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Aged garlic extract (AGE) is a supplement which is high in antioxidants and is said to regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and cleanse the blood. This supplement is created by carefully aging raw garlic before processing it into gel capsules or powder. There are slight differences between the benefits of raw and aged or commercialized supplements, with consumers and scientists supporting both sides of the debate over which is better. Aged garlic extract is typically available in powder or gel capsules or a liquid. Supplements are also available in combination with other ingredients such as lethicin, omega 3, or enzymes.
AGE is created by slicing, chopping, or crushing garlic bulbs and immersing them in ethanol alcohol or water for a specific amount of time, usually between 18 to 24 months. Each individual and company may age their garlic for a different amount of time. During this aging process, the garlic undergoes some chemical changes. The allicin, the most powerful compound in garlic and the cause of its pungent smell, dies off while other antioxidants and phytochemicals emerge or become stronger.
Studies have suggested the antioxidants and phytochemicals within aged garlic extract may strengthen cardiovascular functions and health, protect the liver, and prevent arterial hardening due to fatty deposits and free radicals. Many holistic practitioners also suggest the use of garlic can improve the immune system and kill extra yeast production in the body, commonly caused by a high-sugar diet. Garlic has also been used as a natural treatment for many mouth conditions like canker sores and gum disease.
It is also possible to make aged garlic at home. Crushing or chopping garlic and placing it in an airtight container with filtered water or ethanol and aging for at least 18 months will produce the same properties as commercially-aged garlic extract. Some suggest cooking home-aged garlic, while others claim it should only be eaten raw.
Studies have suggested that there are several health benefits of both aged garlic extract and raw garlic. Debate has risen over which of these is better for health purposes, with studies promoting and disproving each. If a person is interested in the possible health benefits of garlic, but not too excited about the smell, AGE may be a better option. Those who are only interested in the raw form are usually restricted to the garlic they can either grow or buy raw—they must either eat it raw or juice it for the benefits.
I ate fermented black garlic, a.k.a. aged black garlic from for about four months, and had bloodwork to see how the fermented black garlic worked.
Compared to my blood test from September 2012, my total cholesterol changed from 214 to 151, TC 57 to 54, HDL 67 to 59, LDL 135 to 81, Glucose 105 to 76.
I was very pleased with the change and told several friends about it. One of my friends tried the black garlic for about three weeks and had bloodwork. The test results showed her total cholesterol changed from 280 to 203 and glucose from 300 to 87. Wow, that is just fantastic!
How to make this wonderful fermented black garlic at home.
15-20 bulbs of organic garlic. I recommend using domestic, organic garlic only.
2. In a 10-cup electric rice cooker that has cook and warm settings, place a steamer basket at the bottom of the rice cooker. Do not wash the garlic. Place the whole garlic bulbs with skin on (about 15-20 bulbs) in an upright position in the rice cooker.
3. Spray the garlic lightly with Asahi draft Japanese beer.
4. Close the lid and plug in the rice cooker, and set it to warm. I recommend keeping the rice cooker outside. It smells really strong. I kept mine on the deck under the patio table to keep the snow and rain out.
5. Leave it alone for 14 days. Do not open for 14 days.
6. Take the garlic bulbs out and place them on a tray or wire rack and let them dry for 14 days in a cool, dark, and well ventilated place. I dried mine in the garage.
7. Put the garlic in a ziplock bag and store in the refrigerator.
8. Peel one bulb at a time and eat two cloves with food three times a day.
9. Drink plenty of water.
10. Please consult with your doctor before you add the fermented black garlic to your diet.
I know that the science is still out on whether or not garlic is really an effective natural remedy. But garlic supplements are cheap to buy and there is so much evidence suggesting, if not proving, that garlic supports your health that I take a daily supplement.
I can't say that I look or feel different than I did before I started taking the supplement but it has to be doing something. I have a feeling that 20 years down the road I will be validated.
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