The Stinking Rose a Smelly Sham? – Garlic’s Obscure Shadow

by Ravi

LIES! Here’s the TRUTH! Urban Myth! Garlic is Great! Garlic is a NEUROTOXIN! Garlic CURES ALL DISEASE! Garlic de-synchronizes your brain! Eat garlic everyday! Don’t eat garlic!

Don’t ya just love the internet?

I just recently had an e-mail exchange with an interesting man who brought to my attention a respected researcher’s seriously negative comments about garlic. In an effort to present you (dear reader…) with some “real” information, and also because, like most avid cooks, I have many forms of garlic in my seasoning arsenal and have consumed garlic liberally for years, I definitely wanted to see if there was any substance to the claim that there are compounds in garlic that are neuro-toxic (!!??). Consider,  as recounted in my recent sugar article here – I was brought up on refined white sugar and would have argued like hell with you 25 years ago if you had suggested that this white death was in fact, white death!  I’ve had to accept that my life-long attitude towards sugar has changed with the new information I have learned – so, what about garlic?

What did I find out about the infamous, much loved Stinking Rose?

Very compelling stuff actually. And not all rosy-smelling.

I would probably have disregarded my aforementioned exchange because no matter how much I requested some kind of logic, proofs, research implications, or verification of these claims (that garlic is a neuro-toxin and dumbs us down bit by bit), my correspondent simply could/would not provide them.  But in my own extensive searching, I ran across more than a few compelling tidbits.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism (its own branch of Buddhism), Chinese Taoism, Ayurveda, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese Zen (all far-flung disciplines developing for millennia somewhat independent of each other) all consider a certain group of plants to be unfit for regular human consumption even though they may, on careful occasions only, use them medicinally.  Each of these cultural traditions speaks of the ills that will befall those eating from this group of plants regularly. The ills range from the physical to the spiritual. Most ashrams (holy villages) in India, Tibet, and Nepal actually prohibit the consumption of this particular group of plants by visitors and devotees and certainly never on their ashram grounds.  The claim is that this group of plants when consumed create agitation and aggression, interfere with the ability of the mind to focus, disturb meditation and inhibit the ability to reach higher spiritual states.

And what is that group of plants?

It is the Alliums – garlic and her sisters.

… and THAT’S what caught my attention.  The alarming claim made by Dr. Bob Beck in some 1990’s research,  a claim that I was unable to verify no matter what amount of searching – was that a compound in garlic actually stopped communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.  Such an action would effectively destroy a persons ability to make serious progress in concentrated tasks, would inhibit analysis/response times, and make meditation and focus to obtain a higher meditative state almost impossible.

Or, as my correspondent had said – garlic when consumed regularly – slowly makes you dumber, less alert, less aware and eventually, physically ill. Mr Beck, who died in 2002, was a very respected physicist, inventor and researcher and his candor in the video is apparent.  However, he left virtually no trail to follow for the impressive claims he made – no books, no serious published study results, nada.  Additionally, it seems no one of any merit has subsequently followed up on his claims or supposed research finds.

Sadly, no matter what sincerity you may observe in this YouTube video of Bob’s talk from the 1990’s, there were several other claims he made about garlic that seem pointedly absurd. Bob claims garlic was rubbed on bullets to assure a bullet-nicked enemy death in WWI, because, Bob says, garlic in the bloodstream will quickly kill. Unfortunately, there is pretty substantial evidence that from the middle ages up through WWII, due to lack of real antibiotics, garlic was liberally rubbed in open wounds to prevent infection (which apparently worked very well).  In fact, garlic was nicknamed “Russian Antibiotic” during that last big conflict for that very reason.

So what we are left with is some substantive kind of cognitive dissonance – negative claims about garlic that are compelling, meaningful and seemingly sincere, but ultimately cannot be verified slamming up against the current “garlic-as-cure-all” modern stand.  You could just toss them out till you consider some significant ancient clues –  disperse ancient cultural wisdom considered this plant group inappropriate for very similar reasons that would lend credence to these modern claims by Mr. Beck.  Quite a can-o-worms….

Garlic has, over the Millennium, changed from  “Medicine” to “Food”.


Is Garlic Really Healthy to Consume Everyday?

