Tag Archives: anti-inflammatory

The Many Uses for Garlic

Garlic is closely related to onion, chive, leek, and shallot and has been used by humans for thousands of years. In Ancient Egypt it was used for both culinary purposes and its health and therapeutic benefits. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about five thousand years ago. It is used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, low blood pressure, high cholesterol, inherited high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, reduced blood flow due to narrowed arteries, and “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis). Garlic is also used today by some people for the prevention of lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer. Some of these uses are supported by science.

Chew a raw clove of garlic and you might exhale noxious, eye-watering stink all day, but you’ll also repel mosquitoes (and vampires), increase your immunity, heal cold sores and expel parasites. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, killing bacteria, fungus, viruses and mould, so it’s an important ally for natural health. Check out these unusual and sometimes strange alternative uses for garlic.

Acne

Slice open a clove of raw, fresh garlic and apply it to breakouts as a home remedy for acne. Your skin won’t smell terribly good, but the antibacterial properties of garlic will help lessen the appearance of acne, even those deep acne cysts that can otherwise be difficult to treat.

Cold sore treatment

These unsightly lesions always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, like the morning before a big date. Raw garlic may work just as well as commercial medical treatments, though the acidity may cause discomfort at first. Cut a garlic clove in half and place it directly on the cold sore for 10 minutes, several times a day. Garlic supplements in capsule form may also speed up the healing process.

Mosquito repellent

Garlic can work wonders in warding off pesky mosquitoes without the use of potentially toxic chemicals. Try this garlic mosquito spray: let a few minced cloves of garlic infuse an ounce of mineral oil for 24 hours, strain, and mix the garlic-scented oil with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Strain again if necessary and pour into a spray bottle.

Weight Loss Aid

Even though its potent flavour may make you want to eat a lot of it, garlic actually has weight loss properties, according to some research. Compounds found in garlic send your brain signals of satiety, which will actually help you to feel full faster. It also boosts metabolic function helping you to burn more calories as well.

Athlete’s foot

Garlic is a potent natural anti-fungal, making it ideal for treating fungal infections like irritating and itchy athlete’s foot. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic to warm water in a foot bath and soak the affected foot for 30 minutes.

Ear infections

A common folk remedy for centuries, garlic can indeed kill the bacteria that cause ear infections. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should shove a clove of garlic into your ear and hope for the best. Crush a clove of garlic with a press and place it in a teaspoon of hot olive oil for five minutes. Strain, allow it to cool and drip a few drops at a time into your ear canal. You can also purchase garlic oil made for this purpose at natural health food stores.

Splinter removal

Splinters are painful to remove and sometimes they slice too far into the skin to pull out. Instead of waiting for it to come out on its own, try this odd trick: place a thin slice of garlic over the splinter and hold on with a bandage. The garlic should help the splinter work its way out of the skin within hours.

Skin cleanser

It’s not exactly common, but some women swear by using garlic as a facial cleanser to dry out acne and tighten and exfoliate the skin. It will definitely burn, so take care if you have any open wounds. Make a paste of finely minced garlic, olive oil, facial cleanser and sugar; massage into skin in circular motions, then rinse.

Gas prevention

High in sulphur, garlic can be the culprit for uncomfortable stomach-distending gas for some people, but for others, it can reportedly ease it. The trick may be consuming it on a regular basis in order to maintain intestinal health. Garlic kills harmful intestinal bacteria and promotes the growth of beneficial flora, making digestion much smoother.

Yeast infections

At the first sign of a yeast infection, many women around the world turn to a rather unusual natural remedy: raw, peeled garlic cloves (not cut), typically tied in a strip of cheesecloth and inserted with a tampon applicator. Garlic’s anti-fungal properties go to work on the yeast, supposedly keeping the infection at bay.

Psoriasis relief

The persistent tightness and itching of psoriasis could be eased or even prevented by garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties. Active compounds in garlic interact with arachidonic acid, an omega fatty acid in the skin linked to psoriasis. Garlic oil may be rubbed directly on affected areas once or twice per day.

Cough syrup

Ease inflammation in the throat and clear up excess mucus by using garlic as cough syrup. Try steeping raw, minced garlic in hot water, straining it after five minutes and drinking the liquid as tea; you can add ginger and honey to make it more palatable.

Mole removal

This method is almost certainly not recommended by dermatologists, and mole removal is best left to medical professionals, especially since skin doctors can tell upon excision whether the mole shows signs of malignancy. However, many people choose to go it alone, and garlic oil applied several times per day and covered with a bandage is an often repeated DIY route.

Cold banisher

Can garlic cure and prevent colds naturally? It’s been in use for this purpose for centuries, and there’s a good reason for that. Researchers believe that allicin, the main biologically active component of garlic, could block enzymes that may impede bacterial and viral infections. Eat three to four cloves of garlic per day, preferably raw and crushed, adding them to soups, stews, pasta sauces and salad dressings.

Hair loss help

Whether you’ve over-dyed your hair to the point of constant shedding or you’re just going bald, garlic may be worth a shot before you resort to more drastic measures. Some people believe that massaging the scalp with garlic oil stimulates hair growth.

Parasite killer

Many alternative health practitioners advise using raw garlic to expel intestinal parasites. Recommended as part of a cleansing diet that also includes raw honey, lemon juice, pumpkin seeds, carrots and beets, garlic consumed in quantities of about three cloves per day may help clear nasty organisms out of the digestive tract.

If you are concerned about the pungent smell of garlic on your breath there are easy ways to remedy this. You can chew a sprig of parsley, although this may work while you are indoors, as I cannot envision anyone walking around with parsley on their person. The other two alternatives are more practicable and involve the two powerful spices clove and cinnamon. These you can carry quite inconspicuously in a pocket and chew on them after a meal or even throughout the day just to freshen up your breath.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to replace a one to one relationship with your health practitioner nor are they meant as medical advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and make your own decisions in partnership with your medical practitioner.