Medical science has also found a reason, however, why the odor of garlic is unpleasant and sometimes harmful. On the physiological level, when garlic is crushed, the sudden air exposure activates the enzyme allinase, which forms allicin (Gislason, p.3).
Allicin is the principle aromatic property in garlic that contains the sulfur containing terpene, the source of the odor. The process of cooking destroys the allinase. The sulfur in allicin releases bile from the gall bladder and decreases cholesterol in the liver (Indiantimes.com p.1).
Allicin destroys the hydrogen required by bacteria and interferes with the DNA polymerases needed for the replication of bacterial chromosomes (Healthology, p.2). When there is deficiency of iron in the blood, the sulfur interferes with vibrational medicine due to the sulfuric interaction with the ammonia in the skin (Gurudas, p.63).
Even though, this interaction with the skin can sometimes prove useful as well. Dr. Ronald Cutler and his team at the University of East London developed a cream containing allicin in a stable but odorless form.
Tested against 30 different samples of Staphylococcus aureus taken from patients, the extract killed all samples of the bacteria.
Dr. Jaya Prakash of the National University of Health Sciences in Illinois, U.S., also found allicin affective against the bacteria enterococci, now resistant against the antibiotic vancomycin (Reuters, p.1, 2).
Further laboratory studies have shown garlic capable of preventing the growth of 23 organisms. Two of these are campylobacter and helicobacter. Campylobacter and helicobacter are animal pathogens that have become human gastrointestinal pathogens.
Campylobacter causes acute gastroenteritis and is viewed as a precursor to acute neurological diseases. It affects the young who may be exposed to contaminated animal products and water. Helicobacter causes chronic gastritis and has a role in the formation of peptic ulcers (Perez, p.1).
They have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and made research on natural remedies imperative (MRC, p.2). Evidence shows that garlic supports the development of the natural bacterial flora whilst killing pathogenic organisms.
Countless Components & Benefits
Another of garlic’s many components is selenium. However, the amount of selenium is dependent on where the garlic is grown. Selenium is a part of the enzyme gluthathione peroxidase, which helps to detoxify the body by converting the hydrogen produced from white blood cells fighting foreign substances into water. Selenium is effective in destroying the chronic yeast infection caused by the fungus candida albicans (Healthology, p.2).
Professor Cywes of the South African Red Cross Hospital discovered a very serious case of candida infection when he operated on a baby. The infection had spread throughout the length of the esophagus and gastro-intestinal tract.
By agitating, centrifuging and finally supernating crushed garlic in some water; they were able to clear the infection by adding the garlic solution to the baby’s milk. The infection was eliminated within 48 hours. The solution was the equivalent to a bulb and a half of garlic daily (MRC, p.1).
The anti-clotting component in garlic, ajoene, is not present in preparations like garlic oil and tablets. It is released in the process of ingesting freshly crushed garlic (Gisalon, p.3). By preventing blood clotting, which builds-up plaque, one prevents the hardening of arteries that contribute to heart disease (Indiantimes, p.1).
However, anyone who takes blood-thinning drugs like Ticlopidine and Coumadin should avoid garlic, as a reaction occurs between these drugs and garlic –causing excessive bleeding to occur (Healthology, p. 1,2).
Thirty years of research has shown garlic to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels. Fresh garlic oxidizes blood fats that would otherwise increase the risk of heart disease and is affective in cancer prevention (HRF, p.2). A 1994 study of 41,000 women who consumed a weekly serving of garlic demonstrated a 35% decrease in the risk of colon cancer (HRF, p.2).
Garlic is known to reduce systolic blood pressure and lower the blood sugar. However, this means that garlic would not be the herb of choice for many hypoglycemics (those who suffer from low blood sugar).
Like all herbs, therapeutic amounts on personal biochemistry, contrary to mass- produced drugs. For instance, those with sensitive stomachs may not be able to tolerate raw garlic.
In Germany, herbs are sold for therapeutic use and are under obligatory standardization. The German Commission determined that 4000mcg of allicin is the equivalent of the required therapeutic dose (Healthology, p.2).
The virtues of garlic do not outweigh the disadvantages. Both aspects have a place in the scheme of things. However, like most things, one has to recognize how and when best to use it.
This article is from our archive, originally published on an earlier date, and highlighted now for its importance
- Gislason, Stephen. “Naturally Occurring Toxins.” Environment Research Inc. 01/17/02.
- “Spiritual Properties of Herbs.” US: Cassandra Press. 1988
- com. “The Ancient Bulb with 21stCentury Medicinal Properties.” Newsarchive. Life Extension Foundation. 01/17/02..
- “Garlic More Potency than Pang.” Medical Research Council of South Africa.01/17/02.
- Perez-Perez, Guillermo. I & Blaser Martin. I. “Campylobacter and Heliobacter.” 01/21/02.
- Reuters Medical. “Garlic Extract Shows Activity against Drug-Resistant Bacteria.” 12/20/01. 12/23/01.
- Schmidt, Richard. “ Onion Family.” 01/17/2.