Garlic is another kitchen medicine herb that has been used from time immemorial for the treatment of many health issues.
The name garlic has an ancient Anglo-Saxon origin coming from gar (meaning a spear) and lac (meaning a plant), the name is in reference to the shape of its leaves. It is also known as Poor Man’s Treacle or Russian Penicillin. The Latin name of garlic is Allium sativum. It is a cousin to the onion.
Garlic is notorious for its odor. When I teach my Herbal Kitchen Medicine class, I pass around an unpeeled clove of garlic, then a peeled clove of garlic, and then a peeled, crushed clove of garlic. It is amazing how much the odor of the garlic intensifies as the peel comes off and then amplified when it is crushed. The odor is caused by the allicin that is activated once crushed or cut. In my class we talk about the odorless garlic pills that are available for people to use. They are not as effective as regular garlic because the medicinal properties are found in the allicin which is where the odor is coming from. So the next time you are wanting the healing properties of garlic, but not the smell…remember that it is in the smell that you find the healing. As a side note, garlic breath can be helped by chewing on a raw clove (the spice) or some parsley leaves or putting a drop of peppermint or spearmint oil in the mouth.
Dr. John R. Christopher said, “The reason for garlic's miraculous type of healing is in its creation. The garlic clove contains a very high amount of sulfur. Sulfur is one of the best minerals to be used as an oxygen carrier. Oxygen is the breath of life and sulfur will carry the oxygen in the body directly to the infected area. Germs cannot live in a good supply of oxygen, therefore, the infection is cleared quickly. This is an organic wonder, so garlic may be termed “A Wonder Herb.”
Many people know that garlic is one of the best herbal antibiotic options. Three to five cloves of garlic are comparable to an adult dose of penicillin. Please note that crushed garlic is more effective over sliced garlic in killing certain strains of bacteria. And garlic’s antibacterial action becomes weaker after being stored in the fridge for 8 days or after boiling for 10 minutes. When garlic is cooked above 130°F the enzymes in it are destroyed. One can use vinegar or water to extract the curative properties from garlic, but vinegar seems to be more effective for this purpose. Fresh pressed garlic juice contains all of garlic’s many virtues. Historically, people who consistently eat raw garlic with their meals, enjoy longevity and lower incidences of cancer.
Here are some traditional medicinal uses garlic helps with:
Respiratory ailments (sinusitis & tonsillitis, asthma, bronchitis, Whooping cough, pneumonia)
Fighting viruses (cold & flu viruses, herpes viruses, etc.)
Healing wounds (used to treat infected wounds and amebic dysentery during WWI)
High blood pressure
Expulsion of worms
Fungal infections (athlete’s foot or yeast infection)
In my next article, I will give examples of when I have used garlic for healing purposes along with giving two simple garlic recipes.
written by Beth Davis
Master Herbalist and Footzonology Practitioner
She loves empowering others to take control of their health by
teaching numerous classes on topics ranging from
Kitchen Medicine to Immune System Health.
Currently, her family is traveling around America exploring its many wonders.
If you would like to have her teach a class or two in your area, you can find her at