Garlic is Life -

The Health Benefits of Garlic series.

Using natural garlic to fight MRSA and other diseases

This page last updated November 14, 2013

Garlic, Nature's Underground Pharmacy.
It is better to smell like garlic than to have MRSA.
Eat more garlic and give your doctor some time off.

Before we get into the physiological effects of garlic, I would like to say that I am not a chemist; neither am I a botanist, biologist nor medical doctor. But I can read and I do love garlic enough to read everything about it I can. I am merely trying to pass on to you the results of what I have read and otherwise learned in order to help stimulate enough of an interest in you for further study. Don't just take my word for it, Google it yourself and see where your research takes you.

I was immensely fortunate to be able to attend all four Garlic is Life Symposia, hosted by Darrell Merrell from 1998 through 2003, where research scientists from several disciplines came to Oklahoma State University's Tulsa campus from all over to deliver lectures about their research to their peers and attend the lectures of all the other scientists. There have never before or after been any other meetings that brought together so many multi-degreed scientists to discuss their garlic research amongst their peers. These people formed a sort of allium intelligensia and bonded quite well with each other over the 3-4 days of each symposium. The information in this section mostly comes from these lectures and personal conversations with these esteemed and honored scientists who have done the objective studies that have shown the real effects garlic has on health when used in different ways. Four days and nights of talking shop among the most knowledgeable people in the world on garlic and I was one of only a handful of non-scientists lucky enough to be right in the middle of it all and taking notes furiously. They didn't have an agenda, just a willingness to learn as much as they could about this wondrous bulb.
Click here to read all about the Garlic is Life Symposia

Unfortunately, not all studies are as objective as these, sometimes vested financial interests of the pharmaceuticals industry sponsor studies with the apparent intent to show garlic to have no health benefits and thus seek to undermine the confidence of the public in garlic. There was a study done at a famous Minnesota health clinic a few years ago that purported to show garlic had no health benefits because no changes were measured after consuming the pills. What they did not mention was that the pills they used in the study did not dissolve and therefore the subjects of the study received no garlic. The proper conclusion should have been that the particular pill used did not work because it did not dissolve - a fact well known to other researchers as well. Instead, they drew the conclusion that garlic has no health benefits, in spite of the thousands of other studies which prove otherwise.

There are other recent studies making similar claims. I have been too busy to look into them all but I already know anything that flies into the face of so many thousands of objective studies to suddenly show dramatically different results needs to be looked into more closely and you'll usually find a commercial agenda between the lines. Many thousands of people have died from taking prescription medications, even according to the labels but no one has died from eating garlic - think about it.

I find this sort of pseudoscience to be repugnant. The average American does not have enough information about this and will probably take their word for it rather than try to find out more about it. That's what this webpage and the one on Chemistry of Garlic and Garlic Pills and Oils are all about - to help the public learn the facts so they can make up their minds from a more informed perspective.

If you find disagreement with the contents of this section, please leave us your comments, as we plan to update this section with the latest information as it becomes available to us. We would not knowingly or intentionally misinform anyone. Where possible, we will cite the specific source of our information and urge you read it to help you be better informed.

We realize we are in the middle of a controversial subject area and wish to help you to make intelligent choices based on having the maximum amount of information. We are not trying to practice medicine, give medical advice or anything of the kind. All we're doing here is discussing the effects of garlic used in different ways on the human body and let patients and their doctors decide what they should do, if anything.

Around our place, we just happen to like the flavor of garlic and are overjoyed that information exists to show that it has beneficial effects on our bodies. Our goal is to inform others about the research that indicates these benefits and let researchers defend their own findings.

Real Disclaimer

Since we're not giving any kind of medical advice here, we direct our attention to people of average health who are not allergic to garlic or any of the compounds it breaks down into. If you are allergic to garlic or any of the compounds it breaks down into, don't use it and stay away from it! Everybody should use common sense when dealing with any substance that can alter human health in any way and look out after their own best interest. We are not responsible for anything and you are totally on your own for all things. You are responsible for your own decisions and their results regardless of anything on this website.

The Physiological Effects of Garlic

Studies by competent multi-degreed scientists have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that consuming garlic generally has the following physical effects:
  • Garlic lowers blood pressure a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
  • Garlic lowers LDL Cholesterol a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
  • Garlic helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arterial system. One recent study shows this effect to be greater in women than men.
  • Garlic lowers or helps to regulate blood sugar.
  • Garlic helps to prevent blood clots from forming, thus reducing the possibility of strokes and thromboses (Hemophiliacs shouldn't use garlic.)
  • Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reduces the size of certain tumors.
  • Garlic may help to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body.
  • Raw Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic that works differently than modern antibiotics and kills some strains of bacteria, like MRSA staph, that have become immune or resistant to modern antibiotics.
  • Garlic has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
  • Garlic dramatically reduces yeast infections due to Candida species.
  • Garlic has anti-oxidant properties and is a source of selenium.
  • Eating garlic gives the consumer an enhanced sense of well being - it makes you feel good just eating it.
  • Garlic probably has other benefits as well.

If garlic has all these benefits, why aren't doctors and hospitals recommending it for their patients? In many other countries, they are, but not in the United States. Why? One reason is that medical doctors simply don't know about it as they have very little nutritional instruction or herbal medicine in their medical school education and may be unaware of how garlic works in the human body and there's no FDA-approved treatment protocol that includes garlic. Another reason is that herbal medicine may sound too old fashioned and unsophisticated to them. A third reason is that pharmaceutical manufacturers do not recommend garlic, they recommend their own expensive prescription medicines complete with their side-effects. And, perhaps modern allopathic physicians concentrate more on alleviating symptoms, healing and surgery than prevention of illness through better nutrition and healthier lifestyles, although that may be more the responsibility of the patient than the doctor.

Perhaps the over-riding consideration may be that fresh garlic is a living thing that continuously changes and is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to quantify. Slicing and dehydrating the garlic arrests the changes and freezes it in whatever state it was in and preserves it and allows us to know that it is what it is and will not be changing.

A Basic Look at How Garlic Works

First, let's take a look at a simplistic overview of how garlic works so we can understand what we're dealing with. A bulb of garlic, Allium Sativum L., has from four to 16 or more cloves, depending on variety. In each of these cloves are cells containing the main compound of garlic, an amino acid called Alliin. In separate cells an enzyme called alliinase resides. Whenever the cellular walls separating them are damaged, some of the enzyme comes into contact with the amino acid and this sets off a chemical reaction that causes sulfenic acid to form instantly. But sulfenic acid is unstable and reacts with itself and breaks down at a steady rate into another unstable compound called allicin, which has a strong antibiotic property. Allicin is the "magic bullet" in garlic from which its many benefits are derived but being unstable, it reacts with many things and breaks down into other compounds. Because garlic forms the active compound, allicin, steadily and in regular spurts rather than all at once it is better to let it set for a 15 minutes to an hour before using it in order to build up a greater amount of allicin. Allicin has a half-life in air of about 18 hours as it slowly deteriorates into other smelly, sulfurous things. Adding allicin to water somewhat stabilizes it and preserves its antibiotic properties and extends its half life to about two months.

Allicin from crushed raw garlic is a very strong antibiotic that kills MRSA staph on contact and staph cannot become immune to it because it kills bacteria by causing their cells to swell and burst rather than blocking chemical receptors like pharmaceutical antibiotics do. One study (Walton, Herbold&Lendegren 1936-1938 - Journal of Food Science) even showed that the vapors alone from nearby crushed raw garlic could kill bacteria up to eight inches away in four hours. Numerous studies have shown that allicin kills cancer cells on contact but that's a moot point because allicin is too volatile to exist long enough (half-life of less than one minute in blood) in the human body to do any good.

When you cook or otherwise heat garlic that has been crushed the allicin that has formed breaks down into some unstable smelly fat-soluble polysulfide compounds that break down into Di Allyl Tri- Sulfide (DATS for short) which breaks down into the much more stable Di Allyl Di-Sulfide (DADS for short). When you mix crushed raw garlic with alcohol or vinegar, water-soluble polyvinyl compounds are generated. When you eat these things, the water-soluble compounds are tiny and pass right through the walls of the stomach are are absorbed directly through the capillaries into the blood stream; the fat-soluble polysulfides are too large to pass through the openings in the capillary walls and so move to the bottom of the stomach where they pass out through the pylorus into the duodenum where they are readily absorbed into the lymphatic system, a fat-soluble environment. They circulate around the lymphatic system for a few hours and then are dumped into the largest vein, the vena cava and circulate in the blood stream.

