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Using the Whole Garlic Plant for Better Health – Part II

Using the Whole Garlic Plant for Better Health – Part II

Allium sativum (cultivated garlic bulb)

Though Allium sativum is known to originate on the great Asian plain, it is today cultivated in virtually every country and culture.  It has integrated itself into our daily diet and became the stuff of which folklore and legends are made.  The garlic bulb has enjoyed such a long and famous existence and became a common herbal medicine for one reason only: it works.  Louis Pasteur discovered its antibacterial properties in the late 1800s and researchers have found that it is effective against more strains of bacteria than penicillin.  It has also shown strong anti-fungal activity and is commonly used as a treatment for Candida albicans, the common cause of mouth thrush and vaginitis.  Most of the fifty or more fungi that can cause human disease are in yeast form, and Allium sativum has shown activity against many of these.

But cultivated garlic bulb’s action is not limited to its antimicrobial activity alone.  Garlic has been shown to effectively reduce or control blood cholesterol levels and to promote the correct ratio of HDLs (good cholesterol) to LDLs (bad cholesterol).  Because of its unique action on fats, triglycerides can be reduced and blood platelet “stickiness” is diminished so that blood flows more freely.  This improves circulation, reduces hypertension, and lowers the chances of blood clots.  One compound in garlic, ajoene, has been shown to have an anti-thrombotic activity similar to that of aspirin, without the stomach upset.

While its effects on bacteria, fungi and fats lead the way in garlic’s march through medical history, they are but a few of its overall attributes.  Research has demonstrated garlic’s activity against protozoa, like those which cause dysentery, and against viruses, such as those causing herpes simplex 1 and influenza B.  Garlic has been used to effectively treat intestinal parasites, enforce the immune system, combat free radicals, and help prevent cancer.  There is ample research showing how garlic can lower elevated blood sugar levels, treat poisoning from heavy metals like lead, and manage respiratory diseases.  There’s no wonder this panacea, which Hypocrites himself used for several cures, has withstood the test of over 5,000 years!

Scientists are still discovering active compounds in garlic, but of those known today, the sulfur-containing compound allicin appears to be the most active.  Allicin and other thiosulfinates are the odorous but medicinal constituents of the garlic bulb and make up almost two dozen sulfides, ajoenes, and vinyldithiins.  Other active components of garlic include amino acids, S-alkyl-cysteine sulfoxide, y-glutamylcysteines and small amounts of adenosine and selenium.  This variety of active compounds makes garlic effective on many metabolic pathways and makes it nature’s most effective preventative medicine.

Allium ursinum (Wild Bear’s Garlic, a.k.a Ramsons Garlic)

Wild garlic, wild bear’s garlic and Ramsons garlic are all common names for one of the oldest medicinal herbs known in Europe,  which also has a history of use dating back to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.  Folklore tells us that is was first discovered when bears were observed devouring huge amounts of the plant to restore their strength after hibernation.  Once discovered, this green food found its way into herbal medicine for disorders of the stomach and intestines and as a blood purifier.  Scientists began looking closely at its botanical properties late in the 1980s, and it regained notoriety as the ‘Plant of the Year’ by the Association for the Protection and Research on European Medicinal Plants.

As garlic goes, Allium ursinum is unique in several ways.  It is a different Allium species than the type commonly grown commercially for bulbs, and only the leaves are harvested.  Like a tulip, the bulb remains in the ground to sprout again each year.  Wild garlic is also nearly odorless when compared to ordinary garlic (Allium sativum), probably due to the large amounts of chlorophyll found in the leaves.  The wild garlic leaf is a nutritional powerhouse containing nearly twice the magnesium and phosphorous and 15 times the manganese of its cultivated cousin, which also falls short on iron and zinc.

While the total sulfur content of the two species is similar, wild garlic is rich in ajoenes, y-glutamyl peptides and has a considerably higher content of adenosine.  Y-glutamyl peptides are believed to be related to wild garlic’s ACE-inhibitory potential, an effect on a key enzyme involved in blood pressure regulation.  Ajoene, present at twice the level found in ordinary garlic, promotes vasodilation by affecting calcium and potassium channels.  Adenosine, which is a staggering 15 to 20 times higher in wild garlic, also influences blood pressure.  It is believed to also protect against toxins, reduce blood lipid levels and inhibit platelet aggregation.

