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For those who love garlic, it is an essential ingredient in many vegetable recipes. In this article, we will discuss how to grow garlic, choose and prepare garlic, the history of garlic’s healing properties, and the medicinal benefits of garlic.

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When cooking with garlic, use the plumpest cloves, and plant the rest. See more pictures of garlic & garlic recipes.

About Garlic

Garlic is a hardy perennial that resembles an onion, except its bulb is divided into cloves. The flower head looks like a dunce cap made of tissue paper, filled with small flowers and bulblets.

Common Name: Garlic
Scientific Name: Allium sativum
Hardiness: Very Hardy (will survive first frost)

In the next section, we’ll show you how to grow garlic.

Want more information about garlic? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature garlic.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.


Growing Garlic

Garlic is a must-have in the kitchen for garlic lovers. Make it a must-have in your home vegetable garden as well.

Garlic plants can be grown from bulbs purchased in a grocery store.

During its early growth period, garlic requires cool temperatures, but it can withstand heat in later stages. In the North, plant garlic in the spring, while in the South, it’s best to plant in the fall. Garlic is grown from cloves or bulblets, planted with the plump side facing down. The cloves require full sun and well-drained, organic-rich soil. Plant cloves 4-6 weeks before the last frost date, 1-2 inches deep and 4-6 inches apart. Keep the area cultivated and the garlic slightly dry as it matures for optimal flavor. Harvest the bulbs once the tops begin to dry, usually 90 days after planting. Select the plumpest cloves for cooking and plant the rest. There are few varieties of garlic available, but they can be grown from grocery store cloves. In the next section, we’ll discuss selecting and preparing garlic. For more information on garlic, check out our Vegetable Recipes, Vegetable Gardens, and Gardening sections. When selecting garlic, keep in mind that most varieties have a similar pungent flavor and smell. Pink-skinned garlic is slightly sweeter and lasts longer than white garlic, while elephant garlic has a milder flavor and can be used like a leek. However, most varieties can be used interchangeably in recipes. Check out our Roasted Garlic Hummus recipe for a delicious way to feature garlic!

When selecting garlic, opt for loose cloves rather than those packaged in cellophane to ensure quality. Fresh garlic should have paper-white skin and feel firm without any damp or brown spots. While garlic powder lacks the full flavor of fresh garlic, it may still contain active components. Avoid using garlic salt due to its high sodium content. Garlic should be stored in a cool, dry place and checked regularly for usability. To prepare garlic, use a garlic press for maximum flavor or mince for a milder taste. Crush garlic and let it sit in the air for 10 minutes before using to maximize its health benefits. Garlic has a rich history dating back more than 5,000 years and has been used by cultures worldwide for its healing properties.

The ancient Egyptians considered garlic to be sacred and believed that it had the ability to ward off evil spirits. This was evident in the practice of burying garlic-shaped clay lumps with the pharaohs. Even after thousands of years, preserved bulbs of garlic were found near King Tut’s tomb. Garlic was also chewed by the ancient Egyptians before embarking on night journeys to keep evil spirits at bay. The Greeks and Romans also valued garlic for its strength-enhancing properties. They consumed it before entering the battlefield or arena and even hung garlic cloves in birthing rooms to repel evil spirits. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, prescribed garlic to treat a variety of ailments, including wounds, infections, leprosy, and digestive disorders. Garlic’s reputation as a medicinal wonder continued into the Middle Ages, where it was used to treat the plague and other diseases. Although garlic was primarily used for medicinal purposes in historic cultures, it is now widely used in cooking. If our ancestors could travel to the present time, they would likely be surprised by our general lack of appreciation for garlic’s healing qualities.

Throughout history, garlic has been used in various ways for medicinal purposes. Some prepared the juice from the bulb to take internally, while others ground it into a paste for external treatments. Garlic was also believed to bring good luck and protect against evil, particularly against entities such as sorcerers and vampires. However, this belief is only found in European and American folklore. Garlic was used in World War I by the Russians to treat battle wounds and infection, and medics used moss soaked in garlic as an antiseptic to pack wounds. Garlic was also used as a medical treatment in the early 20th century, when penicillin was not readily available. Today, garlic is still used as a remedy for various health problems, including colds, intestinal issues, and heart disease. Scientists have identified sulfur-containing compounds in garlic that have medicinal properties, such as allicin and ajoene. While garlic has had a mixed past, being despised in some cultures for its alleged aphrodisiac qualities and being banned in certain sacred places, it is now recognized for its therapeutic properties.

Looking for more information about garlic? Check out these resources: Vegetable Recipes, Nutrition, Vegetable Gardens, and Gardening. These are all great sources for learning about how to incorporate garlic into your meals, how it fits into your overall nutrition plans, how to grow your own vegetables, and how to take care of your garden.

Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice. Neither the editors of Consumer Guide, Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor the publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action, or application of medication that results from reading or following the information contained in this article. This information does not replace the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Before starting any new treatment, consult your healthcare provider.

Garlic is often recommended for medicinal purposes, with a clove a day being a common amount. In addition to vitamins and minerals, garlic contains phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring chemicals that plants produce and are known for their health benefits. Garlic is generally safe for most adults, with few side effects. However, those who are allergic to plants in the lily family should avoid it, and people with bleeding disorders, pregnant women, and those anticipating surgery or dental procedures should use caution when consuming large amounts of garlic due to its blood-thinning properties. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating garlic into your diet or starting any new treatment.