While these garlic metabolites are in the lymphatic system they kill or inhibit cancer cells and strengthen the immune system. Once they get into the blood stream they go through the liver and help purify it and also force it to manufacture more HDL cholesterol which then reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol and reduces tri-glycerides. They also work their way through the lungs and that is when they cause secondary garlic breath and also a garlicky smell emanates from the sweat glands and pores. This is an unavoidable consequence of consuming garlic and is your way of knowing the fat-soluble garlic is circulating in your lymphatic system and the rest of the body, too. Good garlic pills with abundant fat-soluble compounds will produce such a garlicky aroma several hours later; the less the secondary odor, the less the fat-soluble garlic compounds assimilated and those are the compounds that strengthen the immune system and protect against infection and cancer.

The fat-soluble compounds have certain properties and the water-solubles have different properties. The water-solubles are odorless while the fat-solubles are very odorous, thanks to a compound called allyl mercaptan, which causes the garlicky odor. The odor-free main water-soluble compound is S Allyl Cysteine, SAC for short, while the main fat-solubles are the polysulfides that break down into their most stable form, the smelly Di-Allyl Di-Sulfide, DADS for short. DADS is somewhat antibiotic but much less so than allicin, has anti-tumor properties and strengthens the immune system by stimulating the body to build antibodies.

The odor-free water-soluble SAC is great for those in socially sensitive situations who still want the circulatory benefits of garlic but who really don't want the odor of the fat-solubles. In standard dosages SAC has almost no antibiotic or antitumor properties but has excellent circulatory system benefits including lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and total cholesterol and inhibits clotting, preventing strokes and heart attacks. Garlic pickled in vinegar and Kyolic aged garlic extract are sources of SAC.

The fat-soluble DADS may be smelly but it is a strong immune system ally in the fight against cancer and also has very strong circulatory system benefits similar to SAC as well. In 1996 Penn State reported that Kazuko Sakamoto, a researcher in their College of Health and Human Development had discovered that DATS and DADS were shown to have success in inhibiting skin, breast and lung cancer cell lines with DATS ten times more effective than DADS. That's very important because the DATS and DADS from crushed cooked garlic circulate in the lymphatic system where they inhibit cancer cells spreading there. In addition, the Diallyl Disulfide in DADS is used by the immune system to manufacture antibodies, which are held together by a disulfide chemical bond, further strengthening the immune system.

Read on for more details about what garlic can do to enhance health and how it works in the body.

A Basic Look at How Garlic Pills and Oils Work

First of all, why use garlic pills and oils? Who has time these days to always fix garlicky meals from scratch? Not everyone wants to nibble cloves of fresh garlic with their noontime restaurant meal nor wants the garlic breath that comes with it. There are several other reasons, one of which is that good fresh garlic may not always be available and another is that sometimes people want a fairly accurate approximation as to how much "garlic" they're getting and pills can be a more accurate measure than raw garlic cloves of varying sizes and different varieties. Yet another consideration is the presence or lack of garlic odor.

The only pills and oils that have healthful properties are those made from natural, healthy, living cloves of garlic; pills and oils made from irradiated garlic have no discernible health benefits. The irradiation prevents the healthful compounds from forming.

There's a lot of irradiated garlic from China in grocery stores these days and irradiated garlic has no health benefits except when pickled and only water-soluble compounds then. Experts know how to tell when garlic has been irradiated but the average person doesn't. Another reason is that garlic pills usually store for several years and since the garlic in them has been dehydrated, they don't lose their potency as fast as fresh garlic.

There are a lot of garlic pills and oils out there, do any of them really work? Yes, most of them work fairly well even if not all of them make as much allicin as their advertising might claim. There are different kinds of pills and oils and it's important to understand what the differences mean and how they affect people. Since medical doctors, botanists, biologists and chemists in hospitals and universities all over the world have established that the health claims about garlic are factual, people have wanted to obtain these health benefits. Many people not having time to cook meals or wishing to avoid the social consequences of garlic breath or because raw or cooked garlic in its natural state disagrees with them have turned to garlic oils, pills or aged garlic extract as an alternative.

These commercial preparations are designed to go into the stomach or intestines before dissolving, thereby avoiding the taste and immediate odor of primary garlic breath (originating from the mouth and throat). How good are these alternatives and which ones offer hope to the socially conscious or the digestively challenged? As in every other kind of business, each manufacturer claims their own product is superior, so how do you know who to believe? We will examine the kinds one at a time and I'll let you know what I think and let you draw your own conclusions.

Research indicates it is not just the allicin in itself that accounts for all the above listed health benefits; it's what allicin becomes as it breaks down. Allicin does not circulate in the human body. It interacts with many things and breaks down into sulfides and other compounds and its half life in the bloodstream would be less than a minute. Many of those breakdown sulfides, thiols, etc. account for the cholesterol lowering effects, anticoagulant action, cancer prevention and other benefits. Also, as pointed out above, from the moment fresh garlic is crushed or dried garlic re-hydrated, it takes a while for the alliinase to react with all the alliin to form allicin. If this process takes place in the stomach, acid deactivates some of the alliinase, thus not as much actual allicin is formed, but if it takes place in the acid-free small intestine, very much more allicin is formed.

There are different kinds of garlic oils, garlic powder capsules, garlic pills with enteric coatings, garlic pills with other herbs added, like cayenne and aged garlic extract. If you are seeking a specific benefit rather than the general overall effects, you may want to see which preparation seems to provide the particular benefit you are looking for.

Garlic Oils

Garlic Oils are the oldest kind of manufactured preparation and were first made some 80 years ago, long before research identified the active ingredients we know of today.

Garlic oil is made in two ways, one is derived by steam distilling crushed garlic and capturing the resultant oil released as the allicin breaks down into sulfides and the other is soak macerated (chopped) garlic in oil. Steam distilled garlic oil contains fair amounts of DATS and DADS. It takes about a pound of garlic to produce a gram of oil. That would make them too concentrated and very expensive, so vegetable oil is added to the garlic oil that goes into the capsules, diluting them to a more easily useable concentration. The average garlic oil capsule actually contains about one percent of garlic oil and the rest of its net weight is vegetable oil. Steam distilled garlic oil contains oil soluble sulfides that circulate via the lymphatic system and studies indicate to be more anti-tumoric, more immune system enhancing and somewhat antibiotic.

The other way to make garlic oil is to crush or chop (macerate) garlic and incubate it 24 hours in vegetable oil, then strain out all pieces of garlic. Garlic macerate oil contains much lower levels of DATS and DADS but does have some ajoene, which is highly antibiotic and especially good at inhibiting platelet aggregation, as well as some of the water-soluble vinyldithiins that steam distilled oil is missing, which circulate through the blood stream and likely are more beneficial to the heart and circulatory system. Garlic macerate oil is the only commercial source of Ajoene.

If taken in pill form both kinds of garlic oil avoid immediate primary garlic breath that you get from eating a garlicky meal but both will result in secondary garlic odor from the lungs and pores a few hours after consuming the garlic oil pills. If it is in liquid form with an eyedropper, you can place the drops past the tongue and minimize garlic breath that way.

Since both contain different compounds, using both is recommended if you can find macerate oil but it is more available in Europe than the USA. If I can find a good source, I'll link to it.

Another use of garlic oil pills is that they can be used as a flavoring in a pinch by putting a couple of them in a soup or stew you're cooking or cutting open the softgel pill and using the contents to flavor a salad dressing - be creative.

Garlic Powder Capsules and Pills

Garlic capsules are nothing but garlic powder put into gelatin capsules or vegetarian capsules or made into pill form so that the consumer gets a measured dosage of garlic without getting immediate primary garlic breath. Not all garlic powder is equal, it depends on what variety of garlic was used to make the powder and how is was made; some have more capability to produce allicin than others. You can even buy empty gelatin capsules by the box and make your own garlic powder at home with your home-grown garlic and fill your own capsules with garlic that you know about.

Swallowing garlic capsules or pills with at least half a glass of water will result in the formation of some allicin in the stomach but a full glass would be better because the water dilutes the stomach acid for a while giving the powdered garlic time to mix with the water and rehydrate and form allicin. As the water leaves the stomach through the capillaries in the stomach walls, it takes a little of the allicin with it and in the blood stream it is broken down and used by the body. Allicin's half-life in human blood is less than a minute before it dissolves into other sulfuric things. If you use less water, not as much allicin will be formed because the stomach acid will neutralize the alliinase before it can form allicin unless there's enough water present to dilute the stomach acid for a while.