Commercially, few products made from Allium ursinum are available because the crop is wild crafted and seasonal, sprouting once yearly in the spring.  Wild bear’s garlic capsules are available as a nutritional supplement, but no source for the herb as a nutritious seasoning is known.  Since it is such a good blood tonic, relatively odorless and easy on the gastrointestinal tract, it is a good replacement for Allium sativum supplements.  And since wild garlic has a unique set of nutrients all its own, it makes the perfect complement to the garlic products on the market today.


For more information on garlic and wild bear’s garlic, contact Arizona Natural Products by email, or call us at (800) 255-2823

Using the Whole Garlic Plant for Better Health – Part I

Using the Whole Garlic Plant for Better Health – Part I

We have all either heard stories about the health benefits of garlic or experienced those benefits first-hand.  For thousands of years this spice has bolstered the flavor of food and the health of those who ate it.  Garlic is known to reduce blood cholesterol, fight infection, strengthen the immune system, and can be taken in supplement form by those seeking good health without halitosis (bad breath).  Although there are over 600 species of the Allium (garlic) genus spread over 4 continents, only a few are cultivated for use as health supplements.  Of those few that are cultivated, only the bulb is used in the manufacture of health products and powdered spices.  While the bulb of the Allium sativum variety is rich in nutrients, sulfur compounds, and allicin (garlic’s antibacterial component), it is still only half the plant.  The other half, the leaves, are allowed to dry and brown while the garlic bulb develops underground, maturing to peak potency.  But these leaves are equally rich in a set of nutrients all their own.  When harvested while still green, before all the nutritional value is transferred to the bulb, the resulting green food is rich in sulfur, adenosine, ajoenes and minerals.  In fact, certain strains of the garlic leaf are richer than the cultivated garlic bulb in total sulfur content.

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The Importance of Allicin-Rich Garlic

The Importance of Allicin-Rich Garlic

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By now the composition of garlic has been well established to contain over 100 unique and vital constituents. Among these, the most researched are allicin and its various derivatives and degradation products. Allicin itself is highly unstable and quickly disproportionates into a variety of compounds following its formation when S-allyl-cysteine sulfoxide (alliin) and diallyl thiosulfinate (alliinase) combine. Allicin quickly yields stable diallyl sulfides (most common is diallyl disulfide), ajoenes, 2-propene sulfenic acid, dithiins and a variety of other organic polysulfides.

These compounds further degrade or interact with enzymes and proteins to create more stable and therapeutic molecules. Diallyl disulfide (DADS) is transformed to allyl mercaptan and allyl methyl sulfide and sulfoxide after absorption. Another decomposition compound is sulfenic acid, a powerful antioxidant. If you go through the over 1600 papers on garlic in the National Library of Medicine you will find that there are dozens of active therapeutic compounds in garlic that have been tested on a full spectrum of diseases. You will also find that the vast majority of those studies use some type of garlic with allicin or allicin potential.

So it seems the question is not do you want allicin in your garlic but are you getting allicin or allicin potential with your garlic supplement? Let’s start with measuring allicin. In actuality, all allicin is measured as potential. Even in fresh garlic bulbs you have only allicin potential until the bulb is cut or crushed. Until then, the alliinase and alliin are intact and separated within the plant’s cellular structure and waiting to mix and generate allicin. When they mix, allicin goes from potential to reality and begins to seek more stable compositions. Garlic products are advertised as containing allicin to avoid confusion since any preformed allicin would have transformed to other compounds. Citing the allicin content of a supplement always refers to that allicin potential which has been preserved to form once ingested. If you put your typical “allicin” garlic product in your mouth and started chewing you would instantly produce allicin.

In fact, the USP standard test for garlic powder or supplements is an HPLC protocol that tests for potential allicin. Allicin is such a key component of garlic, the parent compound if you will, that it is the standard for proving garlic is in fact garlic. The potential is tested because the allicin does not form until the alliin and alliinase combine in testing just as they combine in your body after you eat garlic or garlic supplements.

As long as a substantial amount of alliin and alliinase remain in the garlic supplement after processing, it will be released as allicin upon consumption. Maintaining enough of those ingredients in a final product starts with the type of garlic grown, soil nutrients, climate and delicate processing. Arizona Natural uses dehydration and spray drying after the garlic is carefully prepared to keep those vital components intact and separated to maintain allicin potential and control odor.