Garlic shares family ties with leeks, onions and shallots – the family name is genus Allium (Latin for garlic…).  Throughout history and across the spectrum of human populations and cultures, alliums, and more specifically garlic, has played a hugely significant role in human self-medication and health.

But therein likes the rub (so to speak…). Garlic has not, until very recently (the 20th century), been widely used as any kind of food, food seasoning or daily supplement. There seems to be many more references in surviving ancient texts as to its repugnance to the sensibilities (of especially the upper classes) and it NOT being used in food than there are evidences that it was used in food back into antiquity.  Don’t get this wrong – it HAS been consumed and applied – but as a medicinal substance for a wide variety of ailments that science is now starting to test for efficacy. (However, and this is good fodder for conspiracy theorists, garlic was, in the past, liberally dispensed to the lower classes, slaves and soldiers for the supposed “benefits” – a way to keep them pacified and dumb perhaps?)

In recent years, in fact, the amount of research on this  little stinking rose is overwhelming.  One recent research summary saying over 1300 published research studies and an additional 700 chemical studies – and the results are often impressive – but then again, often not.

For example, for some years, certain research results seemed to indicate that garlic had a significant effect on lowering LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. You can now find that claim on tens of thousands of websites – but it seems that it is just not true. Unfortunately, the whole need to lower cholesterol is based on what increasingly looks to be a faulty theory (in regards to heart disease) and on top of that – a well-conducted study in 2007 found that several varying preparations of garlic simply had no effect whatsoever on LDL cholesterol levels – and these tests were in vivo (in real persons).

The energetic  – well no, actually – the monumental push for garlic to be the cure-all of our species has been relentless in the last 50 years with people using massive amounts of garlic either in food or as supplements or both.  I saw a statistic that garlic supplements are used two times as much as the nearest competing supplement,  echinacea.  That’s a whole stinkin’ pile of garlic! And for the massive increase in per capita garlic use (estimated at between 3 and 10 times over the last few decades),  have we saved the human race from its ills?

It would seem not.

So, what’s REALLY going on here?

Here is what I believe has happened.  Humans have known for time-immemorial that garlic was an exceptionally strong and powerful plant with almost uncountable beneficial uses for healing and related medical uses (ridding the body of parasites for example).  For most of human existence, when we had this knowledge, we wielded it with quite some care as it was well known that this family of plants had substantial and far-reaching powers on our biology, physiology and psychology.

Along comes our current 2-3 decades-old, consumerist driven “health” movement – a startling marketing phenomenon of now worldwide magnitude that congealed in the wake of (and much to the dismay of) the original hippie movement and “raised” consciousness of the 1960’s and 70’s.

In short – there was big money to be made on an aging, somewhat liberal (certainly gullible …), politically-displaced and now genuinely consumerist baby-boom population and their now thoroughly hyper-consumerist (and even more gullible) kids and grandkids.

The generations of embedded trust in garlic and its folk-healing powers made it an absolutely “perfect” product to push and push hard. Damn the torpedoes (of intelligent and prudent use of a powerful natural drug) – we should sell this for every day supplementation and while we’re at it – let’s love it to death in our food every day as well! (just look at the money to be made!!)

But what if the ancients were a hell of a lot smarter than we are?

(I sincerely don’t think that would take much…).

I’ll leave this post with the following excerpts and quotes so you may, for yourself, consider to stop eating onions, garlic and leeks except for the specific and very useful medicinal purposes and conditions.  My intuitions says that Dr. Bob Beck was onto something that he did not really complete for us to use effectively. Oh well, what to do?

Regardless, combined with all the things I have absorbed in the past days – I’ll learn to use other better choices for seasoning my food and leave the garlic to its proper place in my “medicine” cabinet.

Krishna followers (Hinduism) : Onions and garlic, and the other Alliums are classified as rajasic and tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance. {” Garlic and onions are both Rajasic and Tamasic, and are forbidden to Yogis because they root the consciousness more firmly in the body “, says Dr.Robert E.Svoboda}

Chinese Taoist : The Taoists realized thousands of years ago that plants of the alliaceous family were detrimental to humans in their healthy state. Tsang-Tsze said that these pungent vegetables contain five different kinds of enzymes which cause “reactions of repulsive breath, extra-foul odour from perspiration and bowel movements, and lead to lewd indulgences, enhance agitations, anxieties and aggressiveness,” especially when eaten raw.

