garlic/oil, right?

> The de-odourized garlic oil or powder is *still* thought to be good for the blood vessels.

Obviously (?) the powder is some form of dehydrated garlic. Which indicates a form of heat, ergo, COOKED garlic. Are you saying that the grocery-shelf jars of garlic powder will scour out my arteries?

Jack vL


From: "FRED W. BACH , TRIUMF Operations" <music.ERICH.TRIUMF.CA>

> Are you saying that the grocery-shelf jars of garlic powder will scour out my arteries?

From all I've read (and heard on radio and seen on TV) on garlic, the powdered form still is good for keeping the arteries clean. It doesn't do squat for my sinuses, IMHO. I did read an article somewhere comparing the effectiveness of different forms of garlic. It was a commercial document so I look at it with a bit of a jaded eye. I wouldn't mind a separate source for this comparison information.


From: Paul Bergner <bergner.TELEPORT.COM>

> I wouldn't mind a separate source for this comparison information.

As far as I can find, there's no objective evaluation comparing different forms of garlic (I'm in the process of writing a book about it.) There's one study showing that one brand has some constituents in it that another does not, but that doesn't prove much, and it's my guess that the guy that did the study was probably received financial compensation in one form or another from the company that made the "winning" form. Even for cardiovascular effects, the effects were first discovered in populations that took cooked garlic in dietary amounts. I agree that raw garlic has the antibiotic properties -- they might be improved by chopping it and letting it sit overnight in a little wine.

Paul Bergner
Editor, MEDICAL HERBALISM


From: Rosamond Taylor <rustytay.ORCA.ES.WEDNET.EDU>

For several years, I have been using garlic/vinegar for colds and cold prevention. I take about 8 cloves of garlic, dice them, and add this to about 4 oz. of raw apple cider vinegar. I let that sit in the fridge for several days before starting to use. I put 1 tblsp in a cup with 1 tblsp of honey and add 4 to 6 oz. of hot water. This seems to work as a preventative as well as helping once a cold has come on. I recently made up some of Dr. Christopher's Anti-plague remedy, which has alot of raw garlic in it. We have started using this in a similar way for prevention and for colds.

I think that almost any herbal, taken over a long period of time, will lose its effectiveness. I recently read (sorry, I don't remember where) that echinacea should not be used long term. You need to alternate it with other herbs for the greatest effect.

Rusty Taylor



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