7 Proven Black Garlic Benefits

Black Garlic Benefits1 vary from culinary to medicinal properties, becoming popular day by day. Learn about this worldwide ingredient in this article.

A. Origin of Black Garlic

black garlic benefits
By Ariane Colenbrander/Flickr. Copyright 2022.

Believed to be centuries old, Black Garlic, was first used as a health product and food condiment in Korea, popular in other Asian countries like Thailand, where the belief lies that it strengthens one’s lifespan.

Nowadays, it is becoming famous in the U.S. as a favorable addition to cuisines due to its savory and sweet flavor.

A.1 The Production Process 

Considered the aged form of ordinary and Fresh Garlic, it is produced through the aging or fermentation process within a controlled environment.2

It takes several weeks to heat the raw garlic at temperatures ranging between 140 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Slowly, the cloves turn into a dark brown color, after 60-90 days.

Even though fresh garlic is naturally healthy, the heating and aging process makes the black garlic unique in its color, taste, and health benefits.

A.2 Taste Profile 

Depending on the aged garlic extract3, Black Garlic can give out a caramelized and savory taste or a sweeter and earthier one.

Specifically, it has the tang of a tamarind or balsamic vinegar, with the sweetness of rich molasses and the umami notes of soy sauce.

It has softer cloves that are chewy and have a tender texture.

A.3 Varieties 

Black Garlic can be of two varieties: 

1) Multi clove garlic, where each clove is separated by the skin and has to be peeled.

2) Solo or single clove, which is a single, round and smaller in size clove.

A.4 Uses 

As an ingredient, Black Garlic is found in meat rubs, bread, sauces, and soups in either a crushed or powdered form. This only becoming more popular with repeated representations in popular American shows.

Although differing from the White Garlic, Black Garlic benefits are unique ones that we will be looking at here.

1) Healthy Properties of Black Garlic

The mild-flavored, delicate, and sticky Black Garlic has the following healthy properties

1.1) Black Garlic Has Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants in our body prevent oxidative damage4, leading to various diseases. For this purpose, these food products, including Garlic, can be consumed. 

Studies show that the fermentation process of Black Garlic gives it more antioxidants than Raw Garlic.

The compound allicin, which provides aged Black Garlic its pungent odor, when crushed, is converted into ferments that have the antioxidant compounds – alkaloids and flavonoids, as shown through food and drug analysis studies.

Researchers found in a 2014 study the peak antioxidant content of Black Garlic comes at 21 days of fermentation.

1.2) Black Garlic Has Anticancer Properties

Scientific research has shown that Black Garlic benefits include a positive effect on fighting cancer cells. It can be due to the anticarcinogenic properties5 present, even more than fresh ginger.

A test-tube study of 21 volunteers indicated that black garlic extract has more immune-stimulating, antioxidant, and anticancer properties than raw garlic extract.

The research specifically indicated that the black garlic extract could be toxic to breast, lung, stomach, and liver cancer cells within 72 hours.

Other studies have shown black garlic extract can prevent the growth of colon and stomach cancer cells.

Almost 25 human and animal studies have been reviewed showing black garlic benefits.

1.3) Other Properties of Black Garlic

The active compound allicin present in Black Garlic gives it its germ-killing ability.

This, along with Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate, Magnesium, sodium, zinc, manganese, calcium, and phosphorous, gives its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.

With amino acids and more nutrients than Raw Garlic after fermentation6, it also has disease-fighting components.

A pharmacologic review in 2019 also showed how the chemical compounds in black garlic change after the fermentation, giving it antioxidant, anti-allergic, and anticancer effects. It also protects the liver and immune system, among other black garlic benefits.

Let us look at the Black Garlic benefits derived from these.

2) Health Benefits of Black Garlic

While Raw Garlic is a pungent and powerful ingredient that is added to many dishes, a 2017 review shows there are some therapeutic Black Garlic benefits7 like:

2.1) Black Garlic Benefits Help Regulate Blood Sugar

black garlic
By wavebreakmedia/unlimphotos.com Copyright 2022.

Diabetic patients who have high blood sugar can face health issues like kidney damage, heart disease, and infections.

Animal studies have found that aged black garlic extract can improve metabolism, lower cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, and regulate appetite.

Other animal studies on rats with diabetes8 also found the antioxidant activity of Black Garlic could prevent any complications formed due to high blood sugar.

Research where rats fed on a high-fat diet, along with Black Garlic, had low levels of glucose and insulin present than those who didn’t have the garlic. This can also prevent gestational diabetes, corroborated by other studies.

2.1.1) Does It Help with Insulin Resistance?