Chinese Buddhist Traditions: Some Mahayana Buddhists in China, Japan and Vietnam specifically avoid eating strong-smelling plants, traditionally garlic, Allium chinense, asafoetida, shallot, and mountain leek, and refer to these as 五荤 ‘Five Acrid And Strong Smelling Vegetables’ or 五辛 ‘Five Spices’ as they tend to excite senses. This is based on teachings found in the Brahma Net Sutra, the Surangama Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra (chapter 8). In modern times this rule is often interpreted to include other vegetables of the onion genus, as well as coriander. In Taiwan, Buddhist monks, nuns and most lay followers eat no animal products or the fetid vegetables – traditionally garlic, Allium chinense, asafoetida, shallot, and Allium victorialis (victory onion or mountain leek) – although in modern times this rule is often interpreted to include other vegetables of the onion genus, as well as coriander. And even the Romans: Perhaps it is with an awareness of this that the Roman poet Horace wrote of garlic that it is “more harmful than hemlock”.

and finally in the present day, PubMed listings of not so happy garlic findings:

Adverse Effects & Toxicity of Garlic

Food allergies can be due to a weak allergenicity (garlic, onion, potato), or a weak (or increasing) exposure to emergent food allergens which can be imported (exotic fruits), or recently introduced (lupin, buckwheat, sesame, inulin) or modified by the industry. [Article in French] Bandelier 2008

[Endoscopic removal of an unusual foreign body: a garlic-induced acute esophageal injury] Kim 2008

Case reports suggest garlic use may cause allergic reactions (allergic dermatitis, urticaria, angiedema, pemphigus, anaphylaxis and photoallergy), alteration of platelet function and coagulation (with a possible risk of bleeding), and burns (when fresh garlic is applied on the skin). Borrelli 2007

Determination of the safe dose of garlic in male wistar rats shows that garlic with high dose has the potential to induce liver damage and low doses (0.1 or 0.25 g / kg body weight/day) are safe doses of garlic. Rana 2006

Organosulfur compounds present in garlic, including diallyl sulfide (DAS) and allyl methyl sulfide, may be beneficial in inhibiting chemically-induced colon cancer, but longer dosing with higher concentrations of DAS may elicit minor hepatic toxicity. Davenport 2005

Garlic has been shown to induce oxidative stress in rat hepatocytes which has been used as a model to study the hepatoprotective property of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Telfairia occidentalis leaf. Oboh 2005

Side effects of garlic generally are mild and uncommon. Garlic appears to have no effect on drug metabolism, but patients taking anticoagulants should be cautious. It seems prudent to stop taking high dosages of garlic seven to 10 days before surgery because garlic can prolong bleeding time. Tattelman 2005

[Garlic burns: a not-so-rare complication of a naturopathic remedy?] Dietz 2004

Contact dermatitis, particularly affecting the fingertips, is a recognized presentation of garlic allergy. There have been no recommendations in the literature with respect to type of gloves that offer the best protection against diallyl disulphide, the major allergen in garlic and onion. Moyle 2004

Literature review found 6 herbs including garlic modulate the activity of drug-metabolizing enzymes (notably cytochrome p450 isozymes) and/or the drug transporter P-glycoprotein hence may have potential pharmacokinetic interactions with anticancer drugs. Sparreboom 2004

[Gladness and troubles for using garlic as an anti-oxidant] [Article in Chinese] Zhang 2004

The literature on potential risks of commonly used herbal medications including Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, Garlic, Kava and Ephedra was reviewed. [Article in Hebrew] Zlotogorski Hurvitz 2004

Performance of phototests for ultraviolet B, A & visible light as well as patch tests & photopatch tests for 49 allergens from New York University Skin & Cancer Unit Photopatch Test Series showed 3 patients had positive photopatch-test results to diallyl disulfide, the allergen in garlic. Alvarez 2003

Review of antioxidant effect of garlic found the presence of more than one compound in garlic may have counteractive effects. Raw garlic has high antioxidant potential but higher doses may be toxic to the heart,liver and kidney. Banerjee 2003

