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Garlic, the Lowdown
By Don Bennett, DAS

NOTE: This is not a negative article (about garlic). It is a positive article (about optimal health).

Clarence Stern refers to "the old preventive and healing methods" such as garlic, and mentions that they have no [negative] side effects. The "no negative effects" turns out to be incorrect.

Mentioned in his article are such "remedies" as:

  * Chewing on ginger root to deal with headaches, dizziness, and digestive distress

  * Eating garlic to help prevent brain cancer and kill viruses and bacteria

  * Saffron for mild depression

  * Oatmeal applied to the skin for eczema or dry itchy skin

  * Diluted sea water to soothe a cough

Yes, these things have been around for a long time, but they fall into the category of a "remedy paradigm". Headaches, dizziness, and digestive distress are not the result of a ginger root deficiency, and alleviating symptoms of an underlying problem is not the same as dealing with the cause of the underlying problem. The reason remedies came into existence was because they made people feel better, and because the process of an underlying problem creating symptoms (or rather the body creating conditions to deal with the underlying problem that manifest in those symptoms) was unknown; it made sense that if you took something that made the headache go away, you cured yourself of the headache... it wasn't evident that the headache was a byproduct of something else.
So just making the headache go away, or bringing down high cholesterol isn't dealing with the root cause, which remains, and will likely manifest in other ways, and since the underlying problem is being allowed to continue, in other more serious ways.

As far as garlic is concerned, yes, it has antibiotic properties; it can kill bacteria. But is it a good thing if it kills good bacteria? Garlic's antibiotic properties cannot differentiate between good and bad bacteria because garlic's antibiotic properties works directly on bacteria. Provided it has what it needs to do the job, the body of a reasonably healthy person can deal with incoming "bad" bacteria, and can prevent the bad bacteria that is always present in our body from growing in number to the point where it becomes problematic, and it does this without any negative side effects (and without harming "good" bacteria). But when we get involved in the business of healing (which is the body's purview), we invariably turn to palliative measures, the results of which are mistaken for healing. Make no mistake about it, only the body is capable of healing, and if it has enough iodine and sulphur, it doesn't need garlic's help dealing with bad bacteria (these natural nutrients that should be in our food – but aren't in sufficient quantities – enable the body to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic abilities). Info on iodine and sulphur appear at the end of this article.

But what if a person is so unhealthy that their own body can't mount an adequate defense against invading bacteria to the point where they will die? Then, yes, turning to garlic, or more appropriately, to the more potent pharmaceutical antibiotics, would be a prudent thing to do, and after their life is saved they can deal with the negative effects of the antibiotic (although most people don't because they aren't aware of them). But for a healthy person to eat garlic as a part of their diet is no different than a healthy person taking prescription antibiotics when they don't need them. And if a healthy person comes down with a bacteriological infection, their body should be perfectly capable of dealing with the foreign invader if the person respects their body's wishes and gives their body what it needs to heal (like iodine and sulphur). This can include bed-rest (but some people insist on going to work), and fasting, because the body stops hunger (but some people continue to eat anyway even when not truly hungry).

To say that I need to consume something special when I'm sick to make me well, but I don't need to consume it when I'm well to keep me well is the very definition of "remedy", and these usually deal with symptoms and not with the cause of those symptoms.

Here's a quote from a book called "The Healing Power of Garlic"...

"Healing traditions have recognized garlic as a natural 'wonder drug' for thousands of years. Now medical research indicates garlic may prevent and even reverse high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer, as well as a host of other serious health problems. In fact, a recent head-to-head comparison proved garlic just as effective as the leading cholesterol-reducing drug in lowering cholesterol levels. This book describes exactly how to use garlic as a versatile, powerful, and effective medicine for a tremendous variety of common illnesses."

Notice that garlic's so-called benefit is attributed to a pharmacological effect. Indeed, many drugs are derived from natural substances, but they don't play natural roles in the body. In Health Creation we learn that a nutritive effect is beneficial but a pharmacological effect is not because it addresses the symptoms of a condition.

And the beneficial nutrients that are ascribed to garlic can be obtained from foods that have none of garlic's adverse effects (if the foods are uncooked and if they aren't nutritionally sub-par, which many are). And unlike garlic, these foods are scrumptious.


What is our natural defense against bad bacteria, harmful pathogens, parasites, and bad microbes? Our immune system, which is made up of many glands and organs. And they all need sufficient amounts of all the nutrients they require to function optimally, i.e., so that you can have an optimally functioning immune system. And the most important of these nutrients is iodine. Why is it the most important? Because it's been said that the most important nutrient is the one you're most lacking in. And that's iodine, hands down (99+% of the people I've tested have been low). And iodine, when used by the body, plays antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, and antiparasitic roles. And unlike a pharma-based antibiotic or garlic that does not differentiate between bad and good bacteria, your body does. So "whole body tissue sufficiency" of iodine is better than garlic, and that's putting it mildly.


