In the old days, the home medicine chest of the pioneers was comprised of locally grown herbs and plants. Garlic has been used in medicinal remedies for thousands of years, since the ancient Greek and Roman times. It is part of our traditional medicine, and we should learn how to grow it and use it.
Garlic is one of nature’s gift that can be found all over the world. It has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy. Garlic or Allium sativum has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. The Chinese were the first to discover that it is also an immune stimulant and a powerful antioxidant.
This plant can be grown in a wide sphere of climates and landscape. Therefore it is s an excellent garden choice for even the newest of gardeners, it is simple to grow and is easy to maintain. Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants and originated in Siberia or central Asia more than five thousand years ago. After discovery, its popularity quickly spread to different lands and cultures.
Garlic Uses in Traditional Medicine:
This is a known chronic condition in which the airways leading to the lungs are inflamed. This condition occurs when a person who has asthma is exposed to various triggers. An age-old remedy for asthma is garlic milk.
To make it, simply peel and crush eight raw garlic cloves, and place them in a small pot. Add 1/4 cup of cold milk, and bring the mixture to a boil, constantly stirring with a wooden spatula. Stirring helps prevent solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then, strain the garlic from the hot milk and let the liquid cool down. Drink your asthma treating garlic milk when it’s still warm.
Atherosclerosis can simply be defined as plaque build-up inside the arteries. This plaque can be composed of cholesterol, fat, calcium and fibrin. Once the artery opening narrows, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body is reduced. This affection can lead to heart attacks and strokes if not treated.
In China, it was observed that regular garlic consumption could help manage atherosclerosis. Garlic indirectly affects atherosclerosis by reduction of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and probably diabetes mellitus and prevents thrombus formation. Garlic’s direct effect on atherosclerosis may be explained by its capacity to reduce lipid content in arterial cells and to prevent intracellular lipid accumulation. In my daily diet, I include one or two cloves of garlic and I consider this as regular consumption.
3. Athlete’s Foot
This common fungal infection can be a pain in the behind and once contracted, the fungus grows on or just under the surface of the skin. This fungus is highly contagious and can be acquired by sharing shoes, walking on infected surfaces, or touching the skin of an infected foot.
An old remedy for treating athlete’s food requires to simply add a few finely crushed cloves of garlic to a foot bath and soaking the affected foot for 30 minutes. Another cure, I’ve learned from the Mediterranean culture is mincing a few garlic cloves, mix the minced garlic with olive oil, and then using a cotton ball to rub some of the solution on the affected area.
4. Beaver fever
Giardia infestation is found in places with poor sanitation and this parasite can be found in lakes and streams. The old folks called it beaver fever and it was one of the most common intestinal illnesses back then. Once ingested it will cause cramps, bloating, nausea and diarrhea, and the worst part is that this infection can last for several weeks.
The pioneers used to mix crude garlic in water and it was an effective treatment for Giardia, especially for children. Adults used to take 2-3 cloves of garlic twice a day before meals to reduce the duration of giardiasis. For the cure to work, you shouldn’t cook the garlic as the active constituents are destroyed.
This respiratory disease can be described as the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial airways of the lungs. Acute bronchitis will cause swelling in the mucous membranes and the air pathways will narrow making it difficult for the patient to breath.
For this affection, the same garlic milk can be used and you should drink it at night before going to bed.
Additionally, you can make a garlic tonic that can help with various respiratory infections. You will need 6 cloves of fresh garlic (peeled and chopped), 4 tablespoons of raw honey, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water.
Combine all ingredients in an airtight glass jar and shake it until everything is thoroughly mixed. Take a teaspoon of the tonic every 4 hours until symptoms subside.
Related article: Top 10 Medicinal Herbs For Your Garden
Candidiasis is a well-known fungal infection caused by the yeast-like candida fungus. If conditions in the body shift to create an environment favorable to Candida overgrowth, infections of the mouth, vagina, urinary tract, skin, or stomach can set in. Vaginal yeast infections are very common, affecting up to 75 percent of women at some point in their lives.