Sufficient evidence has been provided for semi-dried tomatoes and fresh garlic to be considered as potential risk foods in future Salmonella outbreak investigations. Bennett 2003

Most topical preparations are benign; however, garlic poultices can cause burns. Fugh-Berman 2002

Anesthetists and surgeons need familiarity with the effects of herbal medicines including garlic, since some have benefits, and some are associated with adverse effects such as increased bleeding tendencies and drug interactions. Hodges 2002

[Occupational contact dermatitis from a garlic and herb mixture.] Hughes 2002

S-allylcysteine, an amino acid derived from garlic showed stable properties and its acute/subacute toxicity was very minor in mice and rats (LD(50) value >54.7 mM/kg po; >20 mM/kg ip). Kodera 2002a

[Allergy to garlic.] Pires 2002

Constituents of Ginkgo biloba, kava, garlic, evening primrose oil, and St. John’s wort significantly inhibited one or more of the cDNA human P450 isoforms at concentrations of less than 10 uM. Zou 2002

[Inhibition of carcinogenesis and toxicity by dietary constituents.] Yang 2001

The commonly used herbal medications which pose a concern during the perioperative period can give rise to complications including bleeding by garlic, ginkgo, and ginseng. Ang-Lee 2001

A patient with a second-degree burn of the forehead, induced by topical application of crushed garlic is reported. Baruchin 2001

Direct administration of pulverized enteric-coated garlic products on the gastric mucosa caused reddening of the mucosa. When an enteric-coated tablet was administered orally, it caused loss of epithelial cells at the top of crypts in the ileum. Hoshino 2001

Toxicity of binary (1:1) and tertiary (1:1:1) combinations of the essential oil of cedar and neem powder from bulb of garlic and ginger oleoresin with Lawsonia inermis and Embelia ribes fruit powder were studied against L. acuminata and L. exustus. Singh 2001

“Allergic contact dermatitis from diallyl disulfide ” (no abstract) Fernandez-Vozmediano 2000

Herbs and dietary supplements have been associated with adverse effects and interactions; for example, garlic inhibits platelet aggregation and can cause significant anticoagulation. Fugh- Berman 2000

Application of 15 freshly sliced cloves of garlic fixed to the left knee of a 42 year old woman with film for three hours produced a 2% blistering erythematous rash mimicking second degree burns. [Article in Danish] Hviid 2000

Constituents of garlic have the potential to oxidize erythrocyte membranes and hemoglobin, inducing hemolysis associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes in dogs. Thus, foods containing garlic should not be fed to dogs. Lee 2000

A 3-month-old infant with blistering lesions and a second-degree burn from topical application of garlic is reported. Rafaat 2000

“Allergenic cross-reactivity in the Liliaceae family ” (no abstract) Sanchez-Hernandez 2000

Anti-alliinase antibodies in human serum contain the motif-GKXVXX- Tchernychev 2000

Role of certain foods–including garlic, onion & leeks in provoking and exacerbating pemphigus (skin disease) Brenner 1999

“Severe toxic contact dermatitis caused by garlic ” (no abstract) Eming 1999

Case of a patient with a positive type-IV patch test for diallyl disulfide and strong, non-irritant reactions after 20 min and 24 hrs in the scratch chamber test with fresh total garlic. Overview of literature on adverse events. Jappe 1999

Colchicum autumnale confused with wild garlic (Allium ursinum) resulted in death of one and a 3-day episode of nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhea in the other person Klintschar 1999

Case of anaphylactic reaction after eating young garlic in a woman with prior history of allergy & exercise-induced anaphylaxis who had IgE-binding bands at 12 kDa to young garlic, garlic, onion & leek extracts Perez-Pimiento 1999

“A case of garlic allergy ” (no abstract) Asero 1998

Garlic sensitization was shown by a bronchial challenge test in 7 out of 12 garlic workers Anibarro 1997

Occupational dermatitis of the fingers from onion, garlic & tulips Bruynzeel 1997

Time for the first platelet aggregate to appear in pial arterioles was delayed by 100 mg/kg garlic or by 25 mg/kg aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) el-Sabban 1997

“Garlic burns of the breast ” (no abstract) Roberge 1997

Low doses of garlic (50 mg/kg) to rats had little effect on lung & liver tissues as compared to controls whereas high doses (500 mg/kg) resulted in profound changes in lung & liver tissues Alnaqeeb 1996