And no discussion of antibiotic effects would be complete without mentioning "acquired resistance". About a century ago, prostitutes had the bright idea that they'd take an antibiotic as a preventative measure against getting an STD. After all, it seemed to make sense: When they got an STD, an antibiotic was prescribed, so taking one before they got infected would prevent the infection, right? Wrong. What happened was that after a while, the antibiotic had no effect on the STD anymore; the pathogen involved became resistant to the antibiotic. This is the reason that the antibiotic of
choice when I was a child – tetracycline – can no longer be used effectively. Why? The animal food industry also used tetracycline to deal with the infections that cattle and chickens got, then we ate those animals, in effect dosing ourselves with that antibiotic when we were well. Then when we got sick, that antibiotic wouldn't work anymore, so new antibiotics had to be invented. So in light of this, consuming garlic on a regular basis doesn't sound like a good idea.

Another interesting side effect of garlic: Garlic is toxic to brain cells; garlic's sulphone hydroxyl ion penetrates the blood brain barrier. This was discovered by accident by someone who was calibrating EEG biofeedback equipment. When some of the subjects came back from lunch, they looked clinically "in bad shape" on the electroencephalograph (a device that measures brain waves), which was used in the calibration process. This was traced to the garlic that was heavily consumed at an Italian restaurant that these particular folks had gone to. The same food without the garlic had no such effect (more on this point in a moment)

Garlic is also used as a very effective natural pest control in gardening. And if something can act like a powerful pesticide, well, I personally don't want to put anything in my body that has the suffix "cide" associated with it. This is one reason I don't eat foods that are grown using pesticides.

Garlic also interferes with the synthesis, or breakdown, of lipids (fats) in your liver. This is why the cholesterol level of those ingesting garlic over a period of time is lower. However, the body synthesizes cholesterol in the liver for a reason, and it is needed for certain cellular functions (like for making vitamin D). Paavo Airola describes one experiment where one-fourth pound of butter at one time was given to five healthy volunteers. Three hours after the volunteers had eaten the butter, their cholesterol levels had risen from an average of

221 to 237. Later, the same volunteers received the same amount of butter along with the juice of 50 grams of garlic. This time the cholesterol levels, instead of rising, went down from 228 to 212 in three hours. Let's examine why. The cholesterol levels in the blood would naturally rise after a high fat animal food meal. But this is where the cholesterol should be after the meal – in the blood. When the volunteers were given garlic with the butter, blood cholesterol levels were reduced. Where did the fat go? Did it disappear? No, it is still in the body, but it is now in the tissues instead of the blood, and therefore blood cholesterol levels will be lower. Allicin – a substance in garlic – makes the cells and tissues more permeable, and substances can then enter that would not ordinarily enter.

Another way to look at this is this: Just because a statin drug lowers cholesterol, doesn't mean that the health-damaging effects from the diet that contained the cholesterol are also lowered, which is why people on statin drugs still get heart attacks and Coronary Artery Disease (it actually states on the drug's package insert that the drug has not been shown to reduce heart attacks and CAD, and that print is teeny tiny for a reason, and it's not to save paper). Again, dealing with a symptom is not the same as dealing with the cause of the symptom.

Then there's this from an air force pilot...

"I was in flight test engineering in Doc Hallan's group in the 1950's. The flight surgeon would come around every month and remind all of us: 'Don't you dare touch any garlic 72 hours before you fly one of our airplanes, because it'll double or triple your reaction time.' You're three times slower than you would be if you'd [not] had garlic."

And regarding Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)...

"Well, we didn't know why until 20 years later, until I owned the Alpha Metrics Corporation. We were building biofeedback equipment and noticed that garlic seemed to desynchronize brain waves. So I funded a study at Stanford and, sure enough, they found that it does have this effect; the sulphone hydroxyl ion penetrates all the brain barriers including the corpus callosum. If you have any patients who have low-grade headaches or attention deficit [disorder], if they can't quite focus on the computer in the afternoon, just do an experiment – you owe it to yourselves. Take those people off all garlic and see how much better they get. And then let them eat some garlic after about three weeks. They'll say: 'My God, I had no idea that this was the cause of our problems.' And this includes the 'de-skunked' garlic products like Kyolic."

Here's another interesting tidbit...

