Excited about Black Garlic

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

I had never heard of black garlic until receiving a black garlic fermenter as a gift.  Researching more about it and how to use it I was excited to learn about it benefits for the brain and aging.  Apparently besides protecting the heart and preventing cancer, black garlic may also help  maintain memory. Its antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the brain and help block cognitive conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.   As a Feldenkrais®  Practitioner and someone who is aging this is great knowledge.

What is Black Garlic?  (Not to be mistaken for black garlic oil)

Garlic cloves turn black through an aging process using heat.  It was  first introduced through Asian cuisine. It is made by heating whole bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum) over the course of several weeks.  With a fermenter the cloves are contained at a set temperature and humidity for 9 to 14 days.  Once taken out of the chamber they are set aside to dry and rest for a number of weeks.

The results

The black cloves are soft and gummy with a sweetness replacing the abrupt hit to the taste-buds from a raw clove.  These cloves can be used in recipes for flavouring to sauces, eaten individually or spreadable for sandwiches and used as a pizza topping.  These coves do not leave an uncomfortable garlic smell like raw cloves do.

The experience of making black garlic

Naively I set the fermenter up in the kitchen for the first batch and discovered how overpowering the smell was after a few days.  This possibly attributed to none of us getting any viruses this winter!  The second batch I set it up in a sheltered placement outside.  The one mistake I made with the first batch was to cut off the tops of the cloves.  This dried out the cloves and left them hard and too dry.  Now I leave the cloves and outer casing intact fermenting them whole.  They come out of the fermenter soft and gummy like.

Even tho the first batch was dry and hard I began munching on them to learn more about the experience.  What I noticed is that the taste changes as the cloves age.  They become sweeter and more delicate in flavour.   It was instantly recognizable how these could enhance any recipe.

I discovered how easy it is to ferment garlic cloves with a fermenter.

The experience of eating black garlic

In my research I learned that for health benefits one could eat three to four cloves a day.  I set an intention to begin to do just this while checking in with myself to notice any differences.  As a Feldenkrais® Practitioner I am interested in the relationship between good food and function.   I have experienced increased gut health eating fermented foods that directly impact brain function so I was curious and excited to find out more about any changes I would feel eating black garlic.  One of the most notable differences was calming down my fear center of the brain.  I can only describe it as food empathy!  I had experienced this once before after seeing Doctor Abraham Hoffer in the mid nineties.

Background on noticing change in brain fear center

Doctor Hoffer was researching and designing water filters for living water that I wanted to investigate.  I was on a deep detox after having a serious medical diagnosis and was learning about living water.  Doctor Hoffer was the author of many books, one in particular was the Niacin Effect.  Doctor Hoffer suggested that I take high does of  vitamins to supplement my diet. His focus was on the lack of nutrition in foods available today that was no longer feeding the brain the nutrition it needed.   Following his instructions I noticed my responses calmed down while driving.  I was normally nervous to merge in high traffic areas and within a couple of weeks I recognized I had not been having any nervous reactions at all in these circumstances.  After eating black garlic for a few days I noticed that this happened again while being a passenger in a car with my son.  I hate to admit that I had been nervous riding with him.  He is a good driver however his stops and starts have been too fast for my nervous system.  This seems to be in the past now after eating black garlic.  Now, I have no reactions to it!

I coach students to expand beyond their set patterns physically, mentally and emotionally and recognize how adding black garlic could support them to begin to take action naturally with no hesitation.  In myself I recognize it as a source of nutrition for the brain center that can block one from fear and anxiety.

I have learned that black garlic can be expensive to buy already processed.  The mesh bag of cloves above was $5.00 at a local market.  The only added expense will be the electricity.  I do not use a dishwasher, or microwave or electric pans so I this is a minor philosophical  challenge. However, worth it.

I give black garlic and this fermenter my personal recommendation.