“Can inhalation of garlic dust cause asthma? ” (no abstract) Armentia 1996

Allergic contact dermatitis to garlic usually has a typical clinical presentation but can be masked by another form of hand dermatitis. Patch testing with 1% diallyl disulfide in petrolatum is recommended if suspected Delaney 1996

“Garlic burns mimicking herpes zoster ” (no abstract) Farrell 1996

Of 1000 dermatology patients, 5 had occupational (food handling) allergy to spices, including garlic, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove. Although rare, it should not be overlooked Kanerva 1996

A case of occupational asthma caused by several aromatic herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and garlic, the latter inducing greatest RAST reactivity Lemiere 1996

Case of superficial pemphigus associated with eating garlic Ruocco 1996

Pemphigus is induced, in vitro, with skin samples from patients cultured with allylmercaptan, allylmethylsulfide & allylsulfide from garlic Brenner 1995

“Effects of garlic extract on platelet aggregation ” (no abstract) Myers 1995

Human serum contains natural antibodies to alliinase (Alliin lyase) and mannose-specific lectin from garlic Tchernychev 1995

Pollen allergy patients have more food allergies, especially peanut, garlic, tomato, onion; and fruits, such as peach; and animal foods, such as egg (white) and pork Boccafogli 1994

“Garlic-induced systemic contact dermatitis ” (case report, no abstract) Burden 1994

Ornithine decarboxylase activity (ODC) is increased by allyl mercapton which might contribute to hepatocarcinogenesis Takada 1994

“Garlic burns ” (case report, no abstract) Garty 1993

Three cases of occupational asthma and rhinitis attributed to garlic. (no abstract) Seuri 1993

Data from rat study indicate that the effect of garlic oil on the hepatic drug-metabolizing enzyme system is dose-dependent. Dalvi 1992

“Allergic contact dermatitis from garlic ” (no abstract) McFadden 1992

300 & 600 mg/kg/24 h of a Garlic bulb aqueous extract for 21 days causes toxic effects in rats Fehri 1991

8 patients developed contact dermatitis after rubbing the cut end of a fresh garlic bulb onto their skin to treat fungal and other infections. Patch tests with garlic extract were all negative Lee 1991

“Allergic contact dermatitis due to garlic (Allium sativum) ” (no abstract) Lembo 1991

[Allergic contact dermatitis attributed to garlic (Allium sativum).] Lembo 1991

“An equine case of urticaria associated with dry garlic feeding ” (no abstract) Miyazawa 1991

Increased weight of seminal vesicles & epididymides of male mice after 3 months of garlic water extract in drinking water (100 mg/kg/d) al-Bekairi 1990

“Factitial dermatitis induced by application of garlic ” (case report, no abstract) Kaplan 1990

Case of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma causing paraplegia secondary to a qualitative platelet disorder attributed to excessive garlic ingestion Rose 1990

Rise in urea & D-aspartate aminotransferase and inhibition of alkaline phosphatase in serum in rats fed garlic extract (20 ml/kg) for 10 days. Garlic oil (100 mg/kg) caused lethal acute pulmonary oedema Joseph 1989

“Contact allergy to garlic used for wound healing ” (no abstract) Bojs 1988

Botulism associated with commercial chopped garlic in soybean oil St Louis 1988

Hand eczema among 50 caterers was associated with fish & garlic Cronin 1987

Case of a child who sustained partial thickness burns from a garlic-petroleum jelly plaster Parish 1987

Sperm motility was inhibited by 7.5 mg/ml of allitridum from garlic Qian 1986

11 cases of Allium contact dermatitis of the fingers of housewives Fernandez de Corres 1985

Case report and literature review of allergy to onion & garlic, usually an eczema of the fingertips. Risk groups include grocers, housewives & cooks Lautier 1985

Genotoxic effects of orally administered garlic and turmeric were not found with bone-marrow cells of mice Abraham 1984

LD50 of garlic extract by P.O., I.P. & S.C. administration were estimated over 30 ml/kg in rats & mice Nakagawa 1984