When cells in our muscles, liver, and fat do not respond to insulin which helps glucose enter our cells to be used for energy, it causes insulin resistance.

Generally, prediabetic and diabetic patients face this problem, which can be eased with the help of Black Garlic.

Animal studies show that Black Garlic helps insulin resistance, but this should be eaten, only after a doctor’s recommendation.

More research on humans needs to be conducted to confirm these black garlic benefits.

2.2) Black Garlic Benefits Can Help with Heart Disease

Black Garlic is proven to reduce total cholesterol levels, LDL or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides, while increasing HDL or good cholesterol.

The high level of organosulfur compounds present in black garlic act as antioxidants that can reduce plaque buildup in arteries and prevent inflammation that leads to cell damage as proven by research.

Animal studies have shown eating raw garlic, or black ones can protect against diseases like ischemia or lack of blood flow to the heart.

Other animal studies showed adding the aged garlic extract to a diet can reduce total blood fats and cholesterol levels. But excess consumption was also shown to be dangerous.

Black Garlic can reduce blood urea nitrogen concentration or BUN. This helps to lower blood pressure and cause electrolyte balance, which can prevent a weak heart and eventually heart failure.

2.2.1) Comparative Studies

Research has also shown eating 6 gms of aged black garlic extract or placebo can reduce the risk of heart disease markers.

This was compared in other studies where those who consumed Black Garlic increased more antioxidants than the placebo-taking participants.

2.3) Black Garlic Benefits Include Protecting Brain Health

brain health
By brightsource/unlimphotos.com Copyright 2022.

Inflammation that can impair memory and obstruct brain health can be prevented with the help of Black Garlic.

Accumulation of protein compounds called Beta Amyloid 9is capable of causing brain inflammation, affecting cognitive function, and risking getting Alzheimer’s disease as shown in research.

Animal studies have shown eating Aged Garlic could reduce these kinds of inflammation and provide better short-term memory.

Other studies have shown Black Garlic can also prevent oxidative stress that can cause memory impairment.

2.4) Black Garlic Benefits Include Preventing Liver Damage

Constant exposure to medications, chemicals, alcohol, and germs can damage liver injury which, can be prevented with the help of Black Garlic.

Animal studies show they can protect the liver in such cases and also prevent further damage.

A rat study also shows decreased levels of ALT and AST, chemicals that affect the liver, upon consumption of Black Garlic.

2.4.1) Does It Help with Chronic Diseases?

For more chronic cases, like alcoholic damage, research shows black garlic can improve liver function through its antioxidant properties.

2.5) Black Garlic Provides Hair Benefits

review conducted in 2012 shows the potential Black Garlic benefits that can help hair loss.

Researchers found that Regular Garlic and onion juice can help in the regrowth and loss of hair.

A 2007 study showed moderate results in preventing hair loss with topical garlic gel. However, this was with a steroid cream, so more research is needed here. 

Apart from proven studies, many companies claim black garlic shampoos can provide lustrous and resilient hair.

2.6) Black Garlic Can Provide Skin Benefits

skin benefits
By Kzenon/unlimphotos.com Copyright 2022.

Fresh Garlic, is being used in natural topical treatments since the beginning, the skin benefits it provides are:

1) Relief from eczema, acne, warts, and psoriasis. Some studies prove these black garlic benefits.

2) Dermatological studies show Black Garlic can help with defending skin infections

3) Black garlic has been proven to help with wound healing

4) Black Garlic is capable of Preventing the early aging process and UVB damage

5) Boosts Tissue Regeneration

2.7) Black Garlic Can Help with Weight Loss

A 2017 animal research proves that Black Garlic has anti-obesity properties, along with other benefits like positive effects on brain cells, nervous system, and inflammatory diseases.

2.7.1) Does It Help with Atherosclerosis?

This is a disease that affects our arterial walls due to vascular inflammation, plaque formation, and endothelial dysfunction. Know more here.

The chemical properties of Black Garlic can protect the arterial wall from such damage.

3) Other Types of Black Garlic Benefits

Different kinds of Black Garlic benefits exist due to their varieties, which differ according to the production process like:

3.1) Aged Garlic Extract Benefits

Aged Black Garlic isn’t fully fermented. Since it doesn’t sit through the entire heat and humidity conditions, it lies somewhere between Raw White Garlic and fermented black ones.

Thus, it has a mixture of both white and black garlic benefits. 

3.2) Fermented Black Garlic Effects

Black Garlic is also considered a subtype of Aged Garlic due to a long fermenting period. The difference between black and Raw Garlic is they lie at two ends of a spectrum based on the aging period.

Generally, it takes 40-45 days, but studies on the commercialized Garlic have shown it can take just 13 days with the proper processing conditions, it can blacken and provide the same black garlic benefits in a shorter period.

