At a time when antibiotics and other pharmacy products did not exist, a bulb of garlic represented a whole pharmacy industry due to the broad range of health benefits including antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antioxidant, and immune stimulant. Â In 1858 Louis Pasteur wrote about how garlic killed bacteria. Even back then, he realized that garlic was effective against strongly resistant bacteria.
The use of garlic for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years.
Ancient civilizations, Â and even up until about 50 years ago so so have been using garlic to combat a long list of health concerns including plague, influenza epidemic, typhoid fever, diphtheria, cholera, tuberculosis, respiratory system diseases, inflammation, parasitic infestations, spider bites, snake bites, wounds and skin infections.Â
Even though people have been using garlic for thousands of years, here in the United States, we supposedly have the FDA to protect us. Â Many European countries have widely accepted the use of herbal medicine, and Germany has listed garlic on the Commission E (their regulatory agency for herbs) list of approved herbs and even has a suggested dosage to help reduce heart disease risk. Â But despite modern empirical and clinical evidence as to the power of garlic in treating or reducing the risk of cancer, infection, heart disease, heart attack, reducing blood cholesterol and reducing frequency or duration of colds and flu, Â the establishment power centers in our country are shutting out the truth about what we really need to know.Â In fact, because of the amazing healing properties of garlic as a medicinal herb,Â if fresh raw garlic were to be sold and labeled with what it actually can heal, such as Â “Garlic helps prevents heart disease, cancer, and can cure bacterial infections”, Â it would be yanked off the market.
Here are 31 reasons why you should love garlic:
- Garlic has antibiotic properties. This has been tested in vitro research studies.
- Reduces cholesterol. Proven in clinical studies.
- Strengthens the immune system-proven.
- It’s an Â anti-cancer agent. Scientists from around the world are convinced that garlic contains compounds that are a potential remedy against cancer.
- Retards tumor growth.Â The allicin in garlic has proved to be active against sarcoma in rats-it stops the multiplying of cancer cells in all phases.Â
- Regulates blood pressure. Studies show a cario-protective action of garlic against hypertension
- Loosens plaque from artery walls. It decreases serum lipids and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and artery wall plague build-up.
- Regulates blood sugar
- Defense against allergies (See my post on Seasonal Allergies)
- Kills/expels parasites/pinworms, roundworms, etc.Â
- Contains vitamins A-B-C-B2-B6, calcium, zinc and much more
- Reduces the common cold by as much as 50% and studies indicate those who take daily doses of garlic are less prone to catching a cold than those who took a placebo.
- Thins the blood-antithrombolitic to prevent blood clots and stroke. Studies prove agents in garlic significantly increases fibrinolysis and decreases thrombocyte aggregation (clots).
- Promotes heart health
- Is an antioxident-scavenges free radicals
- Cures vaginal yeast infection: a single peeled clove of garlic wrapped in gauze and placed inside the vagina for 8-12 hours at bedtime Â may cure vaginal yeast infections. Remove the gauze and garlic in the morning and repeat agian at night, may repeat this for 1-2 nights. If relief isn’t obtained, try cutting garlic in half, threading with a string and placing inside vagina without wrapping in gauze. This might sting because the vaginal wall is already irritated and garlic will slightly irritate while it’s healing the skin. Also, you will taste garlic while the clove is in place.
- Lines the blood vessel walls (nitric oxide) to keep plaque from depositing on vessel walls
- Prevents arteriosclerosis/stroke/heart attacks-strengthens the vessels
- Antifungal treatment for ringworm. Use fresh minced garlic and a loose non-stick dressing for 1-2 hours daily for 14 days. If fresh garlic is too painful, try applying garlic tincture daily and covering with a nonstick dressing for 14 days. The tincture dressing does not have to be removed after 1-2 hours. Ringworm infections take a long time to heal, continue the treatment for at least one week after the infection appears to be resolved.
- Removes warts–Use one slice of garlic and apply directly to the wart. Rub some olive oil around the margins of the wart to decrease skin irritation, and cover the garlic with a dressing or Band-Aid type covering.Â
- Promotes weight control (appetite suppression)
- Promotes respiratory health (bronchitis/asthma/coughs etc)
- Cures ear infection–Wrap bit of garlic in gauze, Â insert in ear, cover with cotton ball, tape in place. Change garlic and gauze every 6-8 hours, until earache is gone.Â
- Heals pain of insect bites (mix juice w/salt, good for bruises/sprains
- Stops toothache ( rub raw on gums)
- Clears sinuses-anti-inflammatory
- Cures herpes (cut clove in half, eat half, put the rest on the afflicted area. may sting)
- Apply raw garlic juice or garlic tincture on rashes, bug bites, will stop itching.
