AIMBear Paw Garlic
What IsAIMBear Paw Garlic? AIMBear Paw Garlic is a unique form of garlic. It is not derived from Allium sativum, the species of garlic sold in supermarkets and used in garlic supplements. Rather, AIMBear Paw Garlic comes from Allium ursinum, a wild species of garlic found in central Europe.
Unlike A. sativum, A. ursinum has never been successfully cultivated. (Apparently the eighth-century ruler Charlemagne attempted to cultivate the plant for medicinal purposes, but there is no record of his success.) A. ursinum is found in areas of damp woods and wooded ravines and flourishes in the hills and mountains of central Europe. Its name is derived from the claim that bears, after awakening from winter hibernation, consume wild garlic to regain strength (ursinum is Latin for "bear"). Although most of us think of the distinctive garlic bulb and cloves when considering garlic, the active substances in A. ursinum are found in its green leaves.
Although largely unknown in the United States, in 1989, A. ursinum was called "the new star" of garlic in the German health journal Therapiewoche (Therapy Week) and in 1992, was declared the European medicinal "Plant of the Year" by the Association for the Protection and Research on European Medicinal Plants.
What do European publications have to say about A. ursinum?
"Accordingly Allium ursinum contains much more ajoene and an about twentyfold higher content of adenosine than its cultivated cousin. Just these substances are the ones to which, according to recent studies, an essential part of the known allium effects such as reduction of cholesterine, inhibition of thrombocyte-aggregation, drop in blood pressure, improvement of blood-rheology and fibrinolysis are attributed." Therapiewoch, November 1990
allium ursinum is superior to allium sativum, since the latter has been overcultivated through several thousand years to a one-sided form." Allgemeine Homöopathische Zeitung, Vol 211/1966.
"It is known of Allium ursinum that it possesses cholesterol and blood pressure regulating characteristics." Natur Heilpraxis mit Naturmedizin, November 1995.
"The water and ethanol extracts of wild garlic were able to reduce the intensity of generated radicals. Thus, it can be assumed that Allium ursinum has significant antioxidant properties." Török, et al. Central Research Laboratory, Pécs, Hungary.
Garlic has a long history as a healthful plant, having been used for medicinal purposes from as early as 3,000 b.c. Garlic is made up of sulfur compounds; amino acids; minerals, such as germanium, selenium, and zinc; and vitamins A, B, and C. Allicin, a sulfur-containing compound in garlic, is traditionally believed to be primarily responsible for most of the suggested benefits of garlic. Allicin is also responsible for garlics unique odor.
Adenosine acts as a muscle relaxant and as a protectant against poisons, such as caffeine.
When you first open AIMBear Paw Garlic, the garlic odor is unmistakable. However, upon digestion the garlic odor is not as noticeable. This is because the leaves of A. ursinum contain substantial amounts of chlorophyll, which binds nitrogen compounds during digestion and thus prevents the development of the smell associated with the breakdown products of garlic. As well, allicin is found in lower concentrations in the leaves of A. ursinum. However, the lesser amounts of allicin are replaced by other related sulfur-containing constituents, so none of the benefits of allicin are lost.
A. ursinum is hand-picked in the spring during a one-week period. It is harvested in the alpine regions of central Europe, in particular Switzerland. Because it is wild and cannot be cultivated, only the leaves are cut; the bulb remains in the earth to ensure future supply.
Once the leaves are harvested, they are processed quickly. They are cleaned, washed, dried, and milled under low temperatures. During this processing, adenosine levels are monitored to guarantee at least 1,100 mg/kg. (For other guaranteed nutrient levels, see table.)
How to use AIMBear Paw Garlic
The sulfur compound allicin has traditionally been credited for garlics beneficial effects. However, this may not entirely be the case. Allicin is no doubt partially responsible for garlics benefits. But many other substances may act individually or synergistically to produce benefits.
