>>>There is no such thing as a substance which can selectively kill the bad parasites while leaving the friendly bacteria intact. This is a myth, and is not supported by any studies that I've been able to locate. ... This is also true with garlic: it kills the good along with the bad.<<<
...'by any studies you've been able to locate' :::sigh:::
From folk medicine and empirical treatment it has been learned that ample amounts of fresh garlic can have a beneficial effect on the human intestinal flora. This effect is attributed to the fact that the susceptibility of pathogenic gram-positive bacteria to the antibacterial components of garlic is higher than that of the physiologically desirable intestinal bacteria....
And this one: http://www.springerlink.com/content/n11227073021398g/ (that clearly proves selectivity in what garlic extracts kill & don't kill). I have read dozens of others over the years (but did not bookmark them and don't have time to locate them). There was one study in India (humans) where doctors used garlic to repopulate/colonize beneficial intestinal microbiota (while killing off the bad guys and rebalancing the flora).
One must keep in mind this important info (taken from another study):
Standardization of garlic preparations. Before reviewing
the literature on the antibacterial effects of garlic, a fundamental
problem in garlic research must be addressed. There are
.2000 publications on the chemistry and biological effects of
garlic. This may give the impression that garlic is a thoroughly
investigated medicinal plant; the problem, however, is that
the biological studies have not gone hand in hand with the
chemical studies, with the frequent use of garlic products of
undefined composition. Very few studies have used a chemically
characterized product. The composition of garlic depends
on the source, age, storage conditions, type of processing and
method of consumption. Unfortunately, the different forms of
garlic are frequently referred to as “garlic” in both the lay and
Also, unless you find a study done with real people and identical raw garlic (where all participants have the exact same 'intestinal terrain' (and the same diet, same exposure to chemicals/poisons/metals over a lifetime)...no "study" can ever be completely accurate.
However, none of us need "studies", when common sense, common knowledge & empirical evidence abounds (empirical evidence =what actually works for actual people using actual garlic and/or cayenne). Here's just a handful:
--The inviduals in many countries (for thousands of years) consume/d VAST amounts of garlic & 'cayenne' daily...yet there's no evidence that it harms/ed their beneficial gut flora (but tons of evidence of how beneficial it is/was).
--Kimchi is extremely rich in beneficial flora, yet it is heavily laden with raw garlic & cayenne (so garlic & cayenne are definitely selective).
--Adding garlic to yogurt in a glass doesn't prove garlic kills beneficial flora in the human digestive tract, because neither yogurt or the garlic (nor the blend) was put through the digestive canal. Digestive enzymes in saliva, temperature, stomach acid, bile, pancreatic enzymes, current gut flora (and the build-up of 'decaying organic matter') and the full digestive process are in play when someone ingests either/both substances.
--This is an extremely good 'thought line' for consideration (from Yahoo Questions/Answers):
Calling all herbalist - Garlic: Can garlic kill good probiotics in the gut because of its antiviral effects?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
Actually no. Studies are showing that garlic does not kill natural (beneficial) human gut flora. The current theory on the subject is that garlic has been a part of human diets so far back into our evolution that our healthy gut flora has also evolved resistance to garlic, even at therapeutic doses (and even in the form of concentrated extracts.)
What's incredibly cool about this is that garlic (and in particular the component allicin) is effective against "bad" or pathogenic bacteria that have developed multiple resistance to pharmaceuticals - MRSA, Pseudomones aruginosa, etc.
Now... will garlic kill the bacteria in PROBIOTICS? If they're not natural human strains, yep it very likely will. Since many probiotics on the market are not predominantly composed of natural human strains, it's advisable to take your garlic about 1/2 hour away from your probiotic.
FYI - To optimize retention of the probiotics, it's also for the best to take your probiotics about 30 min away from meals.
You CAN take your garlic with your meals - be it pill form or food form, obviously. :) Note that if you're eating garlic cloves, the cloves should be CRUSHED first to activate the enzymes in this medicinal herb. Crushed raw garlic will burn your mouth (or skin, if you're applying it topically.) So use caution!
EDIT: Had to correct some misinformation here...
Pharmaceuticals are engineered/developed to interfere (very effectively) each with a specific biologic function in their target organisms. For that reason, they're effective only against organisms in a class that performs that biologic function.
That's not generally the case with raw herbs which, because each has a range of "active ingredients", tend to have broader range effects. Some herbs, for example, have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties (sage, eucalyptus, garlic, tea tree are all examples.) Garlic even has some anthelminthic (anti-worm) properties... in addition to many other medicinal properties. To wit: you're also right that garlic is showing significant promise reducing cholesterol levels (allicin, specifically) and even reversing plaques in arteries (arterosclerosis.) It's generating a lot of interest among the scientific community and there are lots of studies in the works.
--[disclaimer: of course too much of anything can be harmful] Many of us tend to believe natural foods like cayenne & garlic are too 'stimulative or exciting' (hence harmful?) and/or that one has to 'acclimate' or adjust to them before they can be beneficial (and/or not harmful). And that's mostly because 'many of us' have never restored our body's and our terrain to a natural state :( We feel like we easily 'tolerate' fluoridated/chlorinated water, all variety of GM poisons, chemicals and totally denatured and unnatural food without reaction (because 'sick & unnatural' IS our natural state...and we're used to those kinds of poisons). So we throw in a few cloves of garlic or teaspoons of cayenne in that body, get any non-typical reaction and we assume and assert they are "too stimulative, exciting, harsh, reactive" and that they're causing harm. But what we're experiencing is a body in a horrible state of UNnatural responding naturally to a food that is starting to put the body back into it's natural balance. (I used to be very 'reactive' to both garlic and cayenne, but after years of cleansing, restoring and changing my diet, I now understand what was really happening).
--Natural healers for centuries have been utilzing garlic and cayenne to successfully heal & restore their patients (particularly those that are extremely compromised or dealing with an "incurable" disease). Since we KNOW that all aspects of our body are dependent upon beneficial microbiota (particularly the immune system), we also know that if these two foods destroyed beneficial imcrobiota that these successful healers would never have been successful.
Folks, it's my suggestion to be very careful and don't get caught up in the "science trap" (we've all be falling prey to that one since 'science' was invented - and these days alternative medice/science is as bad or worse than allopathic medicine/science). And always remember that unless we've undertaken vast amounts of time & effort to restore our body to a natural state (after a lifetime/decade of damage), that it's very difficult to gauge what is "good" by how we feel or react.