"The Taoists realized thousands of years ago that plants of the alliaceous family were detrimental to humans. They labeled this group of plants – onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and spring onions – the 'five spicy-scented plants.' They noticed that onions are especially harmful to the lungs, garlic to the heart, leeks to the spleen, chives to the liver, and spring onions to the kidneys. Hindus also avoid this group, which they have called the 'five pungent plants.' As well as producing offensive breath and body odor, these plants can induce varying levels of aggravation, agitation, anxiety, and aggression. Thus these irritating substances are harmful physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually."

There will always be those who contend that garlic has no negative health effects, only positive ones. And some people who recognize garlic's negative effects will say that garlic's positive effects outweigh the negative ones. For some folks it simply comes down to what they want to believe, and I am no exception to this, but what I want to believe is the truth, not what I'd prefer to believe, not what sounds good, or what others would like me to believe. And this is why I strive to seek the truth, even though "the heavens may fall".

So when you see statements such as, "We can easily say that garlic is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s loaded with healthy nutrients and it can provide many health benefits. This is why you should consume garlic every day" you should take these types of statements with a grain of healthy skepticism because if they are not balanced, taking all things into consideration, they may not be in your best interests health-wise.

Bottom line: If you're wondering if something is health-enhancing, put it to the test... the Nature test: Can you make a meal of it, as it appears in Nature, with no processing or cooking, and is it delicious (assuming your taste buds are functioning properly)? If the answer is 'no', the item must be looked at with suspicion regardless of how much "positive" information there is for it. Just because the vast majority of people "know" that dairy products are good for us, doesn't mean that this is so; in fact, and in reality, it isn't so. And that brings up one of my favorite sayings:

"What can do you the most harm, is what you know, that just ain't so."


Garlic is Not a Health Food

by Robert Beck

I have said over and over not to take any medicines! For example, garlic has sulfonhydroxyl in it, which is a deadly poison. Gangsters and soldiers used to rub their bullets with it before they fired, so if you were nicked, it would kill you. Organic gardeners use garlic now that they can't get DDT. It kills everything. Garlic also damages brain cells, which causes desynchronisation of the left and right brain hemispheres. Pilots are not permitted to ingest garlic before their flights because it slows down their reaction times. Do not touch garlic! It is not a health food.

Article on iodine

If you don't eat any durian (good source of sulphur), and you don't want
your sulphur to come from goitrogenic foods like broccoli,
cabbage, and kale (bad for thyroid), take a sulphur supplement
(And no, this is not an affiliate link)

Feedback on my article

I've received a lot of positive feedback on this article from people who see themselves as being on the road to optimal health, and therefore welcome health improvement information. And I've also received negative comments saying things like, "I love garlic, and will continue to eat it" ... "garlic is a natural antibiotic" ... "garlic kills cancer cells". I do realize that there is a good deal of pro-garlic info out there, but that doesn't mean that it's balanced info, or that it's even correct info. There was one article that spoke about all the natural antibiotics, including garlic, but failed to mention the most natural one – iodine (which was actually used by medical doctors 90 years ago in the US before the fledgling pharmaceutical industry became "Big Pharma").

I want to be clear: I'm not saying that garlic doesn't kill cancer cells or that it doesn't have antibiotic properties, but unlike the natural mechanisms the body has for doing those things which have zero detrimental effects on the body, garlic also has negative effects and is "taken" as you would a pharma-based drug, and garlic works in a very similar way (lots of pharmaceuticals are based on plants). The reason garlic is known as a "natural" antibiotic is because it is a plant that grows from soil, and pharma-based antibiotics are made in a lab. But this does not mean that garlic – when performing its positive traits – has no negative traits. Only the body has no negative effects when autolyzing cancer cells or destroying "bad" bacteria.

And I've also heard from those who say that when they first tried garlic, it didn't make them feel bad or have any ill effects, and what people need to do is to gauge how their individual bodies react to it instead of thinking it's a black and white situation. The problem with gauging how good or bad something is by how the body responds to it is that this does not work 100% of the time. The classic example is people consuming things that are carcinogenic, and they feel fine initially and for many decades, until they start not feeling fine and get a diagnosis of cancer. But the cancer didn't start forming a few days before they started not feeling fine. Point being: When dealing with things that are not natural parts of our diet, it's not really possible to gauge the total, long-term effect of something someone ingests merely by how it makes them feel in the near-term. That's why some diseases are labeled "degenerative".

So all I'm saying is that for optimal health, we should strive to get the beneficial effects that something has in a way that has no detrimental effects. This is why I focus on empowering the body's immune system to be able to do the job it's designed to do instead of turning to remedies like garlic. That's why I said, "bad, fair, good, better, best" in my promotional posts for this article, to remind people about this spectrum. So if someone is fine with "good", then garlic is fine, but if they want "best", there are healthier alternatives to garlic.


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