Dallas Clouatre, Ph.D., says, "The general public has been led to believe that all of the primary active constituents are in the lipophilic fractions of garlic, e.g., alliin, allicin, ajoene, etc. This is contrary to the scientific findingsit has been known for more than a decade that the odorless water-soluble fractions of garlic are equal to the oil-soluble fractions in their effects."
The allicin balloon is further deflated by comments found in John Heinermans The Healing Benefits of Garlic. He cites the sulfur compounds (such as allicin), but also adenosine, as having beneficial effects. He mentions that allicin is extremely unstable and may not be what it is thought to be: " dont be persuaded that just because a particular garlic product claims it contains significant amounts of allicin, this makes it superior to others without it."
History and botany
A. ursinum was known to the early Celts and to the ancient Romans, who considered it a cleansing plant. The Greek physician Dioscorides also attributed a detoxifying effect to the plant. In the Middle Ages, A. ursinum was known and thoroughly described. H. Bock provided drawings of the plant in his Kreutterbuch in 1565, and in 1564, Lonicerus judged wild garlic to be superior to regular garlic. A. ursinum was used routinely in central Europe for health until the end of the nineteenth century and was also eaten as a vegetable in salads.
A. ursinum is a member of the family Lilaceae (sometimes called Alliaceae or Amaryllidacae). Besides regular garlic, this family includes onions, shallots, leeks, chives, and other similar plants. A. ursinum is the only wild member of the family with a true garlic flavor and aroma.
A. ursinum has broad leaves that resemble those of the lily of the valley. It grows to between 8 inches and 20 inches in height (20 cm to 50 cm) and carries white bunches of flowers from April to June. The blossoms are snow-white with six-pointed, star-shaped forms. Brood bulbsthat is, bulbs with clovesare not found on wild garlic, which effectively limits cultivation. Wild garlic creates dense colonies that exclude other plants, but it spreads very slowly (perhaps 36 inches a year; about one meter). It is found abundantly in the Alps up to elevations of 5,700 feet (1,737 m). (Adapted from Alpine Wild Garlic, by Dallas Clouatre, Ph.D.)
Why have I never heard of A. ursinum? Because its wild! Because it has never been domesticated, A. ursinum has never made it around the world as regular garlic has. And because of this, it has not been subjected to the publicity of the "garlic wars": the fight for a market share that has done so much to bring garlic to peoples attention. It is, however, known in scientific circles and in Europe.
What is the difference between A. ursinum and A. sativum? Both A. ursinum and A. sativum come from the same family and share the same active substances and benefits. However, the leaf is used in A. ursinum and the bulb is used in A. sativum. A. ursinum also has higher quantities of many of the active substances than A. sativum does and upon digestion has less odor. In particular, A. ursinum has more of the water-soluble substances.
Aren't allicin and other fat-soluble substances the only ones of importance in garlc? No. Although allicin and ajoene are important, the water-soluble parts of garlicadenosine, y-glutamyl peptides, flavonoids, and fructanesare also very significant. As well, allicin has known side effects and is also highly unstable.
What are these water-soluble substances? We have briefly discussed adenosine and y-glutamyl peptides in this data sheet. Flavonoids are substances in plants that often have health benefits. Fructanes are significant because they are indigestible sugars known as oligosaccharides. Fructo-oligosaccharides encourage the growth of "good" intestinal bacteria.
What about standardized allicin content? Many companies market garlic products with a guaranteed allicin content. Allicin is important, but there is a wealth of research from Europe that shows that other constituents of garlicadenosine, y-glutamyl peptides, and othersare equally important, if not more beneficial than allicin. Allicin can also cause side effects in some people, so products with high allicin content could be problematic.
Clouatre, Dallas, Ph.D. Alpine Wild Garlic. San Francisco: Pax Publishing. 1995.
Sendel, et al. "Comparative Pharmacological Investigations of Allium Ursinum and Allium Sativum." Planta Medica. 58, 1992.
Because AIMBear Paw Garlic shows many of the benefits of Allium Sativum, any of the many books on this subject would be valuable.
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