The magic of fermented Black Garlic….

Very little is known about the origin of black garlic. Not some exotic variety of the garlic family from distant land but an aged form of normal white garlic, black garlic’s origins are attributed to Korea, the masters of fermentation where it has extensively been utilized as a food condiment. Data shows that it has long been broadly used across Asia, especially in Japan, Korea and Thailand where they have hailed black garlic as a food of longevity.

Despite the speculation about the origins of black garlic there is a growing awareness of its health benefits since being introduced to the US back in 2008

Black garlic starts its life as raw white garlic that is then ‘slow-cooked’ by fermentation over time in controlled conditions. This process transforms the cloves into soft, sweet, sticky and slightly acidic black garlic. This ‘aged’ black garlic is strangely delicious, more potent than raw white garlic, and so offers more impressive health benefits.

The key active ingredients in garlic for which it is best known, are the allicin levels. Allicin is transformed through the fermentation process into S-allyl-cysteine. (SAC ) It is actually biologically converted to SAC. As a result of the fermentation process, black garlic contains more antioxidant compounds than raw garlic. Antioxidants are well known for their protective effects against cell damage and disease.

SAC delivers an enhanced job by providing better stability and absorbs well compared to the allicin. Moreover, it is well known that SAC has a role in enhancing the antioxidant effects compared to the same amount of allicin. These antioxidants are in the form of alkaloids and flavonoids as black garlic ferments which in turn supports the maintenance of healthy blood pressure and circulation, protecting the cardiovascular system immune system and the gut.

Aged garlic has been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure in hypertensives[1] and has been clinically proven to effectively reduce cardiovascular risks[2] and circulatory problems.

Garlic is classically a prebiotic feeding friendly flora in the gut but through fermentation increases these properties.

Other health benefits include supporting the liver with the onslaught of chemicals, medications, alcohol, toxins and germs, blood sugar balancing and brain protective.

Black garlic’s impressive anti-inflammatory compounds may help protect the brain from memory loss and degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s (although more research needs to be done).

Inflammation is the underpinning to many of the common diseases in Western society and managing inflammation is key to most of these health issues. Adding black garlic into the diet can make a positive difference.

Eaten by the clove as a delicacy made into a paste or chutney or packaged into capsules, black garlic offers huge health benefits and can be a tasty nutritious addition to any meal. There are many options available.

My suggested favourites are:

For capsules:

The Naked Pharmacy Fermented black garlic

For cloves and paste:

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