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Garlic Magic

If everybody walked around smelling of garlic the global population would be far healthier and the multibillion Dollar pharmaceutical industries would be considerably poorer.

From candida albicans and other fungi, to bacterial infections and herpes, to slowing proliferation of cancer cells garlic provides a solution. Even heart conditions react favourably to garlic.

Its benefits have been known since antiquity. Our grandparents and great grandparents, and their parents before them touted the health benefits of garlic.  The plant is referred to in the Talmud, dating back to the third to fifth centuries AD.  It was extensively used by the embalmers’ in ancient Egypt, who utilised it for the treatment of wounds. The Egyptians would give it to the slaves who built for them.

In 1858 Louis Pasteur reported the noxious effect of garlic on micro- organisms and subsequently Albert Schweitzer was reported to have made use of it for the treatment of amoebic dysentery.

But, in 1930 garlic’s medicinal properties were scientifically endorsed by a scientist named F.A. Lehman, who gave credence to the legends and folk prescriptions about it’s medicinal anti microbial and anti-fungal properties.’

Lehman established that garlic could abolish the growth of E Coli. Fourteen years later, in 1944, a scientist and chemist named Chester Cavalitto isolated the ingredient allicin in garlic claiming that allicin was the plant’s vital healing component. 

Thereafter, Russian forces used it as an antibiotic in the World War !!. To this day garlic is called “Russian Penicillin.”

Nearer to home and far more recently, garlic is being administered routinely to treat children at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town (RCWMH).

Peter de Wet (61) - Control Medical Technologist in the Department of Paediatric Surgery of the Red Cross War Memorial Hosp (RCWMH), has studied garlic extensively providing empirical evidence of it as a miracle cure.

As a medical microbiology and biochemistry technologist he is involved in management of infections and surface infections synonymous with child burn victims. (South Africa has a high incidence of burn trauma and the RCWMH is regarded as one the finest hospitals in the world for the treatment of child burns)

Peter De Wet says, “I am not a genius. Many people before me made miraculous claims about garlic. I only got involved with analysing it’s properties after reading a fascinating book, Burn Research, written by Prof. Witold Rudowski in 1988. Rudowski’s continual references to garlic kept renewing my interest.

In 1989, Peter de Wet published an article in the SA Journal of Science. The study investigated the antibacterial and antifungal properties of a garlic and water extract, which he kept refrigerated. This study showed the aqueous garlic extract to be universally effective in either preventing the growth and in many incidences, killing the bacteria causing infections. The extract was found to be especially effective in killing Candida albicans. {the yeast responsible for thrush} [See picture illustrating the effect of garlic on Candida]. A subsequent investigation has shown the aqueous garlic extract to be effective against many different strains of candida that failed to be eradicated by other antifungal agents.   Peter De Wet used a sensitivity plate ceded with candida organisms and punctured a hole in the plate making a plug.  He then filled the plug with garlic extract.  The garlic mixture dispersed in all directions, killing the candida.  

Later when two infants were operated on for oesophagus problems they both developed candida infections of the mouth and the entire length of the oesophagus tract.  Neither of them responded to any current conventional anti fungal treatments. , “I remembered what I had read,” says Peter de Wet.

”The children were dying and we had nothing to lose. So I took swab samples of their different fungi and grew them in a petri dish in the laboratory.  Then I made a crude extract of garlic and on the strength of my laboratory findings placed garlic extract in their feeds. The babies loved the flavour of their milk and within 72 hours the candida infections completely disappeared. We were amazed that the babies even survived.”

“Following this I studied bacteria using garlic extensively to determine if it was anti fungal and anti bacterial.  I knew Louis Pasteur (inventor of pasteurisation) claimed in 1858 that garlic had anti bacterial properties. But I needed my own proof.  Patients with infections which failed to respond to conventional antibiotic treatment have had the aqueous garlic extract administered with very encouraging success. Many of the infections being eliminated once the patient was on garlic. It is also used as a daily prophylactic. The children don’t even mind the flavour, though often we add it to flavoured yoghurt or juice,” says de Wet.

For garlic treatment to be effective, however, it needs to be freshly ground and immediately diluted with water and stored in the refrigerator, where it will last indefinitely. (The amazing cure does not work as well, when water is administered to supermarket off-the-shelf crushed garlic mixtures.)

According to de Wet recent overseas reports show garlic is being synthetically made in hospitals and administered to patients with Cryptococcal Meningitis.

Amazingly, Ben Gurion’s Department of Clinical Biochemistry, in Israel issued a statement, claiming garlic exhibits anti-proliferation effects on cancer growth in mammary, endometrial and colon cancer cells. .  Gastric cancer is affected to a major degree by the administration of garlic.

Moreover, research indicates that cardiovascular disease slows down when garlic is eaten because it lowers cholesterol and triglycides.

So what is the secret behind garlic’s fame?  And, why are giant pharmaceutical corporations not manufacturing it synthetically?

The pharmaceutical industry, called upon to tackle the garlic phenomena remains silent, even though physicians and bacteriologists faced with the lack of an effective antibiotic for severely ill patients are potential enthusiasts for research on all phytonicides (naturally occurring antibiotics from plants)

Investigating the garlic phenomenon and therapeutic applications of phytonicides would keep researchers busy for many years.  There are as many surprising cures as there are plants. The surprising effects of a household salad dish containing a piece of radish, onion and garlic when placed on the surface of micro-organisms in a Petri dish is surprising as bacterial growth is inhibited, particularly by garlic.

As for garlic’s secret, it apparently lies in the plant’s sulphur component called allicin.

If one were to get technical- an intact garlic bulb contains alliin a precursor of allicin. Alliin is hydrolysed to allicin, pyruvate and ammonia by the phosphorydoxal enzyme, alliin alkylsulphenatae lyase, when the tissue of the bulb is crushed.

Garlic extract contains approximately 0.2-0.5% allicin.

Allicin is the magic cure-all component. Allicin is also unfortunately the ingredient that gives garlic its’ distinctive antis social smell.  The bad news is that most synthetic garlic pills are ineffective. You need to prepare and place the mixture in water and refrigerate it. When walking past a shelf with health products advertising odourless garlic, keep walking. No smell no cure. Odourless garlic should remain where it belongs – on the shelf.



De-husk cloves of garlic, wash and then fragment and grind until you obtain a pulp. Fifty grams of the garlic pulp is agitated or periodically mixed with 100ml of water [ ratio 1:2 ] in a refrigerator for approximately 1 hour. Allow the paste obtained to stand for 2 hours in the refrigerator and then squeeze through a strainer or muslin to remove the larger particles. The cloudy aqueous garlic extract should be stored in a capped container in the refrigerator until required. The allicin extract has been found to be stable in this form for up to 6 months.


{ Neonates }  1-2 ml every 4hrs for 5-7 days
{ Children }  3-5ml every 4hrs for 5-7 days
{Adults }       5ml every 4hrs for 5-7 days
The taste can be disguised with orange juice, milk or yoghurt if necessary.
If taken as a preventative measure the dosage can be reduced to twice a day.

Written for TLC Magazine


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