by Paul Tarbath
Now, suppose someone said to you that garlic was not the magical health food that you were always led to believe, and was, in fact, something you should avoid eating altogether. You might well reason that people have been using it for many generations without any negative health effects and you would on the surface appear to be right. However, there is much evidence that points to garlic as being something which is unsuitable for use by humans.
In this article, we will look at various aspects of garlic, including the supposed health benefits, what it actually does to the human body, and why you should actually avoid using it, in either its cooked or raw form.
History of garlic
Garlic is a plant species in the onion genus, Allium and its close relatives include the leek, onion, rakkyo, shallot and chive.
It originated in Asia and has been used by humans for many thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It is often used to flavour dishes and is much touted for its supposed health benefits by many, including vegans, vegetarians and indeed many raw foodists.
Supposed health benefits
There have been a number of studies conducted on the supposed health benefits from garlic consumption and these have found that garlic has:
- Ability to lower blood pressure (1)
- Ability to lower blood cholesterol (1)
- Has natural antimicrobial effect against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites (2)
It has long been known to avid gardeners that garlic is a potent natural pesticide. Placing garlic plants alongside those that you want to protect from pests or using garlic in a natural pesticide spray are proven ways to protect your plants. It should be noted that no animal or insect eats garlic and this is due to the allicin in it, which gives it that well-known pungent taste and odour and is the plants defence mechanisms against potential predators.
Negative health effects:
Pregnant women and breast feeding mothers
Pregnant women and those that suckle their babies with their own breast milk should avoid garlic altogether as it has been noted to play a role in accidental abortions as well as altering the suckling behaviour of infants (3). These facts alone should make us seriously question whether garlic should be considered in any way healthy for humans.
Garlic is a rubefacient substance, which when applied directly to the surface of the skin as an oil will cause redness/swelling (inflammation), which is the body’s attempt to try and isolate the irritating (toxic) substance so that it cannot do any more damage to the body. People have even been known to suffer from burns due to applying garlic for various reasons including the control of acne (4).
A physicist by the name of Dr. Robert C Beck, DSc, gave a lecture at the Whole Life Expo, in March 1996 in the US and talked about why garlic is actually toxic to the human body. He said that garlic contains a substance which can penetrate the blood-brain barrier/corpus callosum in the brain, and is a poison for higher-life forms and brain cells (5).
He also related an account of when he was working in flight test engineering in the 1950’s and how the flight surgeon would come around and remind everyone not to touch any garlic 72 hours before they flew because it would double or even triple their reaction times (5).
Garlic blocks spiritual growth
There are many spiritual/religious groups that have long recognized the negative effects that garlic has upon the human body. Hindus avoid garlic due to believing it brings about negative effects upon the human body including bad body odour, bad breath, agitation and aggression and so is harmful on all four levels of the human being; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Even though garlic is used in Chinese culture it is still considered a harmful substance to various parts of the body and is believed to cause scattered energy and dizziness. Practitioners of Reiki have noted that garlic is one of the toxic substances that is expelled from the human body, which includes toxins such as medications, tobacco and alcohol. The consumption of garlic is also known by many yoga groups to negatively interfere with the practice of meditation.
In the past, both Yulia and I would have eaten garlic. I can remember eating garlic and the spacey feeling it would sometimes give me afterwards, not to mention the horrid, embarrassing odour that would taint my every breath and quite literally come out of the pores of my skin. Yulia would notice the effect of garlic on her digestion and also didn’t like waking up in the middle of the night from the taste of garlic in her month and its unpleasant odour.
Since we changed to a raw vegan diet, we noticed how very strong flavours such as those found with garlic and onions did not appeal to us anymore. It would seem our body’s began to point blank refuse to indulge us due to the very strong odour and taste, and now quite frankly even just the thought of smelling garlic on somebody’s breath repels us. Every meal and mouthful of whole foods that we eat now offer us differing flavours and smells and these would be completely extinguished if we added onions or garlic. For us now it is just not an option, as if we have grown out of eating it (garlic) as we have done with many other supposedly healthy foods.
As good as it may sound to many people that garlic can have a number of supposed positive health benefits, including the supposed lowering of blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, should we not be focusing on why these levels are elevated in the first place by identifying the root causes instead of simply focusing on dealing with the symptoms.
The very fact that garlic has antimicrobial properties should be a clear warning to anyone that it should not be considered in any way shape or form a food. With the knowledge that humans depend on symbiotic/friendly bacteria that live in our guts for many reasons of health including the production of B12 and vitamin K2 for example, it cannot be deemed a good idea in any sense to consume what is an antimicrobial, which has the very real potential for destroying these vital bacteria that we need for our well-being and proper body function.
Never be confused by the term ‘natural’ when it comes to garlic. This does not automatically equate to it being safe or indeed beneficial for humans to consume or use upon themselves in any shape or form. There are an endless amount of natural plants that we as humans would and should never consume or use, and one of these is garlic.
1) Ackermann RT, Mulrow CD, Ramirez G, Gardner CD, Morbidoni L, Lawrence VA. Garlic shows promise for improving some cardiovascular risk factors. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161:813–24.
2) Murray MT. The healing power of herbs: the enlightened person’s guide to the wonders of medicinal plants. 2d ed. Rocklin, Calif.: Prima, 1995.
3) Barnes J, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines. 2nd edition. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2002.
4) Baruchin A.M, Sagi A, Yoffe B, Ronen M (November 2001). ‘Garlic burns’. p781–2. http://www.burnsjournal.com/article/PIIS0305417901000390/abstract
5) From a lecture by physicist Dr. Robert C Beck, DSc, given at the Whole Life Expo, Seattle, WA, USA, in March 1996.
Photograph of garlic press (1) : By Lee Kindness [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons