The Health Benefits of Black Garlic

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Garlic has been used as a medicinal herb since medieval times right up to the modern era where its benefits have been observed and scientifically proven. Historical records indicate that garlic had been used as medicine as a diuretic, digestive aid, antibiotic, anti-parasitic, for colds, infections and a wide variety of other ailments.

If garlic did not work well for so many ailments, it would have fallen out of historical records but because of its multi-faceted health benefits, garlic has been extensively researched over the last two decades and is now truly cemented in medical and human history.

The benefits of garlic

Since the time of the Industrial Revolution, the search for medicinal compounds from plants began to appear. Notable examples include morphine from the opium poppy, aspirin from willow and quinine from the Cinchona bark. This is also the time when research was more intensely focussed on garlic. Scientists wanted to find out why garlic had an odour when cut or crushed, what were it constituents and why did it work for so many ailments.

Scientists found that each clove of garlic has an astonishing 400 plus beneficial compounds found within the oil. One of the key compounds is called allicin. Each bulb of garlic contains an enzyme called allinase which combines with allinin found in the garlic bulb to form the active compound allicin, which has health enhancing properties and gives garlic its distinctive odour even in some supplements. Odourless garlic supplements are generally considered to be inferior since most have low allicin content.

Some of the benefits of garlic:

Nutritionists have long believed that garlic is healthy for the heart working to reduce homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. Homocysteine is an amino acid which damages arterial walls and encourages the deposition of cholesterol onto the arteries.

Research indicates that garlic boosts circulation by increasing the production of hydrogen sulphide. Garlic contains numerous sulphur compounds that may be of benefit in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and may also aid normal clotting. It is likened to taking low dose aspirin.

Garlic stimulates white blood cell activity required by the immune system for fighting infections including colds and fungal infections including candida. In fact, some studies indicate that garlic fights infections that are often resilient to some antibiotics. Garlic has potent antimicrobial properties and in the 1950’s was used to treat cholera and dysentery. During the First World War, garlic was used to treat battle wounds in the absence of antibiotics.

Garlic has been shown to be of benefit in normalising blood sugar levels and it is thought that this is due to its ability to enhance insulin production.

It is theorised that garlic may enhance testosterone levels in both men and women suggesting that it may be of benefit to boost libido.

These are just some of the main benefits of garlic. Because garlic has blood thinning properties, those of anticoagulant medications should consult their GP before taking any garlic supplements. Eating raw garlic can irritate the digestive system which is why supplements may be a route to take.

So what is Black Garlic?

The above mentioned benefits apply to White Garlic however recently there has been a rise in popularity of Black Garlic. White Garlic becomes Black Garlic following a month-long fermentation process under strictly controlled heat and humidity. This very specific process results is a soft, jelly-like texture that is free from odour and has a taste similar to figs.

From a nutritional point of view, Black Garlic has a much higher content of allicin, the active ingredient in White Garlic that imparts its benefits, but without the odour. Additionally, Black Garlic is rich in amino acids and has almost double the amount of antioxidants when compared to White Garlic. But that is not the whole story.

Black Garlic also contains an additional very specific compound called S-Allycysteine (SAC) in very high concentrations, compared to White Garlic which is water soluble and thus absorbed easily within the body. S-Allylcysteine has been shown to assist with the absorption of allicin. This makes Black Garlic much more effective than White Garlic for all the benefits mentioned above and additionally it is well tolerated by the digestive system so the chance of gastric distress is completely minimised.

If you are contemplating taking any garlic supplement then I would recommend that you consider using Black Garlic capsules by HealthAid.

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This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya | , , , ,
  • Slawek Gromadzki

    Very good article and I agree Black Garlic by HealthAid is excellent. They also make very good concentrated garlic.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Thank you for your kind words Slawek.

  • Bernd Wechner

    It concerns me mildly when an ostensibly health oriented page:

    1) labels an alleged caramelisation process as fermentation (though it’s not alone in that)

    2) Fails to cite even one piece of reliable evidence regarding the health benefits. How on earth are we, as mere punters in society able to differentiate snake oil form good stuff, by believing random sites or fashions? Could you not point to any objective evidence of the claims at hand or another place that does? (not alone inf failing at that either).

    Just curious. As much of what is written is patronising in it’s demand for credulity alas (also not alone in that)

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Bernd, sorry if you found the editorial patronising which it is most definitely not meant to. With reference to studies on aged garlic, here is a link to one study on the antioxidant effects of black garlic v garlic – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788179/

  • Muhibah Fatati

    thats true if black garlic 10x more benefit compare with normal garlic?? tx

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Black garlic does indeed have numerous benefits and it is a personal choice whether you use white garlic or black garlic. Best wishes Shabir

  • Brian B. Kane

    You MAY be able to buy Black Garlic bulbs. I can buy them within UK.

  • Lisa Wilson

    It’s regular white garlic, that is fermented foe a month.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Thank you Lisa, yes it is the white garlic bulb fermented under strict conditions of humidity and temperature to retain the active compounds as mentioned in the editorial.

  • jimminy

    Great Article. We here in Germany just get to know about it. Ive read an article on http://schwarzer-knoblauch.eu and then furtcher research took me here. Thanks for the aritcle.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Glad you enjoyed the editorial and I am glad that the word is spreading about the benefits of black garlic.

  • Ace

    Is Black Garlic safe for transplant patients?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I do not envisage any problems using black garlic for culinary purposes. As far as supplementation is concerned, it is best to check with your GP or consultant.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir