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What Is Black Garlic? The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits

what is black garlic

What Is Black Garlic?

The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits

You may have seen it on TV or in the supermarket and wondered what on earth black garlic is.

It might even look a little too exotic and scary for some people and their palates, but for those more adventurous eaters, there are some wonderful health benefits of this unique food item.

We took a look at the 5 very real, science-backed health benefits of black garlic and now you can find them out too, just read on below.


history of black garlic

The History Of Black Garlic

The Unknown Alium

Nobody knows for sure when black garlic was first used. However, it is thought that it may have been created using various different methods involving fermentation and curing by people from different cultures in ancient times.

Some people believe it originated in China and worked its way down to Thailand through travel and trade, but finding acceptable levels of evidence is nearly impossible.

What we do know is that black garlic is known to have been introduced to the modern culinary market at the beginning of the 21st century making it a relatively new product for western palates.

In modern times black garlic is a popular dish in high-end restaurants giving patrons the opportunity to try something exotic, but also familiar.

So, Does Anyone Know Where It Came From?

Evidence is thin on the ground. It’s one of those mysteries we’ll probably never solve.



how is black garlic made

What is Black Garlic?

How Is It Made?

So, how is black garlic made? The dark, sweet product is what you get after heating whole garlic cloves at about 60 degrees Centigrade for about 40 days in a relatively humid environment.
The garlic turns black and becomes more acidic and sweeter, as well as sticky and pliable.

In addition, it loses the pungency of fresh garlic, thus making it possible for you to use its toasty, fruity, and caramelized flavors in several different ways that are not possible with raw garlic.

Some people find garlic off-putting because of it’s sharp, overpowering flavor, but black garlic can offer a more subtle and sweet alternative.

The Gourmand’s Choice

Chefs all over the world are taking advantage of black garlic’s tangy, subtle flavor in order to add to their dishes a savory elegance.
It is similar to roasted garlic in texture, which makes it easy to blend into sauces and spreads. However, what is making black garlic increasingly popular is its association with a number of health benefits, which we will discuss further down below.


The aging process that is used in making black garlic is known to amplify garlic’s traditional health properties, including reducing blood pressure, fighting a common cold, and detoxifying the body of excess metals, among other important benefits. However, black garlic is a super food that offers many more other health benefits when compared to fresh garlic.

What Can We Learn Here?

Black garlic is normal garlic slow cooked until dark. It still has health benefits though.



Why Is Black Garlic So Healthy

Why Is Black Garlic So Healthy?

Antioxidant Power

The main reason why black garlic offers a lot of health benefits is that it is very rich in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, it may contain up to two times more antioxidants than raw garlic.
This is associated with the aging and fermentation process that is used to make black garlic. For instance, a study conducted in 2009 showed that black garlic is more effective than fresh garlic when it comes to how it may affect tumor growth in cancer. (1)

The True Story Of Choo Keng Kwang

A Mandarin oil painter, known as Choo Keng Kwang, is said to have experienced a complete reversal of a skin condition known as psoriasis after using black garlic. He is said to have eaten half a bulb of black garlic a day, for a period of four days, after which he became completely healed of his psoriasis.

He had tried a number of prescribed skin creams, but they are failed to cure him. This is another classic example of the effectiveness of black garlic in addressing certain health issues due to the fact that it is very rich in antioxidants. (2)


Black garlic is also very rich in sulfurous compounds. One of these compounds, known as S-Allylcycteine (SAC), has been shown to offer a lot of health benefits, including the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis. (3)

In simpler terms, it means that this particular compound has the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. S-Allylcysteine is water soluble and readily digestible.

What Does This All Mean?

Black garlic has some seriously powerful compounds that may be worth trying.



What Are The 5 Health Benefits of Black Garlic

What Are The 5 Health Benefits Of Black Garlic?

Garlic Power Maximized

While there are quite a few claims made about almost every single natural food product, quite a few of the health benefits of black garlic actually hold up to scientific scrutiny.
The following are the 5 recognized health benefits of black garlic:

1. Treating Type 2 Diabetes

People who suffer from type 2 diabetes do experience numerous problems with their health as a result of oxidative stress.
As a matter of fact, failure to control one’s diabetes effectively can lead to serious health complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, vision problems such as glaucoma, as well as potential nerve damage.