Our deodorized products like Allirich soft gels and Garlic Time time release tablet are buffered to help control the pH and the odorous sulfides generated when allicin breaks down. These products offer allicin levels of about 3500 ppm. Our high-allicin product like All–Gar starts with a much higher allicin garlic powder delivering about 12,000 ppm allicin and stabilized allicin as diallyl trisulfide.

All-Gar expands the profile of active sulfur compounds even further by using both Allium sativum, the typical cultivated garlic used in garlic supplements, and Allium ursinum, a wild European garlic leaf known as Wild Bear’s Garlic. This powerful plant was once named Medicinal Plant of the Year by the Association for the Protection and Research on European Medicinal Plants! By combining Allium sativum and Allium ursinum in one tablet you get all of the allicin derivatives and a whole new class of compounds. Among these are thymidine, adenosine, flavonoid glycosides and sulfur compounds with unique metabolic pathways and therapeutic benefits not attributed to regular cultivated garlic.

As to the question of absorption of allicin or its derivatives in the body and its mode of action, it is well established that allicin itself demonstrates a variety of therapeutic benefits as do the many compounds it generates. So we know that allicin is active in many stages and can show activity from the second it is created as diallyl thiosulfinate and in later decompositions as organic polysulfides, ajoenes and dithiins. There are animal studies that show up to 73% absorption of allicin and vinyldithiines in the blood, but more likely one or more of the more stable sulfur compounds will be detected with oral consumption of garlic.

The point is that the wide range of benefits attributed to garlic are due to a wide range of components, many of which derive from allicin. They are absorbed as all nutrients are absorbed from the food you eat. We can’t see any reason to change a good thing, so we try to give you as much of the activity of garlic that we can.

Some garlic supplements, like aged garlic extracts, focus on a smaller range of garlic compounds and use S-allyl-cysteine as a standard. Naturally they want to portray it as a superior product and claim that they make the “only” odorless garlic supplement and the “only” antioxidant garlic available, but that is not the case. Their process merely lets the garlic and allicin degrade to other garlic compounds by aging it and they focus their research on those remnant compounds.

The AGE garlic was first introduced in the 1950s with the original liquid extract “aging” in pots for 20 months before bottling or being dried for encapsulation. It is not clear if drying this liquid into a powder product alters or diminishes the purported benefit or if the dried powder is as active as the liquid. Many of the reports on the AGE use the liquid for laboratory and clinical testing yet much more of the dried powder version of the AGE is sold to the public.

The position they take on allicin is in direct opposition to the vast majority of research that points to allicin as the key compound in garlic and parent to many of the medicinal components. The statement that allicin does not appear to be a biologically beneficial compound in garlic is contrary to the scientific evidence. The CRC Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition alone lists over 1000 references of research on non-modified garlic, garlic compounds and alliums with benefits to dozens of disease. The study displays pages of organisms and pathogens inhibited by natural allium, and like most independent research, cites allicin and many of its derivatives as key medicinal components.

Simply put, AGE is different than real garlic and offers a modified cast of compounds, focusing primarily on SAC as their key component. Allicin free garlic products with limited profiles will use other “standards” to differentiate their products. But why forgo the benefit of allicin and allicin derivatives that you may not get from allicin modified products? If garlic in its natural state was not beneficial, I doubt it would have established a reputation over 5000 years. If allicin garlic products did not work, I’m confident society would have discovered this fact over the last 50 years and I doubt there would be ongoing research and increased interest in the plant.

A problem with comparing products arises when unscientific methods are used to malign a component of an entire class of competitive products. For instance, the AGE product claims that allicin is caustic and damaging to blood. To prove this they put pure allicin directly into blood in a test tube and then cite how the blood discolors and that cells are damaged. They show this colored blood next to a “standard “of blood with saline added to it that shows no discolorization.

However, this logic seems a bit distorted because their literature claims that no allicin from garlic ever gets into the blood. If you are contending that allicin does not get to your blood in the first place, why alarm people with a demonstration of something that cannot happen? Also, why was saline used in the blood standard? Why not AGE? Wouldn’t it be a more relevant demonstration if you compared allicin’s effects on blood with the effects of AGE on blood? Of course, that too would be meaningless since neither AGE or allicin would ever be injected directly into the blood stream.

