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Since April 1997

AIM Bear Paw Garlic™

What Is AIM Bear Paw Garlic™?

Bear Paw Garlic - Allium Ursinum AIM Bear 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, AIM Bear 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 eight-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.


Garlic has a long history of being used for health, 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 garlic's unique odor.

A. Ursinum

A. ursinum has all the benefits of the A. sativum products that are found on the market. However, A. ursinum has three adantages over this domesticated garlic;

  1. It has more of the active substances;
  2. It has active substances not found in cultivated garlic, or found only when large quantities are taken;
  3. It is oderless
  • A. ursinum contains allicin and its related forms, as well as more ajoene (a degraded form of allicin) and its related forms, more y-glutamyl peptides (GLUT), and more than 20 times as much adenosine.
  • Current opinion states that the y-glutamyl peptides and ajoene result in an increase in the difference across the membrane of the vascular smooth muscle. This in turn results in a widening of blood vessels, which may affect blood pressure.
  • y-glutamyl peptides have been demonstrated to inhibit the actions of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE), an enzyme released from the kidneys which regulates blood pressure.
  • Adenosine helps increase blood vessel width and can also reduce platelet aggregation (blood stickiness).
  • Adenosine acts as a muscle relaxant and as a protectant against poisons such as caffeine.
  • A. ursinum might activate macrophages to reduce the synthesis of LDL cholesterol and protect against plaques and blood clots.
  • A. ursinum has antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals.
  • A. ursinum has antibacterial and antifungal properties.


When you first open AIM Bear 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 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 1,1000 mg/kg. (For other guaranteed nutrient levels, see table.)

Nutritional Profile
Constituent AIM Bear Paw Garlic™
(Minimum guaranteed)
A. sativum
Sulfur 7,000 mg/kg 6,114 mg/kg
Magnesium 1,600 mg/kg 952 mg/kg
Manganese 230 mg/kg 14 mg/kg
Iron 120 mg/kg 107 mg/kg
Zinc 45 mg/kg 0
Adenosine 1,100 mg/kg 70 mg/kg


Take three capsules per day. You may take them at any time. Store in a dry, cool place. If stored correctly, shelf life is approximately four years, unopened.

Questions & Answers

Why have I Never heard of A. ursinum?
Becaue it's 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 people's 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 fromt he 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 garlic?
No. although allicin and ajoene are important, the water-soluble parts of garlic - adenosine, y-glutamyl peptides, flavonoids, and fructanes - are also very significant. As well, allicin has known side effects and is also highly unstable.

What are the water-soluble substances?
We have briefly discussed adenosine and glutamyl peptides in this technical bulletin. Flavonoids are substances in plants that often have health benefits. Fructanes are significant because they are indigestible sugars known as oligosaccharies. Fructo-oligosaccharides encourage the growth of "good" intestinal bacteria.

What about standarized 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 garlic - adenosine, y-glutamyl peptides, and others - are 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.

Suggested Reading

Clouatre, Dallas, Ph.D., 1995. Alpine Wild Garlic, San Francisco: Pax Publishing

Mindell, Earl, 1994. Garlic: The Miracle Nutrient.New Caanan, CT: Keats Publishing

Tariq H. Abdullah, M.D.; O. Kandil, Ph.D.; A. Elkadi, M.D.; and J. Carter. 1988. Garlic revisited: therapeutic for the major diseases of our times? Journal of the National Medical Association,Vol. 80, No. 4

This bulletin is for information only. It has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The article "AIM Bear Paw Garlic™" is reproduced with the permission of AIM International.
©1997 - present by AIM International

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