One of the earliest plants on record that was used for health benefits is the garlic.

It has been found in ancient Greek temples and preserved cloves were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen who ruled from 1334 BC to 1325 BC. Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India each prescribed medical applications for garlic.

Here we give a brief description on how it works, how to consume large amounts without offending you friends ! and its benefits.

The chemistry

Allicin is the main medicinal chemical ingredient , first reported by Cavallito and Bailey in 1944, responsible for various health benefits. However, it is not contained in fresh garlic until …... !

The chemistry is complex. Fresh garlic contains an enzyme called “allinase” and “alliin”. This unique structure is designed as a defence mechanism against soil pathogens. When fungi or other soil pathogens attack the cloves, the membrane of those compartments is destroyed, and within 10 seconds, all the alliin is converted into a new compound called allicin. It is only now that the chemical is present in the garlic!

Allicin is available in supplement form through capsules, powder etc but is debatable as to whether the procedure in isolating and extracting the chemical , ruins the benefits. As its only a short lived chemical (half shelf -live of 2 days) it is hard to preserve. So it is best administered in its natural form

How to release the `Magic` !

As its the defence mechanism of the plant to produce and release allicin , then crushing or chopping the clove will cause the chemical reaction and make allicin. It is a very short lived reaction. After crushing the clove leave for 10 seconds or more. It is an instant reaction, but only happens when crushed or chopped. So swallowing whole cloves/chunks or chewing whole cloves and eating is completely non beneficial !

The best way to consume regularly, without offending your friends or partners !, is to place crushed cloves after 10 seconds or more in a glass of water and drink. This also helps prevent any stomach acids affecting the `magic` ingredients ! The heat from cooking garlic can destroy the allicin, so raw is the best , or add to ingredients in the last few minutes of cooking to get some benefit.

Health benefits

To list all the benefits of garlic would take a long time ! But it has been proven medically to prevent major ailments and disease. As allicin is only present in small quantities, 5 or 6 cloves per day is recommended, but more is fine.

Garlic contains powerful anti-oxidants and has antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties.

It is useful in treating mild intestinal infections, e.g. diarrhoea, and lung infections, e.g. bronchitis.

It is important in cardiovascular health as it improves circulation, lowers cholesterol levels and high blood pressure and helps prevent thrombosis.

Its antioxidants protect the body from cell damage and cancer. Due to the process in making Black Garlic , antioxidants are 3 times higher than raw conventional garlic

Garlic thins the blood, but is not recommended to replace anti-coagulants that you are prescribed. If you are prescribed an anti-coagulant, then do consult with your GP before use.

It helps to protect against various cancers – gastro and lung being the main ones. It has not been proven as a treatment for cancer.

You can purchase fresh, local, Irish garlic through our online shop delivered to your door or purchase at our retail outlets. Or visit us in person at one of our Farmers Markets were we will be happy to talk and advise.

Any other information please contact me – e mail, or tel 087 1333751