- Cures cough (mix garlic juice w/honey, take 4 times daily)
- Soothes sore throats, coughs
- Cures asthma (10 drops of garlic juice or tincture w/2 tsp honey)
Are these 31 reasons enough to make you love garlic and inspire you to use it every day?
This medicinal herb is available in many forms, including fresh bulbs, oil-based extracts, dried powder, steam-distilled extracts and alcohol based tinctures. Â The best garlic remedy uses fresh, uncooked, crushed, organic cloves. Can be used in a warm tea or mixed with raw, unprocessed honey. Fresh garlic juice may also be utilized. Garlic is also found as a powder, and a pearl or capsule of garlic oil. There are also garlic extracts and tinctures. For use of garlic in small children, it is best to simply rub raw crushed garlic on the bottoms of their feet and then apply socks.Â
To combat high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar, maintain a regular daily intake of one to three fresh cloves of garlic. To make it more palatable, mix with raw honey or place the chopped garlic into capsules for swallowing. If unpleasant digestive symptoms occur, decrease intake as needed. Ginger tea is helpful to reduce gastric upset due to garlic use.
For internal bacterial (bladder, kidney), viral, fungal, parasites or respiratory congestion, consider fresh garlic tea or syrup with honey. You can also use garlic tinctures or capsules, but remember, fresh garlic is always the best choice. Garlic is readily absorbed into the lungs. This is evidenced by the odor of “garlic breath”. This action makes garlic a powerful treatment for respiratory infections. Sore throats are soothed with a warm garlic tea and a spoonful of raw honey.
To prevent or treat wound infections, use cool compresses of garlic tea, honey, garlic syrup, fresh minced garlic, or garlic oil in place of a triple antibiotic ointment. Cover the wound with a sterile gauze dressing. Change the covering and reapply the garlic remedy 1-2 times daily.
Garlic Tea: Boil 4 cups of filtered water, and cool slightly. Add 4-5 cloves of finely chopped or crushed organic garlic, fresh lemon juice and raw, unprocessed honey to taste. Drink 3-4 cups daily, either warm or cold, but do not re-boil the solution because this will neutralize the healing properties.
Honey Garlic Syrup: Crush 1/2 – 1 clove garlic and place on a tablespoon. Pour raw, unprocessed honey onto the spoon and ingest the spoonful every 4-6 hours, as needed.
Fresh Garlic Juice: Â Juice only enough cloves to produce 1/4 1 teaspoon juice. Mix with raw honey or fruit juice to taste. Take every 4-6 hours as needed.
Garlic Tincture: Chop enough garlic to make 1 cup. Pour into Mason jar. Add 2 cups vodka or grain alcohol (Everclear) or raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar. Screw on the lid. Write the date on the jar. Shake jar daily for 2-6 weeks. The longer you let it steep, the stronger the tincture will be. After the amount of time, strain out the chopped garlic with cheese cloth, squeezing all the juice out. Pour back into the Mason jar, let sit for a day, then filter again, through an unbleached paper coffee filter. Pour into amber bottles, label with recipe and date and store in cool, dark area. Use 5 drops, 4 times daily, as needed. Â Tincture made with alcohol has an almost indefinite shelf life. If made with raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar, shelf life is 6 months. Â If you don’t want to make your own garlic tincture, here is a great resource: Â Mountain Rose Herbs
These are definitely uncertain times. A working knowledge of Â how to preserve your health and treat illness is a necessity. The 31 reasons why you should love garlic are designed to arm you and motivate you and illustrate to you how Â incredibly simple it is to naturally take care of your health and your family’s health.
A word of caution: Â Garlic may alter the function of certain prescription medications. If you are being treated with any of the following medications, please, please, please, consult with your health care provider (who is hopefully a naturopath) before starting any garlic supplementation program: Â Isaniazid, birth control pills, blood-thinning medications including bu not limited to coumadin, plavix and aspirin, medications to treat HIV/AIDS and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) including but not limited to ibuprofen and naproxen.
And as always, I’m not here to diagnose, treat or prescribe. I’m just here to share with you Â what I’ve learned, and I hope that you’ll go out and continue to learn as well.