A way to maximize allicin creation is to empty one or more capsules into a glass of water, stir and let it set for 15 minutes to an hour and then drink it. This will allow the maximum amount of allicin to form before swallowing and putting it into the acidic stomach environment. It will give you some garlic breath but you will get the most allicin into your system; some will circulate in the blood stream and some will be absorbed in the lymphatic system when it gets into the duodenum. Garlic capsules are a good way to get a measured amount of garlic powder and, like garlic oils, can be used in cooking in the absence of any other kind of garlic with which to season food, especially if you know what kind of garlic was used to make the capsule.

Some examples are VegLife Garlic Caps, Garlic Gold, etc.

Reduced Odor Enteric-Coated Garlic Pills

In low-odor pills the garlics are sliced, dried and then ground into powder before the allicin is formed exactly like for the capsules. This powder is put into capsules or made into pills and given an enteric coating designed to survive and not dissolve in the low pH of stomach acid but to prevent it from dissolving until after it leaves the stomach and enters the duodenum.

It makes a big difference whether the pill is dissolved in the stomach or intestines, because if the alliinase reacts with stomach acid it will be neutralized and little or no allicin will be formed. But if the pill dissolves in the duodenum, and mixes with the less acidic intestinal fluids, the sulfenic acid immediately forms and breaks down into allicin and then into the sulfides or other breakdown products and then gets into the user's system.

The manufacturer generally guarantees its potency, but it actually provides only the potential to form allicin and the actual amount would be difficult to measure since only the breakdown compounds get into the consumer's system and only then if the pill makes it through the stomach substantially intact or at least with plenty left to interact with intestinal fluids, which are much higher in pH than the stomach acids.

It does seem to be a good way to get the benefits of both the allicin and the sulfides with a minimum of resultant odor, if the enteric coating works properly. Not all enteric coatings are equal as some partially dissolve in the stomach, losing some of their potential to stomach acid while others dissolve properly in the duodenum, still others not only stay intact in the stomach, but also remain largely intact and release less allicin throughout the small intestine and may never dissolve completely and be excreted along with other intestinal contents.

These are effective pills and some examples of them are Super Garlic Complex by Nature's Answer, GarliChol by Planetary Formulas, Mega Garlic Plus by Herbalife, Beyond Garlic by KAL, etc.

Odorless Allicin-Standardized /Stabilized Garlic Pills with Additives

Garlic is sliced and dried the same way which prevents the conversion of alliin into allicin the reduced odor pills above, then it is crushed and a measured amount of extra alliin powder added and other herbs, too.

Like in enteric-coated pills above, allicin is not formed until the capsule gets into the consumer's digestive system. The pill's enteric coating is designed to resist disintegration in the acid of the stomach, but to readily dissolve in the small intestine, where the breakdown products are absorbed. The manufacturer usually guarantee their pill's potency but it's pretty untraceable although these kinds of products tended to do well in the 1994 study.

Manufacturers like to add herbs to some of their garlic pills to make them more efficatious against cancer heart disease and other diseases or adding parsley to overcome garlic odor. Things which strengthen the immune system are natural allies of garlic in the fight against cancer as is the cayenne in dilating blood vessels an ally in helping to deal with atherosclerosis. The more allies you can get the better your chance in the fight.

Some examples of this type of pill are Garlicin by Nature's Way, Beyond Garlic by KAL, Garlinase, KAL garlic & Parsley, Kwai, etc.

It seems like a good way to get the full range of garlic benefits without the immediate garlic breath. Also, if it is really good, there would eventually be some secondary garlic odor as the sulfides and other breakdown products work their way through the consumer's circulatory system and lungs.

If you are a cancer patient, that secondary garlic odor is a good thing to smell because it is your assurance that the garlic is making it's way through ypur lymphatic system and strengthening your immune system.

Aged Garlic Extract

Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) is in a class by itself among commercial products. Having no fat-soluble compounds it is truly odor-free. It has only water soluble compounds that circulate in the blood stream and provide excellent cardiovascular benefits, including lowering total cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and blood sugar and inhibits clotting, preventing heart attacks and strokes. Having no fat-solubles, it likewise has negligible anti-tumor, antibiotic properties or immune system enhancing properties at recommended dosages.

AGE is made by chopping garlic and aging it in alcohol for almost two years. It no longer has any allicin or other fat-soluble compounds. Its manufacturers claim that allicin is harmful since the extract contains no allicin or diallyl Disulphide, or other sulfides as they disappeared early in their extraction process. Rather, they focus on the thioallyl compounds, S-allyl cysteine and S-allyl mercaptocysteine, which are among the compounds that form when allicin breaks down over time in alcohol and are the least odorous. These are the most abundant compounds in Kyolic.

Most of Kyolic's research naturally focuses on these two water-soluble compounds rather than allicin and diallyl di-and tri-sulfides that other pill manufacturers focus on. Almost all garlic pill manufacturers sponsor or conduct studies that show their product to be superior and competitors' products to be inferior. Welcome to the world of business and competition.

Kyolic augments their basic AGE with variations that contain other compounds that enhance its efficacy when used as an adjunct to deal with certain conditions, for example, one version adds vitamin E, Cayenne and Hawthorn to strenghen the cardio-vascular system and another adds EPA, DHA and fish oil for additional cardio-vascular system benefits. They also make AGE available in vegetarian capsules for vegetarians. They make some with additional B-complex vitamins and others with Co-Q10, red yeast, brewer's yeast, kelp, whey and they even have one that has enhanced antioxident properties. Their variations allow you to be selective in enhancing the benefits that come with the various combinations.

Kyolic's various formulations are a good tool chest in the job of staying healthy and enhancing recovery when you do get sick and I think they should used as part of an overall approach to using garlic in different forms and ways to maintain or regain good health. When looking at Kyolic, be prepared to make choices as there are a lot of variations available.

Which ones to use and why?

In 1994 Dr. Larry Lawson, one of the guest lecturers at the Garlic is Life! Symposia in Tulsa, wanted to see which allicin-based garlic pills actually released the most allicin when tested in a simulated gastrointestinal environment and compared side-by-side to other allicin-based garlic pills. Accordingly, he and ZJ Wang conducted a study of 28 brands of garlic pills claiming to have high levels of allicin, the results of which he published in his book, "Garlic, The Science and Therapeutic Application of Allium Sativum L. and Related Species". Having an enteric coating that worked right figured to be the key to doing well in the study because only those whose enteric coat worked right could register the highest amounts of allicin released since if they dissolved in the stomach, the stomach acid would neutralize the anzyme and no allicin would form. Not surprisingly, the allicin-based pills with an enteric coating that allow the pill to remain whole until it enters the duodenum and dissolve there are the ones that did the best in the study.

For legal reasons he can't say which brands did well and which did not (The brands are not identified his book, either because people can sue you for defamation even if you are telling the truth.) He is one of the three most knowledgeable people in the world on the chemistry of garlic and his book is proof of that as it is by far the most comprehensive technical book ever written on the subject and solidly documented with about a hundred of pages of references.

There is only one way to determine if the garlic pill you are taking is doing you any good and that is you will have secondary garlic odor a few hours after you take the pill. That secondary odor is your assurance that the garlic is circulating in your system; if you don't experience secondary garlic odor a few hours after taking an allicin-based garlic pill then it didn't work. Like Dr. Paul Wargovich of Houston's M.D. Anderson cancer hospital says "If it doesn't stink, it doesn't work." The fat-soluble polysulfides, the most useful compounds in garlic will always stink because of the presence of the allyl mercaptan.

The Simple Secret to Beating Garlic Odor

At the present state of technology, the secondary garlic odor is unavoidable if you really want anti-tumor and immune enhancing benefits from garlic; however, there is a secret to avoiding the social consequences of secondary odor and that is to take your pill with your evening meal or a little later so that when the inevitable odor kicks in a few hours later, after midnight, you and your spouse will be in bed asleep and there will be no one awake to smell you. After your morning shower, no one will know you took a garlic pill last night unless you tell them.

The odorless Kyolic is for the circulatory system mostly and has relatively little or no appreciable amount of anti-tumor or immune enhancing properties compared to the fat-solubles - that's the difference between fat and water solubles.

Kyolic is a unique product and is very good for odor-free circulatory system health. This is of great value to those who work closely with others and are concerned about odor and I think using Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract to maintain circulatory health makes good sense. One of the main reasons for taking garlic pills is to guard against heart attacks and strokes and Kyolic, with its anti-aggregatory properties, used as directed, along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, does exactly that. A lot of people use it in addition to one of the allicin-based pills simply because it is a good way to augment the circulatory system benefits the water-solubles produce and I think that makes good sense, too.

Kyolic has some lines that combine its basic aged garlic extract with immune-enhancing vitamins or EPA and DHA or B vitamins or digestive enzymes and I think all those are good ideas.