This same tact is taken regarding potential liver damage from allicin. Again, their literature makes it clear that no allicin will get to the liver from taking garlic or an allicin-rich garlic supplement. They even admit that low doses of allicin did not cause liver cell damage, but, if you inject high dosages of allicin into the liver it does cause liver cell damage. This simply is not good science since people do not injected allicin directly into either the blood or the liver. The negative argument deteriorates further when they claim that the “safety” of garlic compounds like gammaglutamyl amino acid, thiosulfinates and alliin are “not established” yet the safety of SAC is. The implication is simply that other garlic products may not be safe.

Regarding the question of digestion and absorption of allicin, let’s not forget that garlic is a food and gets digested and absorbed as all food does. In the literature on AGE they state that in simulated stomach and intestinal fluids of pH 3 or below that the enzyme allinase is deactivate and therefore cannot catalyze the conversion of alliin to allicin. However, the pH of a stomach filled with food it is digesting can be about pH 5 and the pH of the intestine is close to 8, ideal for alliinase activity. This is one reason we suggest that our supplements are taken with meals and print that on the label.

What about the focus on S-allyl-cysteine as a standard and the benefits attributed to it and a few other compounds? While these are valuable constituents of garlic, they offer a limited profile of allicin metabolites and hence a limited sphere of therapeutic applications. By preventing the creation of allicin you forgo the generation of a whole class of active compounds which may be why AGE has been shown to have almost all known garlic benefits. Allicin-rich garlic can deliver the wider profile of garlic constituents most often cited in independent research and garlic therapies and is why Arizona Natural garlic products are allicin-rich.

For non-biased information on garlic try browsing something like the CRC, the National Library of Medicine or the Linus Pauling Institute at to see where the preponderance of the evidence lies for yourself.


Large Scale NIH Trial “Gives Surprising Boost to EDTA Chelation”

Large Scale NIH Trial “Gives Surprising Boost to EDTA Chelation”


A 9 year, double blind study with 1,708 patients have shown significant evidence supporting EDTA chelation therapy for patients with coronary disease. The trial, known as TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy), was funded by the NIH (National Institute of Health) and sponsored by two of their institutes, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.


“With a result that is likely to surprise and baffle much of the mainstream medical community, a large NIH-sponsored trial has turned up the first substantial evidence in support of chelation therapy for patients with coronary disease.” -Larry Husten, medical journalist

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EDTA (Calcium disodium EDTA) is a proven chelating agent that can bind and render inactive certain trace minerals. Because of its ability to grab and remove unwanted metals, EDTA has been the FDA approved standard for lead poisoning since the 1950s. For decades now, EDTA has been used in a process called chelation therapy to remove unwanted metals and trace minerals from the circulatory system. Intravenous chelation therapy administers the EDTA directly into the blood stream in an effort to reduce atherosclerotic plaque and eliminate it through the urinary tract.

Specifically, it is believed to remove the calcium and other minerals that promote plaque formation. When plaque builds up in blood vessels, blood flow is restricted to all the body’s organs, including the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 2,600 Americans each day. It is estimated that over 61 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease, which includes high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure. Other organs, including the brain, kidney, and lungs can also be affected by plaque buildup and atherosclerosis because the flow of oxygen and essential nutrients is restricted. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are sponsoring the Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). TACT is the first large-scale, multi-center study to assess the safety and effectiveness of EDTA chelation therapy for individuals with coronary artery disease. Oral chelation therapy with Arizona Natural EDTA is a great alternative to intravenous chelation therapy, using the same type of EDTA as intravenous therapy practitioners (calcium disodium EDTA). Oral chelation is also much more cost effective and does not involve weekly appointments at an office.

Oral Chelation Therapy Recommendations

• Take EDTA at least 2 hours apart from any meals or supplements. This is because EDTA chelates indiscriminately, meaning if there are other minerals in the system it will bind to those before reaching the desired area. 2-3 capsules a day for 10 days = 1 intravenous session (approx) Replenish depleted minerals by adding a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Over time, certain mineral levels may become low during chelation therapy, taking a one-a-day multi will help keep those mineral levels stable. EDTA should be taken in cycles, 6 weeks on then 2 weeks off. For the same reason we suggest the multi, cycling will allow the body time to recover naturally.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Contact us at (800) 255-2823 to learn more about oral chelation with Arizona Natural EDTA.