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Garlic Pills, Oils, Etc.

Garlic lovers reek of good health - so eat, reek and be merry!

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Garlic Pills and Oils Table of Contents

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Important Background Information

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. In fact, I have no qualifications whatsoever 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 1999 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 comes mostly 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 and pass their knowledge along to their colleagues.
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 midwestern 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 patient 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.

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A Basic Look at How Garlic Works

The Physiological Effects of Eating 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 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 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.

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.
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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.

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 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 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?
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Professor Eric Block, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at State University of New York at Albany, discovered that when garlic is heated in solvents (or solvents mixed with water, but never in water, alone), such as acetone, or vegetable oil, it makes a compound which he named ajoene (pronounced AH-HOE-EEN, Ajo is spanish for garlic). Tests have shown ajoene to be especially effective at preventing blood clotting and thereby minimizing the probability of strokes and thromboses. Ajoene apparently affects the platelet's ability to produce thromboxane, which causes clumping. Only the oil-macerate garlic supplements contain Ajoene. Ajoene is also highly antibiotic and recent studies have shown it to have promise in treating colon cancer.

In Summary

I think most of the commercial preparations have health benefits, based on the research papers I have read and some of them seem to target certain areas better than others. Each person should read all they can on the matter and become a more educated consumer, then make up their own minds about which ones they want to use. I see nothing wrong with eating a reasonable amount of fresh and cooked garlic and supplementing it with commercial products.

For myself I believe in getting as much of this healthy food, herb, whatever people want to call it as I can in my system. I enjoy fresh garlic, which I believe to be very healthful, simply because I like the taste of it and the way it makes me feel and I'm just glad to know there are health benefits as an added bonus.

Click Here to order Sampler Assortments of Garlics - updated June 18, 2013.

Click Here to order bulk Garlics by varietal type - updated June 18, 2013.

Click Here to order bulk Garlics sorted by taste/flavor - updated June 18, 2013.

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Stylized caricature of a garlic plant.

- The information below is from gourmetgarlicgardens.com -
Please read.

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Important notes for credit/debit card users:

This Farmers market is like your local farmers market. Each grower handles their own financial transactions.

When using your credit/debit card to buy direct from different growers, a separate order is required for each grower. You may buy as many different kinds of garlic as you want from any grower on any order but each grower requires a separate credit card transaction so that S & H charges may be properly calculated. If you want to order garlic from more than one grower, a separate payment must be made to each grower because they are independant businesses in different places.

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Each grower/vendor is responsible for their own garlic and prompt shipping to the buyer. Gourmet Garlic Gardens is not responsible for any garlic sent directly from any grower/vendor to any buyer Gourmet Garlic Gardens' total liability from all causes is limited to refunding any monies the buyer has paid directly to Gourmet Garlic Gardens.

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Prices and availability of garlic subject to change without notice.

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Caricature of a garlic bulb.

How Our Garlics are Grown

All the garlic for sale in our online farmers market was grown without the use of petrochemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers; only natural and non-toxic fertilizers and pest control methods are used.

Some of our growers are Certified Organic and some are Certified Naturally Grown, which we regard as equal to Certified Organic in every meaningful way but without all the bureaucratic entanglements. All our farmers market growers grow organically and some are Certified Organic but not all want to be certified Organic because of the paperwork and reporting requirements and are among the best available sources of sustainable/ organic Garlic and they become Certified Naturally Grown, where the regulation comes from their fellow members rather than a federal bureacracy.

We do not allow growers who use synthetic petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides to participate in our farmers market.

All garlic in our farmers market is grown in North America, no others allowed.
This farmers market is strictly for small-scale North American market gardeners/growers who live and grow sustainably.

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We will be adding and deleting and changing the status of varieties often as our growers sell out of some and add more varieties so check back regularly to see what we currently list as available.
If you don't see what you want, check back again, we may have it later - we receive news about what's available from our growers continually. Or, E-Mail bob@web-access.net

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Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Four ways to buy from us:

If you know the name of the garlic you want to buy you can look it up in an alphabetical listing and click on its name...or

If you don't know the name of a good garlic, look one up in a listing by taste - mild, medium or strong and click on its name...or

Go to our farmers market and select a grower you feel good about and buy direct from them...or

Call me at (325) 348-3049

Order now for shipment in late summer/early fall 2013.

This Farmers market is like your local farmers market.

When using your credit/debit card to buy direct from different growers, a separate order is required for each grower. You may buy as many different kinds of garlic as you want from any grower on any order but each grower requires a separate credit card transaction so that S & H charges may be properly calculated. If you want to order garlic from more than one grower, a separate payment must be made to each grower because they are independant businesses in different places.

Caricature of a garlic bulb.

Stylized caricature of a garlic plant.

- Garlic Books, Etc. -

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New - The Complete Book of Garlic is the best, most comprehensive book yet about garlic.

Book cover

The Complete Book of Garlic
by Ted Jordan Meredith

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The Classic Commercial Garlic Growers Guide

Ron's book cover

Growing Great Garlic
by Ron Engeland

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A Miscellany of Garlic

is the newest book about garlic and it is well-written and reads easy as the author has a warm friendly writing style that makes it fun to read.

Book cover

A Miscellany of Garlic

by Trina Clickner

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If you don't see what you want, E-Mail bob@web-access.net

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Basic Ordering Information

On any page of this website where the lists of garlic cultivars are displayed you can click on the name of any garlic and get a picture and/or a detailed description of that variety and some buttons you can click on to buy direct from different growers. Just decide how many pounds of which varieties you want from each grower and use your credit card to buy on line.

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We make no guarantees or warranties of any kind whatsoever, expressed or implied, with respect to our garlic or the garlic sold by any growers who sell their garlic through our website. We do not guarantee or warrant the fitness, suitability or usability of our garlic for any particular purpose. We state only that the varieties we and the growers who sell through our website ship are to the best of our knowledge, the varieties we say they are. Any and all liability from all causes is limited to a refund of a customer's payment for the garlic in question.

We and the growers who sell through our website take great care to grow, harvest, cure and store our garlic properly and we will not knowingly ship garlic that is damaged, defective or diseased in any way we can see, feel or smell. We pack the garlic so as to minimize any probability of damage in shipment. If; however, you receive garlic that goes bad within 30 days, please call or e-mail the grower immediately stating the problem and return the defective garlic to the grower via Priority US Mail and the grower will either replace it at no additional charge, or refund your money for the defective garlic. It is our desire to provide our customers with the best garlic we can produce and enhance our reputation for excellence - but we cannot be held responsible for what happens after the garlic leaves our care.

All products are for sale to United States addresses only. We are not familiar with import-export laws and do not wish to engage in foreign trade at this time.

More TO COME...

Garlic Books, Garlic Accessories and Gardening Tools, Etc.

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Pic of wildflowers around our ranch.

- Pictures of our Fabulous spring wildflowers some years. -

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Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter did a story on me and the garlic for their long running TV program -
click here to see the 6:28 video on youtube:

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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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If you would like to communicate with us, please send email to:

Gourmet Garlic Gardens,
12300 FM 1176
Bangs, TX 76823 -
(325) 348 - 3049

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Our site is always under construction. -- This page last updated June 26, 2014.

Our webpages have been visited over 3 million times since July of 1997 by people looking for the latest information about garlic and to buy the best gourmet garlics. Thank you one and all.
- Copyright 1997 through 2013, all rightss reserved. -