I have tried to give you as good an understanding as I can of the different kinds of garlic pills and oils so you could make better educated decisions about which ones to buy and use. I have also lined up some good sources of garlic pills and oils at discount prices to make it easy for you to find the ones you want to try. Please patronize these websites as we receive a small finderís fee for sales and it helps us defray the cost of putting together and maintaining a large website not to mention the massive amount of time and expense that went into assembling the information direct from the experts to help you make better informed decisions.

Sometimes garlic pill manufacturers add additional herbs to the garlic pill in order to help with certain conditions; for example, adding cayenne pepper to help with circulation problems because cayenne contains a natural vasodilator that opens up the inside diameter of the blood vessels a little and is a natural ally of garlic's ability to prevent blood clots from forming. Some garlic pills come with additional amounts of the fat-soluble vitamins A, C and E to help in fight against cancer. Yet another comes with extra Selenium, which some studies have found to be helpful in fighting cancer. Depending on the nature of the condition I was trying to fight, I would get and use as many allies as I could to try to slow down the development of the cancer. I would also learn everything I could about both mainstream and alternative approaches.

I would also include much non-irradiated garlic in as many meals as I could and learn of as many creative ways as I could to use fresh garlic to help. If Penn State is right about DATS and DADS, shouldn't those diagnosed with cancer use garlic in as many ways as is practical?

More about garlic and health
Not All Garlics Are Alike.

There are ten distinct different kinds of garlic, not including elephant garlic, which is actually a leek that looks like a garlic, and there are hundreds of separate cultivars of these ten basic kinds. Their flavor ranges from bland to heavy garlickiness and their tastes range from almost bland to extremely pungent (hot like a cayenne chili).

While much research has been done that show garlic actually produces the effects listed above, those results need to be re-examined using several different kinds of garlic because not all garlic is created equal and different garlics will have different levels of the active compounds and yield different results. Quantitative analysis is needed but garlic is hard to pin down because there is so much varience in amounts of the ability to produce allicin, the main compound from which all other compounds derive. The problem is finding someone to fund such studies as the pharmaceutical industry surely won't do it; perhaps some charitable trust.

For tests of the efficacy of different kinds of garlic in treating various ailments to be truly accurate, tests need to be done in parallel using an organically grown strong garlic, such as Metechi or Romanian Red and a medium garlic such as Inchelium Red and also a milder garlic such as Red Toch or Siberian to determine the difference in results. While they're at it, they should conduct tests using the same garlics grown with farm chemicals. Even then the tests will vary due to the differences in soil types, climate and other planting, growing, harvesting and storage conditions as well as differences in the sizes of cloves used and how long those garlics have been out of the ground as storage time affects the chemistry of garlic. The hotter garlics are said to be able to produce more allicin as are the denser garlics but I have obtained excellent results with milder garlics and have also had less effective experiences with garlics that were so hot they were acutely painful to hold up against my gum to fight a toothache.

As you can see, it is not as simple as it initially appears. There is certainly ample room for much more experimentation into garlics and a fertile field for researchers to try to obtain grants to do some of the vast amount of work yet to be done. The future of garlic in health care and in prevention programs is wide open and will eventually offer more products than we have available today. The new knowledge we have about garlic will help develop new procedures and innovative forms of application of the active compounds.

Garlic That Has No Health Benefits

Garlic that has been irradiated has no fat-soluble healthy compounds when used in ordinary ways except that when pickled it probably does have some water soluble compounds for some circulatory system benefits. Unfortunately, most garlic in American supermarkets comes from China and some of it has been irradiated and will have no health benefits except as noted. Experts know how to tell whether garlic has been irradiated but the average American doesn't know how to tell. Roasted garlic may be delicious but whole bulbs of roasted garlic have little or no health benefits because the garlic was not crushed and so no allicin formed to break down into polysulfides because the enzyme was deactivated by the roasting heat.

Modern pharmaceutical manufacturers seem obsessed with the concept that for each herbal or traditional medicine that produces the desired healing effect, there is a single "magic bullet" compound in the herb that does the job. They feel that if they can identify it, then chemically synthesize it and administer it in amounts much more concentrated than occurs naturally they can achieve better, more predictable results. Research has shown that even when they synthesize diallyl disulfide as a petroleum distillate, it does not have the same effect as the garlic-derived version, apparently because of its ongoing chemical reactions with its own volatile compounds. This volatility gives garlic a synergism (life?) that is not present in the synthetic version. Garlic just won't hold still long enough for them to get a good look since everything in it seems to morph into other things right before their eyes, and even when they find the magic bullet, they can synthesize the bullet, but not the magic.

Gastro-Intestinal Diseases

Modern medical discoveries have shown that, contrary to prior medical opinion, numerous diseases are caused or contributed to by infectious processes caused by bacteria or viruses, or both - gastric ulcers, ulcerative colitis, coronary artery disease, Kaposi's sarcoma and cervical cancer to name a few. Garlic may be helpful in treating or preventing some of these conditions.

Recent discoveries by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren at Royal Perth Hospital in Australia show that stomach ulcers are either caused by bacteria (Helicobacter Pylori) or contributed to by it and that antibiotics can make most ulcers go away. I remember reading of tests showing that raw garlic kills H.Pylori in vitro, but not necessarily in vivo, perhaps because the allicin formed by eating raw garlic is no longer allicin by the time it gets to the stomach, having been converted to other compounds by saliva. Maybe if they had crushed the garlic and waited 15 minutes before consuming it they might have gotten different results since there would have been more allicin formed than there would be if one ate the raw garlic immediately. I attended a lecture by Dr. Gowsala Sivam of Bastyr University wherein she discussed her study which showed that combining allicin with a known effective antibiotic was more efficatious than either one by itself.

Dr. Martin Blaser of Vanderbilt University in Nashville has indicated that Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis may also be inflammatory diseases caused by or contributed to by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis. Is it possible that eating raw garlic might help to alleviate these conditions? Yes, but only a small amount although since I have been eating one or two cloves of raw garlic daily, my own digestive disorder has gone away. I was afflicted with spastic/irritable colon for 20 years before I made a great change in lifestyle, starting with moving to the country, getting off the public water supply and onto untreated rural creek water (basically rain water runoff) and started eating raw garlic, getting completely away from job stress, not having one of those anymore, and it gradually went away completely in about six months after I began eating raw garlic. It was more than just the garlic; it was the entire lifestyle change that did it. Garlic is only a part of a larger system of maintaining good health.

If you have never suffered from this disorder, you cannot imagine the joy of having your first "normal" bowel movement in many years. During those first few months I also took one or two acidophilus pills a day, but haven't taken any for the last ten years.

There must have been some residual allicin in undigested pieces of incompletely chewed garlic because allicin is changed by digestive enzymes into the breakdown sulfides and/or other compounds and the allicin was dissolved into those other compounds in the mouth, esophagus and stomach and only remnant metabolites (breakdown products) continued the journey through the small and large intestines.

Years later, I now know of faster ways to good results that I have also discovered in my studies and experiences. A crushed raw garlic enema, diluted substantially, can achieve wonders and works much better than eating it and in less time. The enema delivers the allicin directly to the colon without going through the digestive system and engages the bacteria directly while still in the allicin form. See information below about how to administer a crushed raw garlic enema.

A less invasive way to get rid of a lot of toxins and other things that make you feel bad is to soak in a garlic bath for a while and feel great the next day - see garlic bath information below to learn more.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Coronary artery disease results from a buildup of plaque within the arterial system. In these atherosclerotic deposits are found greater than usual amounts of cytomegalovirus and the bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae. An ongoing test at Humboldt University in Berlin indicates that after 18 months of a 54 month test, garlic reduced existing levels of atherosclerosis and inhibited new growth of plaque. Numerous tests have shown that garlic reduces LDL cholesterol. Other studies have shown that people who eat more garlic have stronger more flexible aortas that are less likely to tear.

Recent studies show that garlic is more effective in reducing cholesterol in women than in men. That's kinda understandable when you consider the differences between men's and women's endocrinal chemistry. Hormones that are good for one can be bad for the other and I think there needs to be a whole lot more research into female endocrinal chemistry and how that affects womenís health in general, rather than relying on old data that assumed menís' and womenís' organs functioned the same and clearly, that is not so since the endocrine systems have very different levels of the same compounds.

Garlic and Cancer

Garlic's role in cancer seems to be more to prevent it than to cure it, at least based on the ways we now use it. Garlic eaters just get less cancer than non-garlic eaters, according to demographic surveys. Using garlic in various ways inhibits cancer cells from reproducing, that is, it slows down the process and may actually reverse it in the early stages.

