Garlic has been used since ancient times for the treatment
of many ailments, including parasites, respiratory problems,
poor digestion, and low energy. The use of garlic has been
mentioned in the Bible and the Talmud, by Hippocrates, Galen,
Pliny the Elder, and Dioscorides. It has been used in China
since A.D. 510.
Intact raw garlic cells
contain alliin (an amino acid) and alliinase (an enzyme).
When garlic is cut or crushed, alliin and alliinase immediately
react together to produce the pungent substance allicin. Allicin
has strong cytocidal (cell-killing) effects and kills all
sorts of cells including pathogenic bacteria.
If crushed garlic is left
to stand even for a short time, the allicin quickly disappears,
because it is a highly unstable compound.
CHEMISTRY OF AGED GARLIC
Cold-ageing involves taking
the highest quality organically-grown garlic, slicing it without
acid or heat, and placing it in large stainless steel tanks
to be left for twenty months.
During this cold-ageing
period, allicin is converted to extremely valuable compounds
that do not naturally occur with traditional/commercial processing
Finally the garlic is extracted
to harvest mainly water - and some oil-soluble compounds.
An extra bonus is that the end product is completely odourless.
Differences in garlic
Fresh raw garlic in excessive amounts can be irritating to
the mouth and digestive tract. Fresh cooked garlic contains
some beneficial compounds but also products from the chemical
breakdown that can cause an odour. Cooked garlic can be less
irritating to the mouth and digestive tract than raw garlic.
Differences in garlic
- Made from garlic which has been distilled at high temperatures
to extract the oil, which is mixed with vegetable or soya
oil and made into capsules; or mixed with tabletting agents
and made into tablets. The volatile compounds can be odorous.
Rich in oil-soluble compounds.
- Mashed garlic infused with vegetable oil, which then takes
up the oil-soluble compounds from the garlic. Can be odorous.
Dried garlic powder
- Sliced or crushed garlic is dried and may be made into tablets;
or combined with vegetable oil and made into capsules. It
contains oil and water-soluble compounds. Can be odorous.
Aged garlic extract
- Organically grown garlic is harvested, minced and left in
stainless steel tanks to age for 20 months. This process is
known as cold Aging bio-conversion. Yields valuable water
and oil-soluble compounds, especially S-allyl cysteine and
S-allyl mercaptocysteine. This results in a naturally odourless
garlic product with no toxic side effects.
Very many research papers
have demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of cold-aged garlic
- normally at levels of around 1000 mg per day. Lower intakes
(such as 100mg, 300mg, 350mg, 600mg) are to be used for maintenance
of general good health, rather than tackling existing ailments.
Cold-aged garlic can help to decrease total and LDL cholesterol,
whilst HDL cholesterol remains unaffected (1). At first total
cholesterol rises as it is mobilised from deposits in the
blood vessels, but later it falls to below the original level.
Garlic is believed to lower cholesterol levels by slowing
its synthesis by the liver. Garlic may also lower triglyceride
levels, slow blood coagulation (2), as well as prevent platelets
from aggregating. It has mild antihypertensive properties
Free Radicals and Oxidation:
Raw garlic is actually an oxidant rather than an antioxidant.
However the cold-ageing process reverses this and turns garlic
into a strong antioxidant (4). Studies have shown that regular
garlic consumption reduces the risk of oesophageal, stomach,
and colon cancer (5). Garlic may reduce the formation of carcinogenic
compounds. Studies also show that garlic may inhibit cancer
growth, especially the growth of breast and Skin tumours.
Aged garlic has been shown to boost the activity of the body’s
natural killer cells and many other aspects of the Immune
Aged garlic can increase the speed of clearance of Candida
albicans cells from the body (7). Candida albicans is a yeast
organism that can over-grow in the digestive tract causing
digestive upset, Bloating, Thrush etc). Garlic may be beneficial
to those who experience recurrent yeast infections.
Aged garlic extract encourages the growth of the
beneficial bacteria (L. acidophilus and B. bifidum) which
produce both acid and antibacterial factors and also decrease
the growth of pathogens and thereby protect the intestinal
Aged garlic is suitable for use in catarrhal, respiratory
or bronchial conditions.
Aged garlic extract assists in the removal of heavy metals
from the blood which would otherwise damage body cells (9).
Aged garlic has been extensively
toxicity tested, and no amount of it seems to cause side effects.
However, garlic may cause Heartburn and flatulence in some
Interactions and Contra-Indications
Aged garlic extract has
no known drug interactions or contra-indications. However,
this does not apply to all garlic preparations.
Garlic may interact with
alkaloids, colchicine, dopamine receptor agonists, coumarin
anticoagulants, and anorectic drugs (fenfluramine).
Avoid use with methotrimeprzine,
a CNS depressant analgesic, and antituberculous drugs.
Sedatives, hypnotics, and
beta-adrenergic blocking agents may inhibit garlic’s
1. Steiner M & Lin RI
Cardiovascular and Lipid Changes in Response to Aged Garlic
Extract Ingestion. J Am Coll Nutr, 13;5:524, 1994.
2. Legnani C, Frascaro M, et al. Effects of a dried garlic
preparation on fibrinolysis and platelet aggregation in healthy
subjects. Arzneim-Forsch Drug Res 1993;43:119-22.
3. Silagy C, Neil A. A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic
on blood pressure. J Hyperten 1994;12(4):463-68.
4. Imai J, et al. Antioxidant and Radical Scavenging Effects
of Aged Garlic Extract and Its Constituents. Planta Medica,
5. Dorant E, van der Brandt PA, et al. Garlic and its significance
for the prevention of cancer in humans: A critical review.
Br J Cancer 1993;67:424-29.
6. Kandil OM, Abdullah TH, & Elkadi A. Garlic and the
Immune System in humans: its effects on Natural Killer cells.
Fed Proc, 46;3:441, 1987.
7. Tadi PP et al. Anticandidal and Anticarcinogenic Potentials
of Garlic. Int Clinical Nutr Rev, ,10:423-429, 1990.
8. Growth Stimulatory Effect of Aged Garlic Extract Protein
Fraction on Friendly Bacteria. Kokai Tokkyo Koho, Japanese
9. Lau BHS. Detoxifying, Radio-protective and Phagocyte-Enhancing
Effects of Garlic. Int Clinical Nutr Rev ,9:27-31, 1989.