Using black garlic can help reduce oxidative stress resulting from increased blood sugar levels. This is because of it is very rich in antioxidants. (4)

As we referenced in an above segment, a number of scientific studies have shown that its high level of antioxidants has a much stronger effect when compared to raw garlic, meaning that black garlic can be much more effective when it comes to the prevention of diabetes-related complications.

2. Infection Prevention

Since black garlic contains S-allylcysteine, it has the potential to offer protection against infections. This compound is known to assist with the absorption of allici, which in return helps it metabolize easily. This is the reason why black garlic has the ability to boost protection against infections.

In addition, just like raw garlic, black garlic is a natural antibiotic, meaning that it has the ability to fight infections and viruses. As a matter of fact, garlic has been used to fight infections for thousands of years, including helping fight the plague in the past.

2. Improving Cholesterol Levels

It is very important to keep LDL (bad cholesterol) in check in orders to reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, and premature death. Using black garlic has been shown to offer numerous heart health benefits including assisting with HDL (good cholesterol) production.

Until recently, raw garlic has been associated with a lot of heart health benefits, but recent scientific studies (referenced above) have shown that black garlic can offer even more of these benefits, compared to raw garlic, including assisting in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Researchers have been able to show that black garlic has a slightly different phytochemical makeup when compared to raw garlic.

This means that it can offer even greater benefits for supporting heart health.

3. Helping Heal The Liver From Alcohol Damage

Bad habits, including excessive drinking, can damage the liver irreparably. However, the human liver can heal itself naturally if an individual stops their bad habits before it is too late.

Alcoholic liver disease is known to occur when someone’s liver gets damaged as a result of oxidative stress, which results when the liver tries to break down the alcohol. The liver cells get damaged, leading to inflammation and scarring over time.

Scientific studies have shown that black garlic has the ability to help reduce inflammation as well as reversing the damage caused by alcohol to the liver.

It can also help remove the fat that is accumulated in the liver, due to its potent antioxidant properties.

Of course, this doesn’t mean someone can keep having one beer too many and then just eat a bulb of black garlic, but it may help those who pursue moderation.

4. Relieving Allergies

Black garlic can be effectively used to relief nasal problems such as sinus and also help with skin allergies.

Scientific studies have shown that black garlic can indeed help turn off genes that are known to cause inflammation and allergic reactions. (referenced above).

This probably doesn’t mean the someone with a dog allergy can just scoff a few black garlic cloves and give Buster a big hug, but it does mean it can play a supporting role in helping manage allergies.

5. Immune System Support

In addition the aforementioned 4 health benefits, it can also help strengthen the immune system due to the fact that it is very rich in antioxidants.

Another important benefit of using garlic to fight infections is that it does not harm the beneficial gut bacteria, unlike antibiotics.

A study performed on chickens showed that garlic (allium sativum) enhanced T-Cell production which may affect B-Cell production and immunoglobulin activity, increase immune system strength. (5)

What’s The Bottom Line Here?

Black garlic has the potential to offer some excellent health support as well as potent flavor.



slow roasted garlic

What Is Black Garlic?


Unlike raw garlic which is associated with a pungent odor, the fermentation process used to make black garlic helps reduce the strong flavor and pungent odor.

This helps make it more appealing and palatable. In addition, black garlic is said to taste almost like dried fruit; it is described as sweet, smoky, and chewy.

This essentially means that there is no reason why you should not start blending black garlic in your sauces and spreads and enjoy its awesome health benefits in return.

Knowing all the health benefits of black garlic, there’s no reason not to add a little to any dish and reap the rewards that some of the nutritious properties may offer.


We hope you found this article “What Is Black Garlic? The 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits” to be informative. Please be advised that the information on this website is not offered for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness or ailment and that anyone with medical issues should seek professional assistance.

About the author

S James

sammi109 - July 11, 2017

This stuff is tasty, but too chewy if you buy it from the wrong place. Make sure you purchase black garlic in tight sealed containers.

If it dries out too much it can be like little black rocks lol.

    Donnell Sikander - May 17, 2018

    This site is absolutely fabulous!

S James - October 2, 2017

I’d imagine if you keep it sealed it will retain its moisture levels. Little black rocks doesn’t have much of an appeal 🙂

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