One of the breakdown products of allicin is S-allyl Cysteine (SAC), a water-soluble chemical shown by studies at Penn State to kill or retard the growth of breast cancer cells. Another study at the same university showed diallyl disulfide (DADS) and diallyl trisulfide (DATS), both oil-soluble, that kill or retard the development of lung, skin and colon cancers. DATS is much more effective than DADS, because of the additional sulfur atom, and DADS was much more effective than SAC.

Garlic fights cancer in the lymphatic system -
Why is solubility important? Because there are two circulatory systems in the human body, one for water-soluble solutions (the arterial/venous system) and one for fat or oil-soluble compounds (the lymphatic system). Since some cancer cells spread via the lymphatic system, that would seem to imply that some are oil-soluble and can be found by DADS or DATS via the lymphatic system. SAC can spread throughout the body to find cancer cells via the circulatory system, due to its water-solubility. If you can send compounds that retard the cellular division and, therefore, growth of cancer cells into your body via both channels, you increase your chances of being able to control, or maybe slow down the rate of development of the cancer. It's good to know that garlic has both kinds of compounds. Garlic naturally has a high level of selenium, which has been shown to have anti-tumor properties also.
Click here to read the Penn State report on DATS, DADS and SAC.

By knowing a little bit about how Mother Nature designed the human body, you can use your inside knowledge (pun intended) to enhance the effectiveness of your garlic. Since alcohol goes into the blood stream fast because it is absorbed through the lining of the stomach rather than waiting until it gets to the small intestine like most things, mixing crushed fresh garlic with wine or brandy may help speed it into your system. If you want to get some oil-soluble compounds into you system, you can put crushed fresh garlic in a little olive oil and swallow it. It will find its way into the lymphatic system because the oil should act as a carrier to take it there. Even if it doesn't seem to help, it hasn't cost much and at least you'll have had a delicious snack, especially if you dip a crouton or bruschetta in the garlicky oil to help it go down.

As mentioned elsewhere in this document, rubbing crushed fresh garlic on the skin will get more of garlics compounds into your system faster than eating it, it stands to reason that you could do the same thing by rubbing garlic-laced booze or oil directly on the skin and absorb it through diffusion. Since vitamin C is an anti-carcinogenic, why not mix crushed garlic with orange juice or grapefruit juice and take a bath in it? (Unless you're allergic!) Transdermal application merits looking into. It may sound a bit quackish to suggest some of these things, but if one has cancer and there is a chance it may help, why not try it? If I were a cancer patient, I would probably be trying some pretty weird things, but if any of them worked, I wouldn't care how weird someone else thought they were. Garlic breath is better than no breath. I'm not claiming these things will cure cancer (After all, if thousands of doctors and billions of dollars can't, what chance does a backwoods farmer with a few bulbs of garlic have?), only that I would try them if I had cancer. Question - If any of those weird things worked, would they still be weird?

I remember reading that there were studies recently with cancer patients showing that medications taken with grapefruit juice were more effective than the same dosage taken with water or other citrus juices. The doctors concluded that there must be something in grapefruit juice that really gives medicines a boost. They didn't know what it was, but it really made a difference. There was enough difference reported that I decided to try it when I had a headache I tried it and my usual dosage of my usual pill worked faster and better than before. Warning! consuming grapefruit within 2 hours of taking prescription medications can cause you to get too much of it so check with your doctor first if you can.

We can borrow from the single magic bullet concept and find ways to intensify and use garlics DADS and DATS and SAC compounds in as many ways as possible, especially since garlic has few undesirable side effects like many modern medicines taken in powerful concentrations, such as in some cholesterol lowering drugs and chemotherapy drugs. For example, pickling garlic increases the level of SAC over time and using well-aged pickled will get more SAC into your system.

Also, chopping or crushing garlic and letting it wait 14 minutes and then baking it or microwaving it increases the amount of DADS and DATS in the cooked residue - same with boiling it in an enclosed pot or in milk. The water or milk in which the garlic is boiled is also rich in DADS and DATS - drink it. We need to be a little careful about trying to fool Mother Nature as she has a few billion years head start on us - It may be best to work with her rather than against her - hence the different ways of getting garlic into the system.

I can't tell anyone else what to do since I don't want anyone accusing me of trying to practice medicine here, but I would do the above things if I were a cancer patient. I would also eat more than my share of pickled garlic (along with extra vitamins A, C, D and E and selenium) because it contains ever increasing amounts of S-allyl cysteine. I would eat it as a supplement only, not as a replacement for fresh garlic, which I would eat and otherwise use copious amounts of.

In order to gain a better understanding of some of the terms used by researchers in their papers, it might be a good idea for you to read the section on the chemistry of garlic in order to gain more insight into what is meant by allicin, ajoene, diallyl disulfide, etc. There is nothing static about garlic, everything in it is in a constant state of change and its chemical properties are a function of what it is mixed with and under what circumstances. A large team of scientists could spend their lifetimes working with it and barely crack the surface. The more we come to understand about it, the more of it we will want to eat and the healthier we will be. Is it really accidental that people in the republic of Georgia in the former USSR live longer than most other people and also have more different kinds of garlic than any other country?

Disaster Survivor's Underground Guide to Using Garlic in a Medical Emergency

Updated February 20, 2008

Garlic is Nature's underground medicine cabinet.

Seeing the suffering by the people who survived Katrina and the flooding along the Gulf Coast for hundreds of miles caused me to feel anguish that I was unable to help. Yet, I had information that if it were available to those who survived, only to perish in the aftermath, might have resulted in fewer deaths and less suffering. Although this information has been on my website all along, I feel compelled to make it a chapter of its own and put it where people can see it. Every family should have a first aid/medical emergency kit that includes general first aid treatment information and things like this for such occasions.

Before we get into the first aid and emergency uses of garlic, I would like to say that I am not a doctor nor am I attempting to practice medicine or give medical advice. But I can read and I do love garlic enough to read everything about it I can. I am merely saying how I would use garlic, knowing what I have learned about it. If this helps desperate people find ways to help themselves when organized medical help is not immediately available, so much the better. At times like that, people have to make their own decisions about things. Much of the information I will present here is not commonly known and you're not likely to find it all anyplace else, because it comes from my personal experience as well as conversations with many accredited garlic researchers.

It is my sole intention to provide free information that may be of help to survivors of Katrina or other disasters, especially in rural areas, that may save their lives or treat their injuries and infections when no medical help is available. People in cities will likely have resources not available to those who live in remote areas. It would certainly be my suggestion that people with medical emergencies seek professional help as soon as is reasonably possible. Nothing in here should be seen as an alternative to professional medical care but only desperate measures that might work in the absence of any medical care. This information is equally valid for the earthquake survivors in Pakistan and elsewhere, post-Tsunami and other flood disasters and survivors of similar disasters wherever they may occur.

If you find disagreement with the contents of this section, please leave us your comments, as we plan to update this section with the latest information as it becomes available to us. We would not knowingly or intentionally misinform anyone. I do not even pretend that this is complete and I will be adding to it from time to time as I learn/remember more.

I realize we are in the middle of a controversial subject area and wish to allow you to make intelligent choices based on having the maximum amount of information. I am not trying to practice medicine, give medical advice or anything of the kind. Around our place, we just happen to like the flavor of garlic and are overjoyed that information exists to show that it has beneficial effects on our bodies. Our goal is to inform others about the research that indicates these benefits and let researchers defend their own findings. In short, please don't sue me, I'm only trying to help. If you don't think it is helpful, don't do it.

The Medical Emergency and First Aid Uses of Garlic

When people have medical emergencies and there is no doctor around, as in Katrina's aftermath, a bulb of garlic can be a lifesaver - literally, if you know how to use it. Crushed raw garlic is a very powerful antibiotic, but it must be applied to the site of the infection, including Staph and Strep, to be effective. It will burn like fire for a minute or two but it is the best way I know of to kill staph without a prescription medicine. Most importantly, garlic will still kill strains of staph, like MRSA that have become immune to modern antibiotics because it kills in a different way and the bacteria cannot become immune to it, But it must be applied in one form or another to the site of the infection.

It is best to let crushed raw garlic set for 7 or 14 minutes before using so that it can form the maximum amount of allicin in order to have greater antibacterial properties. The reason is that crushing garlic forms sulfenic acid (thus the burning sensation) which steadily breaks down into allicin, the highly antibiotic compound that kills bacteria. For reasons not clearly understood, every 6 and 1/4 minutes or so there is a rapid dramatic increase in the rate of conversion for about 30 seconds and then it drops off to normal again for another 6 and 1/4 minute cycle and then it sharply increases again for another 30 seconds or so and again drops back to the normal rate. By waiting seven minutes, you benefit from the first great wave and by waiting 14 minutes, you get the extra boost of the second surge.

