Fresh Garlic vs Aged Black Garlic as an Allergy Treatment
If you're looking for a natural way to prevent and treat allergies and allergy-related conditions such as hives or allergic rhinitis, garlic may be just what you need. Provided that you are not allergic or sensitive to garlic or the Allium family of plants in general, eating garlic can provide you with some amazing anti-allergy benefits.
If you're planning to use garlic as an allergy treatment, you should opt for fresh, raw garlic rather than aged black garlic, at least if you look at the results of a garlic study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology in June 2012. This study investigated the antioxidant and anti-allergic properties of fresh garlic and aged black garlic extracts. The researchers responsible for this comparative study found that aged black garlic had stronger antioxidant properties than fresh garlic, but fresh garlic was shown to be more effective at suppressing β-hexosaminidase release. Analysis of the inhibitory effects of a substance against β-hexosaminidase release is a common measure its anti-allergic activity.
Other research conducted on garlic and allergies suggests that the anti-allergic effects of garlic may be linked to garlic's ability to suppress the activity of enzymes that generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes.
Additionally, garlic — especially fresh, raw garlic — garlic is loaded with vitamin C, which may further contribute to the ability of garlic to prevent and heal allergy symptoms. High levels of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, help control histamine release and make histamine break down faster in the body. Histamine is a natural chemical that is released by the body during times of stress and allergic reactions, and high levels of histamine have been associated with more pronounced allergic reactions.
Potential Adverse Effects of Garlic
Most of us can eat garlic on a regular basis without experiencing serious side effects. However, mild side effects may occur, especially if you are suddenly stepping up your garlic intake. These side effects may include a burning sensation in the throat or mouth, abdominal discomfort, increased perspiration, body odor, lightheadedness, and heartburn. In addition, people who are allergic or intolerant to garlic or garlic extracts may experience adverse reactions like swelling of the lips or tongue, skin rash, respiratory symptoms (such as sneezing or shortness of breath), nausea, or diarrhea. Luckily, true garlic allergies is relatively uncommon.
Furthermore, before you add garlic to your anti-allergy diet, you should talk to you doctor if you take medications — many drugs are known to interact with compounds present in garlic. These medications include but are not limited to warfarin, saquinavir, antiplatelet drugs, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, as well as certain antibiotics and contraceptive drugs.