“Suspected wild garlic poisoning in sheep ” (no abstract) Stevens 1984

Garlic-sensitive patients showed positive tests to diallyldisulfide, allylpropyldisulfide, allylmercaptan and allicin Papageorgiou 1983

Erratic pulse rates & abnormal ECG, weight loss, lethargy, dehydration & tender skin in toxicological test of garlic in 8 rats for 28 days Ruffin 1983

“Immediate and delayed sensitization to garlic ” (case report, no abstract) Campolmi 1982

“Occupational allergy secondary inhalation of garlic dust ” (no abstract) Couturier 1982

“Effects of chronic administration of garlic (Allium sativum Linn) on testicular function ” (no abstract) Dixit 1982

Repeated exposure to garlic dust induced severe asthma in an atopic patient who also had high levels of garlic specific IgE Lybarger 1982

Case of garlic dust precipitated asthma in a person with IgE anti-garlic antibodies Falleroni 1981

“Contact dermatitis caused by Allium sativum ” (Romanian case report, no abstract) Martinescu 1981

“Contact sensitivity to garlic (Allium) ” (case report, no abstract) Mitchell 1980

“Occupational eczema from garlic and onion ” (no abstract) van Ketel 1978

53 patients with contact dermatitis on the fingertips had positive patch tests garlic > onion > tomato > carrot. The antigens in garlic & onion were extractable in water, ether, acetone, or alcohol Sinha 1977

Contact allergy by metal, onion & garlic in food handlers Hjorth 1976

“Contact dermatitis to garlic; crossreactivity between garlic, onion and tulip ” (no abstract) Bleumink 1973

“Allergic contact dermatitis to garlic ” (no abstract) Bleumink 1972

“Garlic food allergy with symptoms of Meniere’s disease ” (Czech, no abstract) Benes 1966

If you would like a more detailed, scientific/nutritional look at garlic, here is a very good paper.

Post part of Pennywise Platter return here

Do you have anything to say about the stinking rose? Pro or con? Say it here.


8 Responses to The Stinking Rose a Smelly Sham? – Garlic’s Obscure Shadow

  1. Kelli says:

    Sorry, I’m still keeping my garlic. I actually took it as a supplement everyday for a few months during the Winter to keep myself from getting ill. But I stopped taking it now. I’ve always loved the smell and taste of garlic. And I’m sure its far less dangerous than Big Pharma’s drugs anyway just like with many other supplements that are so-called “dangerous”. So I would much rather stick to garlic than get a dangerous vaccine. And if you look at most those pubmed articles you’ll see that those were people who were allergic to garlic. If your not allergic than it shouldn’t hurt you.

    No offense or anything, but I’m sure garlic isn’t nearly as bad as many synthetic chemicals out there.

    • daiaravi says:

      … everyone’s prerogative to choose! (till big pharma pays legislators to tell you what to do…) I think the biggest single point of my discoveries is that garlic has only been used daily by our latest generation – and for thousands of years stretching into the past – it has been used almost exclusively as a medicine sparingly and in specific situations-

      i don’t think it is prudent antibiotics everyday no matter how good they may be in the right situation…

  2. Lucy says:

    I think that, no matter the vegetable/animal, the more you cook it, the less healthy it is. Therefore, using it in cooking, the way we do today, probably renders it completely useless. I love garlic and always eat a couple of raw cloves if I think Im getting ill. Works a charm every time. That said, my Dad’s body doesnt agree with garlic, onion or green peppers. We live in a society that approaches diet with an attitude of “one size fits all”
    We’re all different, much like clothing sizes. Someone may fit a pair of size 10 jeans; someone may benefit from garlic

    • daiaravi says:

      as a person trying to formulate my best spiritual self, i took heed of the ancients warnings against the alliums – and give that there is hardly any history of us using them – garlic specifically – as foodstuff – i judge this ancient advice to very possibly have some validity even though i cannot find any hard data to back it –

      that said – and unlike, for example, the mercury in amalgam fillings in your teeth (which are ABSOLUTELY NOT GOOD) the decision to eat or not eat alliums is much more subjective and for each person – intuitive. I just wanted to get this information out there because most of us today live under the impression that these plants are just a normal part of human diet – and in fact, they most definitely have NOT been…

  3. hellaD says:

    A feast is not a feast unless to begin
    Each guest is given ample Toes of Garlic,
    That finest aphrodisiac
    To whet his appetite for later revelry

    Quintus Horace (65-8BC)

    Interesting article. I actually lived for a while in Burma, which is a very devout Buddhist country and very traditional still as they have been blocked off from contact with the rest of the world for the last 50 years or so. They eat garlic very happily there, they generally like it raw or cooked. They like to eat it raw to prevent parasites as you mention. Parasites and deadly bacterial like typhoid–I suppose eating garlic is better than getting typhoid. Actually I know it is–typhoid sucks and nearly killed me too.