Desperate hungry survivors will eat things they never would consider normally. If there's a piece of meat that's not fresh , but you're going to cook it and eat it anyway, rub crushed garlic all over it and the garlic will kill most if not all exposed bacteria. If you eat raw garlic in the same mouthful of food with other food, it will kill some of the bacteria present, but garlic will kill a lot more if you rub it on the food before eating. Saliva deactivates allicin, as do all digestive juices and it is the allicin that kills the bacteria. If you're going to eat it anyway, at least protect yourself the best you can with garlic.

Crushed raw garlic can be used to kill bacteria and other tiny lifeforms such as E. coli in contaminated water when there is no other water available. Just crush it and let it wait as above and then mix it into a bottle of strained water and let set for an hour or two or overnight to have time to kill as many of the bacteria as possible. While it will not make the water taste any better and there may be things in it garlic doesn't work on, like oil, it's at least less toxic than before and if death is the alternative, less toxic is preferable to more toxic. Garlic's antibiotic properties also make it useful for sterilizing things like dishes, pans, etc.

Water stabilizes allicin, the active ingredient in garlic for a while and its half-life in water is 28 days, during which time is still possesses antibiotic properties, according to Dr. Larry Lawson (Lawson & Wang, 1994). That's important to remember. Conversely, crushed garlic left alone at room temp loses allicin rapidly the first day and gradually each day and after a week or ten days, there's little allicin left. If you only have a little, putting the crushed garlic in water will keep it useable much longer than if you just set it on a saucer. My guess is that it would burn less when treating wounds that way but it's just a guess, I have no way of knowing for sure since I have not tried it on myself yet.

Garlic is a very old treatment for snake bite and it is supposed to work although I have never tried it, myself. Crush it and rub directly into and around the fang marks. It will burn like fire for a minute or two and then settle down. Most snake venom is fat soluble and therefore spreads via the lymphatic system, not the blood circulatory system - so does garlic's sulfur compounds. It should be rubbed all around the area so that it can seep into the skin and into the area's lymphatic system. Try not to move around much as movement is what causes the lymphatic fluid to flow and spread the poison. Eating garlic also helps as it gets garlic into the lymphatic system elsewhere in the body and gets it into circulation. Venomous snake bite is very serious and life threatening and garlic may not be the ideal treatment, but it's better than dying without trying anything and you might even live to tell about it.

Method of application makes a big difference.
A few years ago I caught a staph infection in my finger. I recognized it because I had to go to the doctor and get expensive antibiotics when it happened before so I decided to fight it with garlic this time and I increased my usual daily intake of strong raw garlic. After a week or so, there was no improvement and it just continued to swell until it was about twice normal size, or more. It didn't make any difference how much raw garlic I ate, it only slowed it down but didn't stop it. Then in desperation, I crushed a large clove of strong garlic and rubbed the juice and pulp directly all over my distended digit. There was a acute burning sensation at the site of the infection, but it went away in a minute or two and was replaced with a throbbing feeling which then was gradually replaced over a hour or so by a feeling of less pain and pressure. Feeling better, I went to bed and upon awaking in the morning, the swelling had decreased by nearly half and it felt better yet. I treated it again that morning and there was no burning and again that night and it continued to improve and in a couple more days returned to normal. That's results!

This transdermal application allowed the allicin to seep right through the skin and go directly to the site of the infection rather than trying to get there via the circulatory system. The direct route allowed it to be more concentrated when it got there and it made short work of the staph infection. How it was applied made all the difference in this case. Transdermal application bypasses the chemical changes imposed by the stomach and intestinal juices and the thinning out by being dissolved into the bloodstream and filtered by the liver. Applying it directly to the affected part allows a more intense and purer concentration right at the site of the infection and gets much better results. Note: RAW GARLIC CAN BURN DELICATE SKIN - use caution if your skin is sensitive or susceptible to rashes or other skin reactions. Diluting it in water reduces the chance of burning and it still has the potency it needs to be effective. People who are or may be allergic to garlic or any of its sulfur compounds shouldn't try this, or anything on this website, without asking their doctor first, but how can you do that if he or she is nowhere around? Sometimes you just have to decide for yourself.

If you have a deep infection, the garlic may not be able to get to the bottom of it and if there's no doctor available, you may have to lance and drain the wound in order for the garlic to get close enough to do any good. Pouring hydrogen peroxide into an opened, drained cavity is an old rancher's trick to treat infections in cattle but I don't know if it's acceptable practice among humans or not. If you have to do it, it will feel like you just lit your foot, leg, wherever the wound is, on fire for a few minutes and then it will start to get better. It may require several treatments, but that's better than dying.

Staph is nothing to mess with and it can be fatal. If you can get to a doctor, do so and don't try to treat yourself. This information is only for when there is no doctor available and you're on your own with your life at stake. Your job is to survive until help arrives and you can get to a doctor. I am not practicing medicine or giving medical advice, simply informing you of your options.

A garlic/water enema kills the bacteria that cause Irritable colon and chronic diarrhea -
If a person has a bacterial infection in the colon and there is no Gastro-intestinal specialist or pharmacy around, then a garlic and warm water enema may prove effective in ridding the colon of the offending germs. Simply crush a couple of cloves (not bulbs or heads), wait 14 or 15 minutes or more, add to warm water, strain out the larger particles and use. Garlic that has been diluted by water is much milder and less subject to burning sensitive skin in most normal people although there may be a temporary slight burning sensation around the anus, but it's more like warming than burning. Lying on the back or the left side is a better way than sitting on a toilet because in the upright position, you only fill the descending colon but not the transverse or the ascending colon but on your back or left side, you can fill all three parts of the colon and spread garlics germ killing power throughout the entire colon. results are usually pretty fast - a few hours. It would seem beneficial to try to hold the liquid as long as one conveniently can in order for the antibiotic effect to have the best chance of working. I have used this folk treatment myself and found it to be highly effective in only a few hours or overnight. I took acidophilus in conjunction with the enema and it seemed to help restore firm stools. Repeat if necessary and with an additional clove or two as needed.

If there are some bacteria in the small intestine you may not get complete relief as long as it is present. One way of dealing with it is to crush a clove of garlic and let it wait 15 minutes or more to develop more allicin and then put the crushed garlic in a spoonful of olive oil, tsp or TBSP, if you're not allergic to it, and let it steep a few minutes before swallowing it. This will let it become fat-soluble so it goes out the pylorus and into the duodenum with some allicin left in it. Another way is to fill the hollowed out center of a grape with crushed raw garlic and swallow it whole. Flushing these things down with a glass of water containing a crushed clove of garlic will help get more allicin into the stomach while adding enough water to dispel any burning sensation from the allicin or the stomach acid. The whole idea is to try to get some allicin into the small intestine so it can fight the bacteria there and help clear up the diarrhea.

Garlic that is more pungent, that is, hotter when eaten raw, is generally more efficacious than milder tasting garlic but I have usually used milder garlics with good results. From the moment garlic is harvested until it is planted, eaten or otherwise used, it is undergoing constant change as it loses moisture through natural dehydration and that makes it impossible to quantify so that exact dosages could not be determined even if research were done to determine dosages. It's inexact to say the least. That's why I consider garlic to be a dietary supplement rather than a medicine; medicines are much more exact.

A way to use garlic on a stuffy nose, sore throat and infection that has gone into the lungs is to crush the small end of a clove and use it like a Vick's inhaler so you breathe the fumes through your nostrils. This will help clear the passages as well as fight the germs. Eating garlic is not enough, it has to get to the site of the infection as directly as possible and breathing it in takes it all the way into the lungs. Another way to do the same thing is to crush the garlic and wrap gauze, cheesecloth or thin fabric around it and breathe through the gauze to get the vapors into the lungs. One study showed that crushed garlic vapors alone kill many kinds of bacteria, including MRSA staph and strep up to eight inches away. Another way is to put crushed garlic into a plastic tubing and blow air over the crushed garlic and onto a wound site that may be otherwise hard to get to. Be creative in how you use your garlicky resources, your life may be on the line.

