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Garlic as health booster Answered

From Unlocking the Benefits of Garlic in the New York Times:

The power to boost hydrogen sulfide production may help explain why a garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer, say the study authors. Higher hydrogen sulfide might also protect the heart, according to other experts. Although garlic has not consistently been shown to lower cholesterol levels, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine earlier this year found that injecting hydrogen sulfide into mice almost completely prevented the damage to heart muscle caused by a heart attack.

"People have known garlic was important and has health benefits for centuries," said Dr. David W. Kraus, associate professor of environmental science and biology at the University of Alabama. "Even the Greeks would feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games."

Now, the downside. The concentration of garlic extract used in the latest study was equivalent to an adult eating about two medium-sized cloves per day. In such countries as Italy, Korea and China, where a garlic-rich diet seems to be protective against disease, per capita consumption is as high as eight to 12 cloves per day.

I read this and immediately thought, "1-2 medium cloves per day! Christy and I probably eat that much in a single serving!"

Try upping your garlic with these awesome recipes:
Roasted Tomatoes
Roasted Eggplant with Garlic
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Garlic Mashed Potatoes

and here are some more recipes with lots of garlic.

45 Replies

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foodiealchemist (author)2008-08-07

Patrik, In korea, ginger is used in alchemy with mercury by taoists. Then the deadly mercury is orally consumed. THATS how powerful ginger is. BUT as far as garlic goes, while normal garlic can fight cancer as mentioned above, aged six clove black garlic actually is genetically superior and is the most powerful anti-everything!

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trebuchet03 (author)2007-11-27

Now if a similar study on Ginger find the same thing... You'll live forever :p

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Patrik (author)trebuchet032007-11-27

Oh, ginger has all kind of health benefits as well - there just haven't been as many scientific studies done on it yet. If I remember correctly, ginger, turmeric and galangal (essential ingredient in Tom Kha Gai - Thai coconut soup) are all from the same family. Turmeric has probably been studied more intensely. Apart from being a common ingredient in curries (it's what creates the yellow color), it is also an important herb in Ayurveda, the health science of India. Among other properties, it has a strong antimicrobial action. Ginger is known more for it's digestive effect. It is also heating (try some hot lemon and ginger juice on a freezing day!), and a stimulant.

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Goodhart (author)Patrik2007-11-30

galangal is a new one to me.....I will have to search around for that one.....trouble is, many of our health food stores are dying out here. Rhubarbs just went the way of all lifeforms. *sigh*

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Patrik (author)Goodhart2007-11-30

If there are any Thai restaurants around - coconut soup ( Tom Kha ) is probably the second most common item on the menu, after Pad Thai. A decent Tom Kha will have a few oval slices of a fairly fibrous root floating in it - about an inch or so in diameter. That is galangal.

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canida (author)Patrik2007-11-30

It looks a lot like ginger- slightly smoother skin, but almost indistinguishable when peeled, sliced, and cooked. It has a really complex floral aroma- when you smell some, it suddenly becomes obvious and unavoidable.

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Goodhart (author)canida2007-11-30

I will look for it - thanks.

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Goodhart (author)Patrik2007-11-30

Our grocer carries some things like this, but not this one. I will have to call around to see if it is available, and get some more recipes also. I love to cook (I just wish I didn't have to clean up afterwards LOL).

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canida (author)Patrik2007-11-30

They certainly look quite similar.
We pick up all three from Berkeley Bowl on a regular basis. I find that grated fresh tumeric is an incredible improvement over the powdered stuff, which usually tastes like dirt. Ginger survives somewhat better in powder form, but still- fresh is wonderful. I've never tried dried/powdered galangal, but can't imagine it's any good- those wonderful aromatics wouldn't survive well.

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Patrik (author)canida2007-11-30

I've tried powdered galangal - it sucks! Nothing like the fresh stuff, which luckily seems more and more easy to find around these parts. Personally, I love my Tom Kha Gai with as much "inedibles" as possible. I love to chew on the galangal slices, lemongrass stalks and even lime leaves to get all the flavor out...

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Goodhart (author)Patrik2007-11-27

Oh yes it is great for the tummy. I used to enjoy "real" ginger ale (a drink that actually had ginger in it, not the stuff in the groceries now....unless you get the Goya Brand.....Jamaican style Ginger Ale (with a touch of capsicum in it ;-) ). I loved a product called Ginger beer (like root beer except with real ginger in it), but can't find it anymore in the grocers.

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canida (author)Goodhart2007-11-30

Here's a nice recipe for ginger ale- we've tried it, and found it quite good.

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Goodhart (author)canida2007-11-30

Thank you


That really looks good (I had a recipe a long time ago, but it has long been lost).

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trebuchet03 (author)Goodhart2007-11-27

I loved a product called Ginger beer (like root beer except with real ginger in it), but can't find it anymore in the grocers.

Did it happen to be a product o Jamaica? And leave a semi burning sensation in your mouth? If so, I totally know what you're talking about! And also haven't seen it in awhile :/

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Goodhart (author)trebuchet032007-11-28

Well, the Goya brand ginger drink is from Jamaica and has a little capsicum (hot pepper juice) in it for that burn, but the original drink; Ginger Beer I partook of was mainly water, ginger and some sugar. It had a little burn also, as ginger does, but not on the same scale as the Goya product. Both are good for the tummy in one way or another. I just haven't seen the Ginger Beer product, for years now :..-.(

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Patrik (author)2007-11-27

Has anyone tried aged black garlic? It comes in the familiar garlic bulbs, but when you peel away the skin, the cloves are all black and soft. Tastes very sweet, not garlicky at all. Supposed to be a Korean snack/health food.