    Also I have heard that reasoning about garlic preventing spirituality and higher states of consciousness and whatnot as well. I suppose there could be something to that, but honestly I think one of our big mistakes in some spiritual traditions is to forget the mundane, to try to get away from the earth. There are other spiritual traditions that believe that it is important to go into the physical, to really get to know it and become aware of everything about it. In order to evolve we must first embody, and sometimes I think that is a big part of what we are missing today.

    Don’t get me wrong, I quite like the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but it is good to remember that the Hindu caste system isn’t so enlightened and all of these religions have a tendency to be co-opted by folks who like to control people…

    It is also important to realize that everyone is unique and responds to various substances differently, so it is good to understand yourself and be able to feel whether garlic is something that resonates with you or not. I love how the Ayurvedic system of medicine takes these different body-types into account.

    I also did some research into garlick and found some fun history, myths and food facts–check it out here if you like!

    • daiaravi says:

      Yes – the information/implications of what i found are oft-contradictory – and i myself ascribe to a very liberal eastern tradition that encourages (in fact vigorously promotes) experience in this life – not asceticism! What rings a bell for me here was that the many and ancient varied “warnings” about alliums coupled with the “neuro-toxicity” and disruption of brain function suggested (but then not verified… i know…) but couple that with the difficulty to find a lot of garlic-as-food evidences over the historical record (and the fact that it was liberally given to the lower classes while the upper, educated one abstained) sounded also a couple alarms (re: mercury amalgam, vaccines, gmo foods, toxin exposure NOT a concern for the masses..?)

      i did not know that about burma’s garlic eating, but i did know that they are a society where meditation is so everyday it is like one of the meals in the day – interesting….

      finally – these “myths or facts” pages are, IMHO, not much to be trusted – i have seen the most absurd and unsubstantiated opinions couched as a “Myths or Facts” page – and they tend to try to short-circuit your own analysis of the facts by making the decision for you – i hope this garlic article presents the alliums in a way to get the reader thinking rather than telling them that garlic is this or that- i will save those strong opinions to the issues that i am confident ARE myths or facts (science, logic and anecdotally supported “facts) – like the safety of vaccines or gmo foods…!

      thanks for you comments!

      PS – that quote form Horace is good – i would , for discussion sake, suggest that this is yet another “therapeutic” use of garlic – not a suggestion to pop a handful of garlic supplement pills daily…

  4. Katie says:

    Hi, I’ve been on raw food for 4 months after a very strong cleanse. I have been looking and feeling amazing, light, supple, clear. Two days ago my sister made us some some raw humus with a lot of garlic, and for the second time in a few months I have seen garlic make herpes zoster like cold sores. It also makes me feel awful, as if I had eaten cooked food, like a “drop”, an acidic heaviness. I saw Dr Becks enigmatic piece and I believe it. My friend loves garlic, she uses it instead of salt and her voice almost shakes in its defence. The biggest disease our race has is addiction to flavour, and I read all over the internet people say “I’ll never give up my garlic” much like they say “I couldn’t live without my morning cup of coffee”. We will not know our true selves until we pay attention to our true selves and not our whining addictions. I believe the dumbing down theory, nowadays flavour and indulgence are everything, all there is to live for. There is a person I read recently who said that the pleasure he once got from food he now gets from doing any task, breathing, living. Imagine, now that’s a spiritual state to aspire to. Thank you very much for this web page! From Katie

    • daiaravi says:

      yes – thanks for the comment Katie! – even though corroborating evidence is about nil – i too, feel Dr Becks research was more than a fluke – we’ve been avoiding garlic and onions and although life is too full of calamity right now to discern the exact difference – i do feel more grounded and clear headed – maybe the stinking rose….

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