Garlic…a brain poison?

…from GARLIC – TOXIC SHOCK! Reprinted from Nexus Magazine, Feb/Mar 2001. Source: From a lecture by physicist Dr. Robert C. Beck, DSc, given at the Whole Life Expo, Seattle, WA, USA, in March 1996. {Asterisked entries (*) refer to definitions in the glossary at the end of the paper.}

Garlic is so toxic. It is a specific poison for higher-life forms and brain cells.

The reason garlic* is so toxic is that it contains the sulphone* hydroxyl* ion that penetrates the blood-brain barrier, just like DMSO [a sulfoxide*], and this sulphone hydroxyl ion is a specific poison for higher-life forms and brain cells. We discovered this, much to our horror, when I (Bob Beck, DSc) was a manufacturer of EEG [electroencephalography*] equipment.

We’d have people in our testing programs come back from lunch and we would find that their brains looked clinically dead on an encephalograph, which we used to calibrate their progress. We would ask, “Well, what happened?” They would say, “Well, I went to an Italian restaurant and there was some garlic in my salad dressing!” So we had them sign things that they wouldn’t touch garlic before classes or we were wasting their time, their money and my time.

Maybe some of you … are pilots or have been in flight tests… I was in flight test engineering in Doc Hallan’s group in the 1950s. The flight surgeon would come around every month and remind all of us: “Don’t you dare touch any garlic 72 hours before you fly one of our airplanes, because it’ll double or triple your reaction time. You’re three times slower in your reaction time than you would be if you’d not had a few drops of garlic.”

Well, we didn’t know why for 20 years later, until we were using electroencephalograph equipment and we found out that garlic usually desynchronizes your brain waves. This means it makes your alpha waves go away and replaces it with beta waves, which then make you tense and anxious.

So I funded a study at Stanford University and, sure enough, they found that it’s a poison. You can rub a clove of garlic on your foot – you can smell it shortly later on your wrists. So it penetrates the body. This is why DMSO smells a lot like garlic: that sulphone hydroxyl ion penetrates all the barriers including the corpus callosum* in the brain.

Any of you who are organic gardeners know that if you don’t want to use DDT, garlic will kill anything in the way of insects.

Now, most people have heard most of their lives garlic is good for you, and we put those people in the same class of ignorance as to the mothers who at the turn of the century would buy morphine in the form of morphine sulfate in the drugstore and give it to their babies to put them to sleep. Yes, morphine was legal over the counter back then.

If you have any patients who have low-grade headaches or attention deficit disorder or they can’t quite focus on the computer in the afternoon, just do an experiment – you owe it to yourselves. Take these people off the garlic and see how much better they get, very very shortly.

And then let them eat a little garlic after about three weeks. They’ll say “My God, I had no idea that this was the cause of our problems.” And this includes the de-skunked garlic, Kyolic, some of the other products.
For garlic fanatics, this is making me very unpopular, but I’ve got to tell you the truth.

Reference & Glossary

Corpus callosum

A broad band of nerve fibers joining the two hemispheres of the brain.


A technique for recording and interpreting the electrical activity of the brain. The nerve cells of the brain generate electrical impulses that fluctuate rhythmically in distinct patterns. In 1929 Hans Berger of Germany developed an electroencephalograph, an instrument that measures and records these brain wave patterns. The recording produced by such an instrument is called an electroencephalogram, commonly abbreviated EEG. Electroencephalography provides a means of studying how the brain works and of tracing connections between one part of the central nervous system and another.


(Species Allium sativum) contains about 0.1 percent essential oil, the principal components of which are diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and allyl propyl disulfide.


Of or denoting the radical -OH, present in alcohols and many other organic compounds: a hydroxyl group.


Also called SULPHOXIDE, any of a class of organic compounds containing sulfur and oxygen and having the general formula (RR’) SO, in which R and R’ are a grouping of carbon and hydrogen atoms. The sulfoxides are good solvents for salts and polar compounds. The best-known sulfoxide is dimethyl (or methyl) sulfoxide (DMSO), which is prepared by aerial oxidation of dimethyl sulfide (a by-product of paper manufacture) in the presence of nitrogen dioxide. DMSO is used as a solvent in a wide variety of industrial processes, including the manufacture of polyacrylonitrile fibers, the extraction of aromatic hydrocarbons from refinery streams, the manufacture of certain pesticides, for industrial cleaning, and for paint stripping. It is also used as a solvent for drugs and antitoxins applied topically. The last use is based on its remarkable ability to penetrate animal tissues. Dimethyl sulfoxide is a colorless and odorless liquid, boiling at 189 C (372 F). It is miscible in all proportions with water, alcohol, and most organic solvents.

Sulphone (in the US, known as sulfone)An organic compound containing a sulphonyl group linking two organic groups

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