What Is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is an aged form of garlic that was fermented under high heat (60–90°C or 140-194F) and humidity (70–90%) for a period of several weeks. The fermentation process results in a dark color and a sweet, mellow flavor of black garlic. In recent years, black garlic has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, including its ability to act as a natural antibiotic. It is important to be careful when considering the claim that black garlic may possess antimicrobial properties and to ensure one is familiar with the evidence that backs it up.
Is Black Garlic a Natural Antibiotic?
Garlic has been used for centuries due to its health benefits. It is considered that the sulfur compounds found in fresh garlic, such as allicin, are responsible for its health benefits. These compounds demonstrated antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Hence, fresh garlic can act as a natural antibiotic. However, it is important to mention that although fresh garlic has some antimicrobial properties, it should not be used as a replacement for antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.
Investigation of black garlic effects, however, has only recently become a topic of interest. Therefore, research into its health benefits is still in progress. Studies found that black garlic extract was effective against several different strains of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (cause of soft tissue infections) and Escherichia coli (causes of various common bacterial infections). The study also found that black garlic had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it potentially useful for a number of health conditions.
Another study (4) revealed that black garlic has potential antibacterial activity against several strains of bacteria, including Salmonella typhimurium (cause of gastroenteritis) and Listeria monocytogenes (cause of Listeriosis). However, it is important to note that these studies were conducted in vitro, meaning that they were performed in a laboratory dish rather than in living organisms. More clinical research is required to determine whether black garlic is effective as a natural antibiotic.
It is important to understand that although black garlic may have the potential as a natural antibiotic, it is unlikely to be as effective as medically prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed specifically to kill bacteria, whereas natural remedies like garlic and black garlic are more broadly antimicrobial, meaning they may be effective against a wide range of pathogens but are not as targeted as antibiotics. It is important to remember that, just like antibiotics, bacteria can eventually become resistant to natural remedies, such as black garlic. Therefore, it is recommended to use black garlic supplements in conjunction with traditional antibiotics, rather than as a substitute. To ensure safety and effectiveness, individuals should consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new health regimen, including the use of black garlic. By taking these precautions, we can use natural remedies to their greatest potential, without risking the development of bacteria resistance.
Are Black Garlic Supplements Safe To take?
It is generally considered that black garlic and its supplements are safe. However, it is still recommended to consult with your physician before adding it to your diet. People with digestive disorders, diabetes, children, and pregnant or nursing women should consult with their medical provider before embarking on a black garlic supplement program. Those with allergies to garlic or other ingredients found in the supplements, those with low blood pressure, and those taking blood-thinning medications should avoid taking any black garlic supplements. It is also important to be aware that black garlic could interact with certain medications. Therefore, people taking medications or those with existing medical conditions should be especially mindful and consult their physician before taking black garlic supplements.
Black garlic provides potential health advantages, however, it may not be as effective as traditional antibiotics for treating bacterial diseases. Clinical research is needed to determine the potential antimicrobial effect of black garlic. Also, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before using black garlic as a treatment for medical conditions.