Drug-resistant Tuberculosis -
Tuberculosis that has developed immunity to standard antibiotics has evolved and since 1.6 million people die each year from Tuberculosis, it is a big concern to doctors all over the world in March 2007. I have seen research that clearly showed that vapors from crushed raw garlic killed bacteria up to eight inches away and my bet would be that crushed raw garlic vapors breathed into the lungs through a gauze mask would kill the bacteria outright, drug-resistant or not since garlic kills in a different way than those antibiotics. Is any doctor anywhere willing to suggest such a treatment? Perhaps in some third world backwoods where they can't afford prescription medicines someone may try it and discover that it works. Of course, garlic being a cheap herb instead of an expensive prescription medication may irritate some people, but from my perspective I say why not give it an honest try? It just might work.

A way to break up dried lung congestion is to crush garlic, wait 14 minutes and mix it into water and strain the particles out and do what I call reverse gargle. Take a mouthful of the garlic water , with the crushed particles strained out, and facing downward, purse your lips as if you were going to whistle and instead breathe in through your mouth so that the air bubbles in through the water and the garlic-laden moisture coats the throat and lungs and helps to break up dried phlegm as well as fighting germs - this doesn't take long as it forces you to cough up stuff, kinda similar to the "cold steam" of ultrasonic therapy, but with antibiotic properties. It may be the only hope of coping with viral pneumonia without a doctor. It becomes critically important to liquify and cough up the phlegm and if you have a better way to do it, please use your way.

Toothaches -
If you get one of those massive brain-pounding toothaches and there's no dentist around, crushed raw garlic actually knocks out the infection and relieves pain. It has worked for me several times and all I do is to chew up the garlic some and pack the residue around the tooth. Yes, the burning sensation is quite hot and sometimes I wonder whether it is worth it but the hotness dissipates in a few minutes and the pain from the tooth lessens at the same time. There are several ways of doing this, one is to simply slice a piece from the side of the clove and hold the cut side to the gum where the pain is and move it around the area slowly on both inside and outside gums around the affected tooth. A milder way is to take a small inner clove and cut some vertical slits in its side so a lesser amount of allicin is released but over a longer time and is still effective but takes a little longer to work. If you want the most allicin crush the clove and pack it around the tooth - WARNING - This is very hot and can irritate the skin of the gums, but this is less painful than the toothache. Basically, you trade the pain of the burning sensation of garlic for future relief of the deeper pain of the toothache. How fast you get relief is a function of how much hotness you can endure in order to get relief from toothache pain. Usually the pain is gone in 30 minutes to an hour and the swelling diminishes as well. It may have to be treated more than once and I treat it as needed and within a day or two neither the swelling nor the pain return. Of course, it's good to see a dentist as soon as reasonably possible to do something about that cavity. In short, crushed raw garlic is a great way to deal with a toothache when you are in a desperate situation and there is no dentist available but is no substitute for seeing a dentist eventually.

Garlic kills Staph, including MRSA -
Garlic may be an important thing to keep in mind these days when most strains of staph have become immune to everything except Vancomycin, and now there's even a strain that has become resistant to that. Garlic can still work if you can apply it to the right place(s). It's a thought. Allicin kills by invading staph, including MRSA, strep or other bacterial cells and causing them to swell up and burst, killing them, according to Dr. David Mirelman of The Weitzman Institute in Rehovot, Israel,- no wonder they can't become immune to it. A way of explaining how it works is that allicin passes right through the bi-lipid cellular walls and it's mere presence inside the cell changes the electrical polarity of the cell and that forces it to draw in surrounding fluid and swell up, trying to equalize the charge but they burst before stasis is achieved and that kills them. So I repeat...Staph, including MRSA and other bacteria cannot become immune to allicin like they have standard antibiotics and that simple fact makes it important to discover more ways of getting allicin inside the human body in order to combat todayís runaway MRSA staph populations.

People used to call garlic Russian Penicillin for a reason - it kills germs. Penicillin has the advantages of being quantifiable and injectable - garlic isn't either one, but it has the advantage of being able to be stored at room temperature a lot longer.

Garlic water and its uses.

There are two excellent ways of using garlic's antibiotic properties that can be very helpful in getting garlic to places where there are infections, one is the crushed raw garlic enema discussed above and the other is the garlic bath, including the garlic sitz-bath for combating pelvic fungal infections. It doesn't take much garlic, just a few cloves from a bulb is plenty for most applications and it's dosage related so you can always increase the amount of garlic if you are fighting a more persistent adversary. A little garlic can go a long way, it can be a matter of how long you let it set after crushing and before adding to water and then using. Garlic water that has set for a few days can be extremely strong smelling and I regard that as a way of estimating that is has increased in potency.

Because of the wide range of tastes and flavors in garlics and the proclivity of the hotter ones to burn tender skin, I think it is smart to start out with the milder ones so as not to burn sensitive internal tissue and I did. Also because of garlic waters tendency to increase in potency with time, I used fairly fresh garlic waters and found them to be very effective in getting results that made me feel better. For me, feeling better is what it 's all about.

Garlic baths and enemas are very important tools in that they are about the only ways to get allicin inside the human body without it going through the chemical changes imposed by the digestive process. Allicin, which is both fat and water-soluble, cannot exist for long in the human body and has a half-life of less than one minute in blood before being changed into other things, and scientists currently do not know what those other things are or how they fit in. Because allicin kills germs differently than standard antibiotics, it is one of the most powerful antibiotics in nature if you can get it into contact with the MRSA staph, strep, etc. A garlic-water enema puts it directly in the colon while still in its most potent antibacterial form and it can kill a lot of bacteria in there. For reasons I don't currently understand, garlic does not harm the natural friendly flora of the intestinal tract, but only the invading cells. I hope to find out more about that soon.

Water doesn't completely stop sulfenic acid from breaking down into allicin, it just slows it down greatly but the solution continues to increase in allicin the longer it sets and after a few days produces such an intense odor that I would be afraid to use it without diluting it greatly. My suspicion is that it would make a great external application antibiotic. The way garlic continuously changes makes it difficult to prescribe any kind of accurate dosage.

Both of these techniques involve using garlic that has been diluted in water. Good things can happen when you dilute crushed raw garlic in water after it has waited enough time after crushing for an ample amount of allicin to have been formed - at least 15 minutes but an hour or two is better because more allicin will have formed, and it's the allicin we want. Placing crushed raw garlic into water sort of stabilizes allicin and preserves it and changes its half-life from 16 hours in air to 28 days in water, while preserving the allicin and its antibiotic properties. Neat deal, huh? Diluting it in water also dissipates its burning sensation and minimizes it to a faint twinge. You don't have to use fresh garlic, properly prepared garlic powder will work well also, just be sure to let it set a couple of hours after a small amount of water is added to reconstitute the garlic powder before adding it to the bath water.

Garlic water doesn't require refrigeration but it can get pretty pungent after a few days and probably highly antibiotic but smells so bad I would be afraid to use it for any internal use. I would like to see more research into this. I once soaked my feet in three day-old garlic water and it really made me feel good and knocked out the athlete's foot fungus on the right foot and the toenail fungus on the left foot. I will bathe my feet in garlic water about once a month or so and let you know about the toenail fungus as the new toenails grow out.

When you do a pelvic soak or a body bath in garlic water, the chemicals go right through the skin and into the subcutaneous areas where there is access to local capillaries and lymphatics as well. I don't quite know how to describe it except to say I was feeling very ill for a few weeks and when I tried my garlic bath it made me feel really good right away but that night I had severe night sweats, like sweating out a fever, but by morning I felt better than I had in years and almost all my aches and pains went away and I had vigor, enthusiasm and peppy energy. I got more done that day than I had in weeks.

I know where all that peppy energy came from and that was the high amount of ATPase found in garlic. ATPase is the enzyme that triggers the conversion of ATP into ADP and the little bit of matter left over is converted into energy at the cellular level like a miniature soft warm nuclear reactor. For those who want details, ATP is Adenosine Tri Phosphate and its conversion into Adenosine Di Phosphate is a normal process but garlic supplies more of the enzyme that triggers the process resulting in much greater immediately available energy. By getting this much ATPase into the body, the reactions were body-wide and resulted in much greater energy that is more easily motivated and it just makes you feel better. This characteristic of garlic was important to the Roman army and it required all soldiers to eat garlic daily to give them an advantage over those who did not.

Another use for garlic water is that it can probably deliver usable amounts of allicin to fight bacteria in the stomach. The water that carries the allicin thins out the stomach acids, slowing down the rate at which it neutralizes the allicin and allowing some of it to kill bacteria and also the water, by thinning out the stomach acids, reduces the pain some people feel when they eat raw garlic . Because it is waterborne, some of its compounds can pass through the capillary walls and get into the bloodstream along with the H2O and have some beneficial effects. In the bloodstream garlic compounds won't last long before being pounced upon by the immune system, which will use these compounds to strengthen itself by making antibodies, for example.

