The Health Benefits of Natural (Non-Irradiated) Garlic

Claire Ronniger Last updated on Jul 12, 2024 by

Garlic has a long history of being used in herbal folk remedies but that brings up as many questions as answers. What cultivar of which variety of garlic are we discussing? Because all are different and it's important to be specific as they all have some things in common but enough differences to group them in different varieties. Studies done using different cultivars of different varieties could yield different results and also other factors would weigh in that researchers are almost never aware of, such as where and how it was grown, the growing conditions and how long it had been since the harvest date at the time of the study since all of these things change not only the taste but the chemistry of each cultivar so the results would also be different. All garlic is not alike any more than all chili peppers taste alike or have the same amount of capsaicin.

If garlic has health benefits, why aren't doctors and hospitals recommending it for their patients? In many other countries, they are, but not in the United States. Why? One reason is that medical doctors simply don't know about it as they have very little nutritional instruction or herbal medicine in their medical school education and may be unaware of how garlic works in the human body and there's no FDA-approved treatment protocol that includes garlic. Another reason is that herbal medicine may sound too old fashioned and unsophisticated to them. A third reason is that pharmaceutical manufacturers do not recommend garlic, they recommend their own expensive prescription medicines complete with their side-effects. And, perhaps modern allopathic physicians concentrate more on alleviating symptoms, and surgery than prevention of illness through better nutrition and healthier lifestyles, although that is more the responsibility of the patient than the doctor.

An important consideration may be that fresh garlic is a living thing that continuously changes and is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to quantify. Slicing and dehydrating the garlic arrests the changes and arrests it in whatever state it was in and preserves it and allows us to know that it is what it is and will not be changing. Another obvious reason is that pharmaceutical manufacturers cannot patent natural plants but only processes and so cannot prohibit anyone else from growing and using it and cannot make billions of dollars from it and so are not interested in it. Garlic is a herb almost everyone can grow and use at home.

The main consideration is that doctors in the USA are required to follow the FDA's Standard of Care Protocols, which contain only pharmaceutical products and no natural things in their natural state or lose their liability protection.
For those who want greater details as to how to use natural (non-irradiated) garlic to get these and other clearly demonstrated benefits, you'll need to do internet searches and go to other websites where this subject is discussed in greater detail or buy or check out from your local library this book: Garlic The Science and Therapeutic Application of Allium Sativum L. and Related Species by Larry D. Lawson, Ph.D.  ISBN 0 - 683 - 18147 - 5  Published by Williams and Wilkins. This book was written in the 1990s when Larry was involved in research and development at Nature's Way, a widely-respected vitamin & supplement company.

Another book I highly recommend is Garlic and Other Alliums - The Lore and the Science, ISBN978-1-84973-180-5 by Eric Block, a distinguished professor of Chemistry at State University of New York in Albany, and author of over 220 scientific papers and the recipient of many honors. Published by RSC Publishing in 2010.