More Fabulous Fermenting Recipes

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Read more:

Another book by Doctor Hoffer:

  • Feel Better, Live Longer With Vitamin B-3: Nutrient Deficiency and Dependency

    • Presents an unified theory of nutrient deficiency and dependency. The authors prove that large, controlled doses of vitamin B-3 or niacin, are effective in preventing, treating, and even reversing such niacin deficiency and dependency disorders as pellagra, schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Copyright 2014 – 2020  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000


by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP  This post may contain Affiliate Links, thank you in advance for your support!  Renee

Mortartea kettleEdibleDye

by Renee Lindstrom


Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Horsetail is edible when it first emerges from the soil before leaves sprout on stalk. After the stalk darkens in colour and starts to have leaf shoots from the circular ribs it is no longer edible yet becomes medicinal!

As horsetail absorbs the minerals from the soil surrounding it you want to ensure that the water or soil it is growing in or near is organic and not polluted.

Nutrients & Qualities in Horsetail:

Horsetail has manganese, calcium, iron, flavonoids, caffeic acid esters, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, fatty acids, phytosterols, glycosides, phenolic acids, aconitic acid, *equisetic acid and silica.

*Equisetic acid which is a heart and nerve sedative. If taken in abnormally high doses can be poisonous.

Medicinal Qualities & Uses:

  • anti-aging,
  • anti-wrinkle,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • antibacterial,
  • antimicrobial,
  • antioxidant,
  • coagulant,
  • demulcent,
  • diuretic,
  • astringent
  • anemia,
  • arthritis, brittle bone,
  • eyes,
    • conjunctivitis,
  •  hair,
    • hair loss
  • skin
    • acne
    • anti-aging
    • anti-wrinkle
    • burns
    • rashes
  • teeth,
  • nails,
  • gingivitis,
  • tonsillitis,
  • rheumatic disorders,
  • osteoarthritis,
  • diabetes,
  • wounds,
  • frostbite,
  • chilblains,
  • athlete’s foot,
  • boils,
  • carbuncles,
  • ulcers,
  • fistulas,
  • herpes simplex,
  • dyspepsia (impaired digestion),
  • gastrointestinal conditions,
  • cardiovascular diseases,
  • respiratory tract infections,
  • bronchitis,
  • fever,
  • malaria,
  • bladder problems,
  • urinary tract infection,
  • bed wetting,
  • kidney stones,
  • prostate problems,
  • hemorrhoids,
  • muscle cramps,
  • tumors,
  • broken bones,
  • fractures,
  • sprains,
  • nose bleed,
  • immune system

How to use:

The above ground parts of Horsetail are used and can be in dried or liquid form.  It needs to be cooked, dried, boiled or infused.  It cannot be eaten raw.

by Renee Lindstrom

Dried Horsetail

  • Drying Horsetail for Tea/Water Infusions:

Horsetail stalk and leaves can be picked, rinsed and dried.  When it dried it should remain green.  Do not use if it turns brown.

  • Horsetail Tea – max. 3 cups per day

Add 1 – 2 Teaspoons of dried or fresh Horsetail to boiling water and steep for 7 to 10 minutes.

  • Sore Throats, Coughs, Colds and Lungs

Horsetail tea can be soothing to use as a gargle for sore throats and beneficial to clear airways when breathing in its steam while boiling this herb.

  • Poultice

Crush fresh Horsetail and soak in hot water for a few minutes or soak dried horsetail in hot water, drain and place in cheesecloth to apply to area.  Leave for up to 15 minutes a few times a day.

  • Toner

Steep 1  teaspoon of Horsetail to 1 cup of boil water and steep for up to 10 minutes. When cool use cotton ball to dampen with tea solution and dab facial skin and neck to rinse in the morning and evening after removing makeup.

  • Hair Rinse or Bath Infusion

Use up to 10 teaspoons of fresh or dried horsetail to 4 cups of hot water and add to your bath or use to rinse your hair.

  • Oils, Creams & Salves

Fresh or dried Horsetail can be processed into oils and combined with other oils, plants and herbs to make salves and creams.  Find recipes here

If you don’t have a source of Fresh Horsetail find dried on-line here.

Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.