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Food Chatter, Kansas University Medical Center, August 1995

Garlic, a member of the lily family, has been used throughout the centuries to treat everything from toothaches to evil demons. The Egyptian slaves ate garlic to prolong their physical strength while building the pyramids.

Garlic sales have skyrocketed as garlic has been associated with disease prevention from heart disease, diabetes, infection, and cancer. In 1953, the United States produced about 35 million pounds of garlic. Today, approximately 500 million pounds of garlic are grown in California per year!

Q. Why should I eat more garlic?
A. Garlic contains many active compounds, scientists theorize. It may take years of research to uncover all the useful properties in garlic. Allicin, the antibacterial component of garlic, has received the most press at this point in the research. Cutting or crushing a clove of garlic results in the release of allicin.

Q. Should I eat cooked or raw garlic?
A. If you eat garlic for its antibacterial properties from allicin, cooked garlic will not help you. Allicin is destroyed by heat. It would be wise to eat cooked as well as raw garlic. Researchers aren't sure which substances in garlic promotes health.

Q. Should I take garlic supplements?
A. Garlic supplements are food supplements and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration unless the manufacturer petitions FDA to review the product. There can be tremendous variation in composition of garlic pills, processing techniques used, and price. 6 Kwai TM tablets = 1 clove of fresh garlic.

Q. How much garlic is beneficial?
A. The evidence available suggests that one half to one clove of garlic daily reduces blood cholesterol levels by about 9 percent.

Q. What can be done about the odor of garlic?
A. Garlic lovers beware - the strong chemicals in garlic always end up on your breath! Even if you rubbed garlic on your foot, it would still end up in your mouth. (The chemicals in garlic travel through the blood stream.)
* Try deodorized garlic. Dr. Sakai GarlicTM, 1-804-890-0100, and KyolicTM are brands of odorless garlic which may be available in your supermarket.
* Chew on a sprig of fresh parsley with lemon squeezed on it, or eat strawberries to cleanse your breath.
* Rub your fingers with toothpaste to remove the odor.

Q. How should garlic be stored?
A. Garlic is best stored in a cupboard or pantry in a terra-cotta jar with holes in the sides. Stored this way it can last six months. If you prepare a garlic in oil mixture, be sure to refrigerate it shortly after the garlic has flavored the oil (overnight). Keep refrigerated; use within ten days (or throw away) to prevent the risk of botulism.


  1. Add a whole uncut clove of garlic while you saute onions. When the onions are tender, use a fork to mash the garlic. If the garlic burns while cooking, it will have a bitter flavor.
  2. Rub the inside of your salad bowl with a garlic clove before adding salad ingredients.
  3. Look for cookbooks with a variety of recipes using garlic.
  4. Write Christopher Ranch, P.O. Box 2410, Sausalito, Calif. 94966 and ask for information and recipes with garlic.

Perfect Roasted Garlic
(recipe courtesy of Christopher Ranch)
Remove the outer layer of skin from 1 to 6 garlic cloves. Cut 1/2 inch off each head straight across top and arrange in shallow baking pan. Drizzle 2 tsp. olive oil over each head of garlic. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil. Bake 30 to 45 minutes longer. Squeeze onto veggies or bread. Article Source


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