Family: Amaryllidaceae also listed as Liliaceae in my herb books - Lily family includes tulip, onion and chives.
Garlic has many names, among them are "heal all" "the stinking rose" and "nature's antibiotic". I not only love to eat garlic, it is my favorite go to for any ailment. No matter what illness I am treating, I always include garlic in the diet.
- Antibiotic ( 4 cloves is equal to 1 dose of antibiotics)
- Cough, cold and flu
- Sore throat
- Respiratory ailments
- Fever reducer
- Heart health (it actually clears out the plaque in arteries)
- Lowers blood sugar (useful aid in treating type 2 diabetes)
- Immune booster (stimulates white blood cell production)
- Antiseptic (kills 99% of known bacteria on contact, the other 1% in 24 hours)
- Infection fighter
- Ear Infections
- Circulatory issues
- Poor digestion
- Intestinal worms
- Food poisoning
- Athletes foot and other fungal infections
- Yeast infection
- Cancer prevention
Methods of Use
- Garlic should be chewed, chopped or bruised, then let it sit for 10 minutes before using, this allows for the highest concentration of healing properties to be released.
- Use it fresh in culinary dishes like pesto, guacamole, dressings, sauces, etc. Try replacing fresh garlic in your recipes that call for powdered garlic.
- Garlic infused oil. You can use this internally and externally, directly on area of concern. I will rub this onto the soles of the feet or wrists to get the garlic into the system quickly, this seems the most effective way to administer it. You know it’s in the system doing it’s wonders when the breath starts to smell.
- Make a poultice and place over wrists to absorb right into the blood stream or over the area of concern. Make sure you wrap the crushed garlic in cheese cloth or flannel before placing on the skin to avoid irritation.
- Pickled garlic - takes the burning bite out of fresh garlic and is so yummy, it retains all the potent healing properties of fresh garlic.
- Garlic Syrup
- Garlic Tincture
- Freshly juiced
- Capsules (fill them with freshly minced garlic or you can use powdered garlic, although not as potent).
Growing and Harvesting Garlic
- Garlic prefers open, sunny areas to partial shade in well drained, loamy soil.
- Plant in early fall, using cloves from an organic bulb. Plant pointed side up, 4 inches apart and 2 inches deep. Cover with soil, then mulch. It can allso be planted in early spring for harvest in the late fall.
- Cut back flowering stalks (called scapes) to increase bulb size. These you can make into a delicious infused oil. Fill a glass jar with the scapes and cover with olive oil. Let sit in a warm place for 2-3 weeks. You don’t even have to strain, just store in a cool dark place. You can also throw the green stalks in any dish for a mild garlic flavor.
- Harvest bulbs in the summer when the stalks have fives leaves or have yellowed.
- Lift out of soil with a digging fork or shovel, shake off gently – don’t bruise or wash.
- Dry on screens or tie together and hang.
- Once dry, rub off excess soil and store in a cool location but protect from moisture and freezing.
Though generally considered a safe, nontoxic herb, garlic is not necessarily good for everyone. For some, garlic can add too much “fire” to the system, causing heartburn or stomach distress. Garlic can be a stomach irritant for small children and infants; it should be avoided by nursing mothers who find after eating garlic that their child becomes fussy or colicky. Garlic can irritate and burn sensitive skin if applied topically (although if diluted like in the garlic oil it shouldn’t bother at all).
*If you are taking anti-coagulants, be sure to check with your doctor first before using garlic in capsule form as it enhances blood flow like those meds do, and could be disastrous if taken in the wrong dosage amount.
(Excerpt from Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs)