As an herbalist, garlic is one of the first herbs I learned about. Often referred to as the “king of all herbs” and for a good reason!
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It is antibiotic, antifungal, antifungal, antiseptic, diuretic, carminative, and a vermifuge (it even expels parasites)! Wow what a list! There is not a disease that this herb won’t help fight. It fights infection so well that it was used during WWI . Dr. Edward Shook wrote in his book, Advanced Treatise in Herbology,
The use of garlic in the 1st World War (WWI) as an antiseptic was most sensational. In 1916, the British government asked for tons of the bulbs, offering one shilling a pound for as much as could be produced. A great quantity of it was used for the control of suppuration [formation of pus] in wounds. The raw juice was expressed, diluted with water, and put on swabs of sterilized sphagnum moss which was applied to the wounds. Where this treatment was given, it has been proved that there has never been one single case of sepsis or septic results. Consequently, the lives of tens of thousands have been saved by this one miraculous herb.
Garlic for the circulatory system
Not only good for treating wounds, this herb is one you will want to take when doing a cleanse! It has a detoxifying effect on ALL the body systems. Garlic rejuvenates the cells, builds endurance and energy. It is especially good for the circulatory system. The oils help emulsify plaque and loosen it from arterial walls. Also high in selenium, it helps with arteriosclerosis. It also strengthens blood vessels, equalizes blood pressure and has a sugar regulating factor.
It is the best anti-clotting herb around, containing 9 anticoagulant compounds-more than any other herb. This also gives it a blood-thinning effect making it the best herb for heart attack prevention and stroke. These benefits can be problematic for people who already bleed freely or are at risk for hemorrhagic stroke. If you are pregnant or are planning surgery soon, you may want to avoid taking garlic medicinally. But loading up your favorite dish with it should be fine! 🙂
It’s even good for nursing moms! It can help with mastitis and is much safer than antibiotics which enter the breastmilk and the baby. But even without mastitis it can benefit nursing moms. According to a study by Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philedelphia, “if breastfeeding mothers eat a few cloves of garlic within an hour before nursing begins, babies attach to the breast more readily, stay there longer, suck more, and drink more milk.” [The Green Pharmacy by James A Duke, Ph D]
Garlic for Allergies?
Garlic can even help alleviate allergies! It contains quercetin which help inhibit inflammatory reactions. If I had allergies (which we don’t have anymore and I’ll post on that soon), I’d start adding garlic to my food or take a garlic capsule.
Do you have parasites? It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 people have them-YUCK! Garlic to the rescue. When taken internally it is one of the best herbs to expel parasites. Garlic capsules will work, but fresh cloves work best. Or you can do a garlic enema.
So now that you know garlic is good for just about anything, how do you take it? Well, sometimes, I do take garlic capsules. They are the easiest and least smelly way to take garlic. (Although I must admit, I love the taste and smell of garlic so that isn’t a problem for me.) But I don’t think they are as potent as fresh garlic cloves, so that is the way I prefer.
My kids can’t swallow pills yet, so fresh cloves is how they take it too. First you have to crack (smash) the clove to open and peel it. This allows the allicin (juice) to flow throughout the clove. Think of a glow stick. You have to crack it and shake it to mix the chemicals so it will glow. That’s what your doing with the garlic and the allicin. (But if your garlic glows you should post pictures of them on the internet so they will go viral and you’ll get famous, because that’s not normal :)) Once it’s crushed, you can simply take a bite of it, or chop it and mix it with honey or peanut butter and eat it. This really masks the hot taste and even my kids will take it this way.
Another way we use garlic is as a poultice. This is where you moisten an herb with water and apply to skin. You start by again crushing and peeling the clove, but then you’ll want to wrap it in a paper towel or cloth. Soak the towel/cloth and garlic with hot water and gently ring out excess water. Apply to bug bites, burns, or to chest in cases or pneumonia or bronchitis.
Garlic enemas are always a fun topic, right? But yes, we’ve used them and they do work. A few years ago, my daughter had the flu and we used a garlic enema. She was over the flu within 3 days and her fever immediately came down after the enema. To prepare, you’ll want to buy a saline enema and pour out the saline solution and rinse well. Boil about a cup of water, remove from heat and add 2 or 3 crushed garlic cloves. Let it cool until warm to the touch and puree in blender. Strain out any large pieces that could clog the bottle. Fill bottle and follow instructions.
The last way to use garlic is infused in oil. (You can see a video tutorial here.) This is probably the easiest way to use on kids. Pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil into a small pan. Add 3 or 4 small, crushed garlic cloves and heat on LOW for about 15 minutes. Don’t cook it though! Strain off oil and bottle. Use this as a rub on the chest or feet or drop 2 drops in each ear for ear infections. Make sure it is warm, but not hot if using in the ear. Watch me make garlic oil and tell more on how we use it by clicking the video below.
I hope this helps you add garlic to your herbal medicine cabinet or at least to your recipes for all the taste and health benefits. Then next time those sniffles come your way, you’ll be armed and ready!
Until next time,