Here in the Bay Area, you can find them at the checkout counters in the Berkeley Bowl. I assume some of the Korean grocery stores in Oakland or SF may carry them as well.

Well look at that - here's a nice article at The Cook’s Kitchen, by someone who found this stuff same place I did:

Korean Aged Black Garlic

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ewilhelm (author)Patrik2007-11-27

OK, I also shop at Berkeley bowl and have never seen this! Did someone put a bag over my head when I wasn't looking?!? I am definitely getting it next trip.

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This is why I love the net, five minutes ago I'd never heard of black garlic, quick search and I find an importer selling a black garlic fermenting machine, an abstract about the impact of fermenting garlic on levels of tetrahydro beta carboline, and plenty of recipes. My brains getting full.

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Patrik (author)Tool Using Animal2007-11-27

Heh. I actually brought some for the Halloween party at Instructables HQ last month - in keeping with the "black food" theme - but I never pulled them out, figuring they would probably just get overlooked on the table anyway.

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canida (author)Patrik2007-11-30

Probably true. This sounds totally awesome, though- we'll grab some next time we're at BB.

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Patrik (author)canida2007-11-30

Just don't expect it to actually *taste* much like garlic. :-D

It's a good one to stump dinner guests though!

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Fermented Garlic! That sounds awesome! I need to read up, and see if it's done anything like sour kraut. I have requests to make homemade batches of sour kraut from my family - perhaps a bucket of fermenting garlic too :D

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zachninme (author)ewilhelm2007-11-27

I have a feeling Christy's new noseclips are on a related issue...

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zachninme (author)2007-11-27

I LOVE GARLIC!

<3

We eat a lot of garlic too... its so... good...

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Aeshir (author)zachninme2007-11-30

Z'OMG I LUVS GARLIC! GARLIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RAWR! Yeah, my whole family loves garlic (though i'm not sure about my sister). GAAAAARRRRRRRRRLIIIIIIC!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sedgewick17 (author)2007-11-27

My parents farm sheep part time, and they are thinking about using garlic to worm sheep. Apparently Farmers use to give there animals garlic and other strong plants (sometimes they used tobaco.No I am not joking), because garlic and other plants contain something which kills worms and parasites.

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Goodhart (author)Sedgewick172007-11-27

I am not so sure that one actually works, despite it's long history of use.

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Goodhart (author)Goodhart2007-11-27

One animal vet says: The myths that perturb me the most deal with health, like some of the remedies still practiced by many of today's keepers, like using "Tobacco, Garlic or Pumpkin as deworming agents."

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Sedgewick17 (author)Goodhart2007-11-28

I am hard pressed to find an excuse as to why garlic would not be working, because if the animal did not receive some form of treatment it would become anemic and die. I have seen sheep like this before, and they will go surprisingly fast

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Goodhart (author)Sedgewick172007-11-28

I don't know, and I am certainly not trying to dissuade you from continuing treatment that appears to be working. I do know that it is a dangerous thing to give to some animals, small ones specifically; like cats and dogs. It can be deadly.

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ewilhelm (author)Sedgewick172007-11-27
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Sedgewick17 (author)Goodhart2007-11-28

Well according to my parents the garlic has no effect on the taste of the meat.

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Goodhart (author)2007-11-27

I guess that makes sense: black tea is fermented green tea :-)

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shangrilarcadia (author)2007-11-27
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Tool Using Animal (author)2007-11-27

I love garlic, but I avoid it, maybe it's me, but one clove and for the next week, I'm breathing & sweating garlic. Socially unacceptable, don't you know?

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The Times article suggests fennel seeds to combat this issue. Experiment and report back with an Instructable!

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Sounds like a perfect excuse for Skorthalia and Ouzo this weekend.

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Scientifically, if I remember correctly, this is the most effective way it keeps us from getting sick. No sick person (nor any other person) will get closer then 20 feet away LOL.

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canida (author)Tool Using Animal2007-11-27

Clearly the solution is to convince everyone around you to eat more garlic!

Crisis averted.

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Patrik (author)2007-11-27

I love garlic, but I managed to overdose on it once at the Stinking Rose in SF. We each probably had the equivalent of 2 or more bulbs of garlic in a single sitting (including their yummy Bagna Calda ), and I was suffering from stomach cramps and nausea for almost a week after. Guess I just don't metabolize garlic all that well.

I still love the taste, although I probably stayed away from eating any garlic for about a year afterwards, and I am still careful when eating it...

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ewilhelm (author)Patrik2007-11-27

Maybe the garlic wasn't fully cooked? I know both garlic and onions can be pretty powerful in their raw form.

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Patrik (author)ewilhelm2007-11-27

Well, their recipe for Bagna Calda does include heating the garlic in olive oil for 1 and 1/2 hours. I'd call that fully cooked. ;)

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Goodhart (author)Patrik2007-11-27

Raw garlic is very strong, so eating too much could produce problems, for example irritation of or even damage to the digestive tract.

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Goodhart (author)2007-11-27

PS: because Garlic does thin the blood, it is not so good to partake of if you are are on coumadin, aspirin or other blood thinners. and yes, I love garlic too :-) ~-~

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