4) How To Buy Black Garlic?

Black Garlic, a versatile ingredient, especially in Asian Culture, can be brought in either a grocery store or specialty shops. Online retailers also sell garlic in different forms like whole bulbs, cloves, or powder.

You can also make your Black Garlic, find a homemade recipe here.

5) Storage Tips

If you have whole bulbs of Black Garlic, that are unpeeled, it is best to store them in the packaging at room temperature. Once you open it, keep it either in the refrigerator, where it can last up to a month, or use it within the expiry date.

Peeled or diced black garlic cloves are to be stored in glass jars or airtight containers in the refrigerator.

6) Black Garlic Recipes

You can add Black Garlic to your diet in the following ways – either to make a stir fry with soy sauce, in-season soups, cheese dips, salads, and pasta dishes. While it can be used as pizza toppings, you can also make a simple salad dressing with garlic and olive oil.

Here are links to some detailed recipes for main dishes, sides, snacks, desserts, and drinks:

1) Made with Black Garlic, salsa Verde, and shishito peppers, this is a healthy gluten-free and paleo dish that is a must-try. Click here for the recipe.

2) Want a dish that combines flavors of the sea, earth, and sky? Try out this dish which has buttery scallops, earthy Black Garlic, and lime.

3) For a healthy vegan dinner recipe that gives out a caramel taste, try this tofu with black garlic sauce.

4) A good summer snack would be this recipe with roasted carrots, a yogurt dressing, and for the savory notes – Black Garlic.

5) Who said Garlic and Chocolate, cannot be used in the same dish? This cookie recipe with maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, dark chocolate chips, and Black Garlic is a must-try.

6) For a smoothie recipe that is delicious and nutrient-packed with dates, banana, cacao powder, and Black Garlic, try out this family one here.

7) If you wish to create a bloody Mary recipe with savory tastes of hot sauce, pickle juice, lime, tomato juice, sauces along with garlic puree, this is the recipe you must look at.

7) Side Effects of Black Garlic

Despite the above-mentioned black garlic benefits, they come with certain downsides like:

1) If we eat Black Garlic in large amounts, there is a risk of increased bleeding which can cause dangers to people taking blood-thinning medications. Read more here.

However, there are studies showing it doesn’t pose an actual risk.

2) There is always a risk of getting an allergic reaction, so a healthcare professional is to be, consulted in such cases.

It is also safe to consult a doctor if one is taking any medications for any disease as there is less research on this area.

8) Is It Worth It?

As we have seen above, Black Garlic has all its benefits coming from the process of its making, which gives it a unique color and flavor to be made a part of a healthy diet.

With less proven, side effects, there should not be a risk attached to trying out this healthy ingredient for its many advantages.

If you liked this article, click here to read another helpful piece on kinds of Garlic.

Top 6 Foods That Get Better With Age And Offer Health Benefits
Icy Health

  1. Ryu, Ji Hyeon, and Dawon Kang. “Physicochemical properties, biological activity, health benefits, and general limitations of aged black garlic: A review.” Molecules 22.6 (2017): 919. ↩︎
  2. Bellare, J_R, et al. “Controlled environment vitrification system: an improved sample preparation technique.” Journal of electron microscopy technique 10.1 (1988): 87-111. ↩︎
  3. Borek, Carmia. “Antioxidant health effects of aged garlic extract.” The Journal of nutrition 131.3 (2001): 1010S-1015S. ↩︎
  4. Murphy, Michael P. “Understanding and preventing mitochondrial oxidative damage.” Biochemical Society Transactions 44.5 (2016): 1219-1226. ↩︎
  5. Wargovich, Michael J. “Anticancer properties of fruits and vegetables.” HortScience 35.4 (2000): 573-574. ↩︎
  6. de Castro, Antonio, et al. “Lactic acid fermentation and storage of blanched garlic.” International Journal of Food Microbiology 39.3 (1998): 205-211. ↩︎
  7. Tran, Gia-Buu, Tan-Viet Pham, and Ngoc-Nam Trinh. “Black garlic and its therapeutic benefits.” Medicinal Plants-Use in Prevention and Treatment of Diseases. IntechOpen, 2019. ↩︎
  8. Fuliang, H. U., et al. “Effects of propolis on blood glucose, blood lipid and free radicals in rats with diabetes mellitus.” Pharmacological research 51.2 (2005): 147-152. ↩︎
  9. Selkoe, Dennis J. “Normal and abnormal biology of the beta-amyloid precursor protein.” Annual review of neuroscience 17.1 (1994): 489-517. ↩︎

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