Chemically, an interesting thing about garlic water is that it has both water-soluble and fat-soluble compounds and they work their way through the body in different way with the water-solubles going via the venous system whereas the fat-solubles enter through and travel via the lymphatic system.

Garlic can interfere with prescription medications, particularly anti-clotting agents, resulting in increased dosages, so if I were on any prescriptions, I would check with my doctor to see if garlic interferes with them and to adjust dosages accordingly. Use garlic wisely - the life you save may be your own.

If your house has a foul odor, even after you clean the mud out, garlic can actually be used as a house deodorant and fumigant, believe it or not. I have used this method of overcoming the smell of death twice, once when a small animal died in the heater of my car and again when a mouse died in an inaccessible area in a closet and it worked well both times to overcome the foul odors. Break several bulbs into cloves and crush the cloves and leave them all about the place (on saucers or paper plates) and then close it up for the night. When you come back the next day, the garlic will probably be the dominant odor, but that's usually preferable to a mildewy or sewage or rotting smell. Leave in place as long as necessary. Usually as the odor of garlic diminishes over a few days, the other odor is gone, too. If not, treat again, with more garlic if needed. Of course to be truly effective, you have to remove the source of the foul smell or it will continue to produce the offending odor.

There are going to be many thousands of houses with mold problems as a result of Katrina and Rita. Is the mold, stachybotrys species, toxic? Juries have said yes and insurance companies no longer cover it, but there is a new study by Emil J. Bardana, Jr., M.D. of Oregon Health and Science University that casts doubt on that. He says "We know that mold can make people sick if they end up in the foods they eat, but there is little evidence that inhaled environmental mold exposure can cause the serious illnesses that have been attributed to it." It is implied that other physical conditions present in the people involved in the study could explain the symptoms in most cases. Who do you believe? Is it possible that the smell is so bad it makes you think you are sick?

As pointed out above, garlic's vapors can kill bacteria, I wonder if they can also kill fungi and black mold? I would certainly try to find out. Experts say that the black mold, stachybotrys sp., can be killed with a solution of 9 parts water and one part bleach. I would definitely air the house out if I had just sprayed every nook and cranny in it with bleach water. If you can't get bleach, then crush some raw garlic and let it set a couple of hours to increase the amount of allicin and then dilute it in water and spray it everywhere you would spray with bleach if you had it. It may take multiple treatments and there are going to be some inaccessible places that will be missed. Don't forget the attic and under the house. Is the smell of bleach any more pleasant than the mold?

I wonder if baking soda would kill the fungus? Gardeners often use baking soda as a fungicide. If I know of a house that has some black mold in it, I will test it to see whether a baking soda and water solution works or not and publish the results of the test here. I used baking soda on lumber with fungus on it when I built my shipping department and have had no fungal problems in there so I anticipate positive results.

I am not recommending that people move back into mold-infested houses, what I am saying is that if you already feel you have no other choice and are going to do it anyway, you should take every precaution to protect your health with whatever resources you have on hand. Maybe that week-old garlic water with the strong smell would wipe out some of the fungus? Who knows? Anything is worth a try when times are desperate.

Garlic kills many fungi on contact including athlete's foot fungus, and candida species yeast, also.

Garlic will do nothing to improve the hot muggy days and nights without power or having to return to ancient ways of washing and cooking without modern conveniences. Eating garlic will not repel any mosquitoes, despite what you may have heard elsewhere, although if you're desperate enough not to care about social consequences, rubbing on exposed skin surfaces, oil that has had garlic cooked in it may kill /repel them because that garlicky oil will have large amounts of diallyl disulfide in it and diallyl disulfide is fatal to mosquitoes.

Maybe eating it can give you the stamina to persist. The Roman army thought so and it required all its soldiers to eat garlic for strength and stamina. I can say that eating garlic makes you feel good, at least according to one researcher, whose name escapes me, who said "Eating garlic gives the consumer an enhanced sense of well-being." Maybe it will help you get through the depression and anxiety that comes with the aftermath of disaster. Sometimes your best weapon is a positive attitude and garlic can help with that by helping you to feel better to begin with and the better you feel, the less prone you are to depression.


Make your own special garlic oil and fight cancer with it

People can easily make their own custom made garlic oils with unique benefits that can be used for different things, like inhibit the spread of cancer cells via the lymphatic system, for one or fighting breast cancer for another. I say this because a friend of mine recently used a home made custom blend garlic oil to make a one inch breast lump that had been growing for two years diminish by 95% in five weeks time by rubbing the oil into the skin. We cannot be certain whether the lump was malignant not nor can we say with certainty that it did not spontaneously go away by itself, though it seems unlikely that it did. It is simply a strong indication that it seems more likely than not that the special garlic oil resolved the lump.

Research at Penn State showed that Diallyl Trisulfide (DATS), which can be produced by crushing natural raw garlic and frying it in oil, inhibited or killed (dose-dependant) skin, colon and lung cancer cells on contact. Diallyl Disulfide (DADS) also worked but was only about 1/10th as potent. They didn't think it meant much because there didn't seem to be any way that one could put DATS into direct contact with cancer cells in vivo. Well, now there is. Join us and you can find out all the details and learn to make it and use it yourself at home.

They did not include breast cancer cells in the study but my friend's positive experience with it would seem to imply it kills breast cancer cells also.

Learn how one can easily process their own garlic into specialized blends to produce different oils for different purposes like for eating or for rubbing into the skin rather than consuming.

Learn how to make DATS and get it into the lymphatic system. DATS is fat soluble and too large to pass through the capillary walls, it flows into the lymphatic system which the breasts are laced with and the DATS simply kills any cancer cells it encounters inhibiting metastasis.


When I discuss garlic in this article I am referring to fresh garlic that has not been irradiated or de-natured in any way and has not yet sprouted. Unfortunately, this excludes most grocery store garlic as it sprouts too soon to be able to store at room temperature for very long, usually only a week or two. Some grocery store garlic is from China and has been irradiated and will not sprout or grow and irradiated garlic loses pungency (hotness) and is of doubtful benefit since it is no longer alive like normal garlic, it is simply the dead body of a once-living garlic. The enzyme that is the spark of life that causes the chemical reactions that make garlic work is no longer present in irradiated garlic and I do not think it can form the organosulfur compounds that make garlic work, although I have seen no research to prove this, specifically, only other research that would imply it.

Homegrown garlic, on the other will usually store 4 to 8 months at room temp. and that makes it the best for emergency use. Homegrown garlic harvests before hurricane season and stores all the way through it, so every family in the hurricane zone should grow some and they will be prepared every year.

Dried, wilted or diseased garlic is not good for the uses suggested above, only healthy, firm bulbs will work. Not all garlics will work equally well as different ones have different characteristics and the stronger, longer storing ones are usually best. Properly dehydrated (high room temperature process) garlic will also work, but not quite as well as fresh garlic. Freeze-dried garlic and garlic dehydrated using higher than room temperature heat will not work as their allicin-producing potential has been destroyed. Room temp dehydration preserves the allicin making potential. Grocery store garlic usually doesn't work because most of it has been stored at 32 degrees and upon returning to room temp, it sprouts and rapidly deteriorates.

Not all garlics work equally well, some are better than others for these purposes. Garlics which are hotter when eaten raw have greater pharmacological potential than milder garlics, according to research done by Dr. Larry Lawson and published in his comprehensive treatise, The Science and Therapeutic Application of Allium Sativum L. and Related Species, which is the most authoritative book on the subject written by probably the most qualified researcher.

In short, in the aftermath of a hurricane, earthquake, flood or similar disaster, if you have raw garlic and know how to use it, you have a better chance of surviving that those who do not.

My special thanks to three particular biochemists for the information they have passed on to me in their lectures at the Garlic is Life! Symposium and personal conversations we have had:
Eric Block, Ph. D., Chemistry Chair, SUNY at Albany and Larry Lawson, Ph. D., formerly Research Director at Nature's Way and currently Research Director of Plant Bioactives and David Mirelman, Ph. D., Chemistry Chair at the Weitzman Institute of Rehovot, Israel. Without the invaluable information I have learned first hand from these enlightened gentlemen, little of the information on this page would be available to me or anyone else. What they had to say was so important in helping me understand how garlic works in the human body that I felt an obligation to bring it to light so that the general public could have access to it. There are few, if any, other places where this kind of information is available to ordinary people.

Click here to learn more about garlic and growing your own garlic

Picture of the Garlicmeister playing his Indian flute.

Bob Anderson
Garlicmeister, a self-inflicted title for amusement only.
Photo courtesy of Bill Yeates.

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