As a Master Herbalist I am asked often what is good for this or that.  There are some herbs that I am always listing off.  One of those is garlic.  It is surprising to me that most people don’t know that before big pharmaceutical companies rolled out their drugs, garlic was used to treat infection.  It was, and is still extremely effective.  Garlic is ubiquitous to all civilized areas as a food and medicine.  It is mentioned  in written records as long ago as people have been on the earth.  It is believed to originate in South Central Asia and it grows wild in Italy and Southern Europe. Herbalists employ garlic in bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic, and catarrhal conditions.

Here is the rundown on Garlic:

Garlic             Allium sativum             part used: fresh bulbs

Garlic contains the phytochemical alliin, and when the tissue of the garlic bulb is crushed it is converted into allicin.  This is where the familiar odor of garlic comes from, the allicin.  This allicin is a main component of the volatile essential oil that makes garlic so powerful as a medicine.  Allicin has been shown to lower cholesterol and Lower Density lipoprotein (LDL), reduce blood clots, and it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. 

Garlic also has: beta carotene, caffeic acid, quercetin, rutin, saponin, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C.

The actions of garlic are: antiseptic, antimicrobial, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, antiviral, antiparasitic, antifungal, diaphoretic, hypertensive, anthelmintic, expectorant, pectoral, rubefacient, stimulant, tonic, vulnerary, and cholagogue.

Garlic has an affinity for the respiratory area and diffuses throughout the entire system quickly detoxifing body tissues.  It has a stimulating effect on the gastric juices helping digestion and infection in this area. Garlic is a specific antibiotic, meaning it targets pathogens, and it actually  helps build the friendly flora in the gut. Pharma drugs target all and every bacteria in the system, it being non-specific. Four average size cloves of garlic is equal to 1 adult dose of penicillin. It is effective against Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Cholera, Tuberculous, Tetanus, Rheumatic bacteria, and others. It is tonic to the nervous system and has been proven to help with cancer. Garlic has 200 sulfur compounds making it a free radical scavenger.

Garlic was employed in WW I and WW II, and was wonderfully successful in treating pus, bacterial, and viral conditions.  It is referred to as “Russian Penicillin” because the oil is a popular remedy used in Russia.

Garlic is a wonderful medicine that should be in every medicine cabinet in every home.  I am never without it.  I make garlic oil and have fresh cloves on hand not only for cooking, but for illness as well.  It may stink up the place, but you will be much improved in health for the eating of it!

Uses of garlic:  any infection, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, earache, cancers, abscesses, hay fever, typhoid, cystitis, diphtheria, ringworm, athletes foot, threadworms, coughs, tuberculosis, colds, flu, asthma, whooping-cough, croup, colitis, diarrhea, dysentery, high cholesterol, strep throat, tonsilitis, boils, bronchitis, sciatica, flatulence, dizziness, heart weakness, swolen glands, pimples, smallpox, indigestion, headaches, chills, bladder weakness, eczema, cramps, dropsy.

When you feel a cold coming on, just eat 2 or 3 cloves three times per day, along with distilled water, light foods, and rest.  This dose is average, you can certainly eat more. Some eat this amount every day as a preventative measure against cancer, heart disease, bowel complaints, and stroke. 

To make garlic oil, crush several cloves of garlic and place in a glass jar, cover by 1 inch of olive oil, put the lid on, label and date it.  Shake the jar several times each day for 3 days.  After three days strain, bottle, label and date it.  I use this in the ear for ear infections (as long as the ear drum has not ruptured), and topically for skin infections, fungal infections, nerve pain, and combined with mullein oil for chest congestion.

I hope no one will be ill . . . but just in case, get some healing, detoxifing, stimulating garlic today!! 🙂

Love life & breathe deep,



7 thoughts on “Garlic

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  5. So should you just eat the cloves or make and drink the oil?
    I usually put around ten cloves of garlic in every dish I make except dessert! Does cooking it weaken it’s antimicrobial effectiveness?
    Really informative!


    • Cindy,
      For a preventiive and medicinal dose eating raw garlic is the way to go, about 3-4 cloves per dose. The oil you could drink, IF you can get it down and that’s all ya had!! Garlic oil is pretty stout stuff. Cooking and heating garlic does destroy the medicinal qualities, remember it’s the odor causing constituents that hold the healing power, and cooking releases them leaving the garlic with a milder taste. I just slice it up and swallow the slices like a pill. Wendell can chew the whole cloves!! Ewe, I just can’t do that.
      Hope this helps, thanks for your interest!


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