There are many therapeutic uses for garlic when it comes to a yeast infection. However, when it comes to vaginal yeast infections naturopathic doctor Tori Hudson (USA) who specializes in women’s complaints recommends using garlic tampons. Be careful not to cut the clove but thread a string carefully through the end of a peeled clove. Insert and leave for 8 hours.
This is commonly known as a form of arthritis that can cause severe pain and swelling in joints and it’s most commonly encountered at the base of the big toe.
Garlic has shown to be successful in improving the symptoms of gout and other types of arthritis, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It works primarily by reducing inflammation and relieving pain. As a common remedy, it is recommended to chew several raw garlic cloves a day. However, if raw garlic is too hot for the mouth, try boiling the cloves for five minutes then drinking the water once it has cooled to a comfortable temperature. This can be repeated several times a day until the symptoms of gout have disappeared.
8. High Blood Pressure
This is a common health issue today and many people suffer from high blood pressure without even knowing it. This condition develops slowly over time and it can damage blood vessels and eventually, the heart. If you don’t treat blood pressure, it can lead to a heart attack and stroke.
Back then, blood pressure wasn’t something people knew about it and this was something that they didn’t have to worry about. However, in cultures where garlic is a constant component of the daily diet, it was noticed that fewer people suffer from high blood pressure. In fact, garlic can significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. If you want to reduce your reliance on medication, I recommend eating 480 milligrams of aged garlic extract each day and you will see incredible results. Try to make garlic tincture at home following this recipe and you will not be disappointed.
9. Groin Itch (Jock Itch)
Riding a horse all day wasn’t always a pleasant experience for the pioneers and a groin infection was a common thing back then. This mildly contagious fungal infection develops when the fungus finds a warm, moist place to grow. In time, the skin becomes reddened and it spreads to the inner thighs, genitals and buttocks. An itchy, dry and scaly rash will become a constant pain if not treated correctly.
Garlic was a fantastic and simple cure for the people back then and it can still be used today. Here is what you need to do if you suffer from jock itch.
Crush a couple of garlic cloves and apply them directly to the affected skin. This is a fast and effective relief to the itching and burning sensation. Another option would be to mix olive oil and garlic cloves to create a paste-like mixture that can be applied directly on the skin. The only downside of this cure is that you will smell like garlic. It wasn’t a problem back there, but nowadays you will keep people away.
This is a fungal infection of the outer layers of the skin, causing a red rash that forms a circle or a ring on the surface of the skin, hence the name. The fungus can affect any area of the body with one or many rings. It is contagious. Initially, the rash is red, itchy, and flat. If it progresses, the skin can become inflamed with pus-filled blisters.
As a solution, heat freshly cut garlic gently in olive oil for ten minutes and spread over the infected area when the oil is cool. This can be done several times a day until the infection clears. One batch of garlic oil can be prepared and used each day as long as care is taken to ensure the oil hasn’t been contaminated with the fungus.
A word of advice
Before diving head first and trying some of these remedies, I think it’s wise to specify that not everyone reacts the same to the intake or external application of garlic. Therefore, keep the following in mind before trying any of the cures listed here.
When applying raw garlic directly to the skin, you can cause irritation and damage, similar to a burn. If you attempt to use garlic in such way, test on a small, inconspicuous area first.
For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the amounts normally found in foods can be safely enjoyed, but they should avoid higher therapeutic amounts. The same advice applies to children.
Over the years, doctors have noticed that garlic can interfere with a few of the drugs used to help control medical conditions. The absorption and utilization of isoniazid can be reduced. This is an antibiotic used in the treatment of tuberculosis.
Also, medications to slow blood clotting, like warfarin, taken alongside garlic can increase the chance of bleeding. This additive effect is also a danger with antihypertensive drugs as both can lower blood pressure, increasing the risk of hypotension.
Caution must be taken when combining garlic with other herbs that slow blood clotting. These include ginger, clove, ginkgo, turmeric, and angelica.