  • Garlic can affect the effectiveness of certain medications besides anticoagulants. It can interact with birth control pills, cyclosporine (often prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis), and other medications, as well as reduce the effectiveness of certain HIV/AIDS antiviral medications. If you regularly consume large amounts of garlic or take garlic supplements, it is important to talk to your health-care provider and/or pharmacist about possible interactions with prescription medications.
  • For nursing mothers, consuming garlic may cause their milk to have a taste that their baby may reject, leading to shorter nursing times.
  • Overconsumption of garlic can cause irritation to the stomach lining and lead to heartburn, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea, or constipation. If you have a sensitive stomach, it is best to consume garlic in moderation.
  • When applied directly to the skin, raw garlic can cause burns. Caution should be exercised when using it on children’s skin.
  • If the strong smell of garlic on your breath, sweat, and skin bothers you, reducing your consumption of it may help.
  • The Lowdown on Supplements

    Although fresh, naturally grown raw garlic is the best, supplements can be an alternative if you are unable to consume enough of it in your diet.

    Ear Infection Treatment with Garlic
    Adding garlic extract to olive oil is a traditional remedy for ear infections. Herbalists suggest heating the oil a little, adding a small amount of sliced garlic, letting it sit for a few minutes, and thoroughly straining it before putting a few drops into the affected ear.

    The oil must be free of any garlic particles. Before using the oil in the ear, put a few drops on the inside of your arm and wait a few minutes to ensure that it is not strong enough to burn your arm, either due to the oil’s temperature or the amount of garlic essence present. If it passes, put a few small drops into the infected ear. Prepare a fresh batch for each treatment.

    It is best to consult with your health-care provider before attempting this home remedy, especially if you have or have ever had a ruptured eardrum.

    The research studies mentioned revealed that not all garlic supplements have the advertised amount of allicin when tested. This is due to various factors such as the type of garlic used, growing conditions, fertilizers, processing methods, and quality control during manufacturing. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether commercial garlic preparations contain the stated ingredients and their actual quantities.

    Supplements are usually produced by slicing garlic, drying it at low temperatures to prevent the destruction of alliinase, and then pulverizing it into a powder and forming it into tablets. To comply with the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s standards, the powder should contain at least 0.3 percent alliin.

    However, manufacturers process and label their supplements differently, causing confusion for consumers. Some tablets only contain alliin, which is converted to allicin, while others contain both alliin and allicin. Some labels may also mention “allicin potential” or “allicin yield,” which refers to the amount of allicin that could be formed, not the actual amount present in the supplement.

    Additionally, most supplements are “enteric coated” to prevent them from dissolving until they reach the small intestine. However, this results in limited allicin production and slow tablet dissolution. The more accurate measurement is “allicin release,” which indicates the actual amount of allicin produced under conditions similar to those in the digestive tract. Unfortunately, few manufacturers list this information on their labels.

    When purchasing a garlic supplement, consumers should look for a “standardization” statement on the label, indicating that it contains a specific amount of a particular ingredient. However, even this is not a guarantee, and only products carrying the USP seal follow set methods to ensure standardization.

    Although allicin is the most active compound in garlic, other compounds are not standardized, making it difficult to determine the exact contents of a supplement. Dried garlic powder is considered the best type of supplement, with effects similar to those of fresh, crushed garlic. Other types of supplements, such as oils from crushed garlic, aged garlic extract in alcohol, and steam-distilled oils, may contain less allicin and active compounds than the dried powder.

    If you’re in the market for a garlic supplement, make sure it’s labeled as having at least 1.3% allicin. In the US, pharmacy-grade garlic typically contains 0.3% (powdered) to 0.5% (fresh, dried) allicin. Avoid enteric-coated or time-release tablets, as they may not dissolve quickly enough in your digestive tract to effectively utilize the allicin.

    Looking for more information on garlic? Check out some vegetable recipes, learn about garlic’s role in nutrition, or get tips on growing your own vegetable garden.

    Please note that this information is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Neither the editors of Consumer Guide, the author, nor the publisher assume responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this information. Before starting any treatment or course of action, consult with your physician or healthcare provider.

    For those interested in using garlic medicinally, there are recommended dosages depending on the form of garlic being used. The Mayo Clinic cites the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy’s recommendation for atherosclerosis prevention as 3-5 milligrams of allicin (or one clove of garlic, or 0.5-1 gram of dried powder). The World Health Organization suggests 2-5 grams of fresh garlic, 0.4-1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, 2-5 milligrams of garlic oil, 300-1000 milligrams of garlic extract, or some other formulation that yields the equivalent of 2-5 milligrams of allicin daily.

    Rather than relying on potentially unreliable garlic supplements, enjoy the taste and aroma of fresh garlic in your cooking to get the most potent allicin. One typical garlic clove weighs about 3 grams and contains 24-56 milligrams of alliin. Crushing the clove produces 2.5-4.5 milligrams of allicin per gram of weight, meaning a 3-gram clove will provide 7.5-13.5 milligrams of allicin.

    Studies on rats have shown that feeding them allicin on a sugar-rich diet can lead to decreased blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels, as well as stable or slightly decreased weight. More research is needed, but these results suggest that garlic could have a wide range of benefits.

    The main points to remember when taking garlic supplements are to aim for about 5 milligrams of allicin per day, use supplements that state the amount of “allicin release,” and note that the amount of allicin is often listed in micrograms rather than milligrams. Even though a supplement may contain 500 milligrams of dried garlic bulb, which is equal to 0.5 gram, this falls into the low end of the World Health Organization’s recommendation for dried garlic powder because dried powder has just a small amount of allicin. Other compounds make up the rest of the tablet. However, one of the specific benefits of garlic is that it may help lower cholesterol. When your body makes too much cholesterol, it can clog up the bloodstream, which can lead to heart disease. Therefore, anything that is effective against cholesterol will also help lower the risk of heart disease. Garlic is one such agent that may play a big role in reducing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. To gain some appreciation for garlic’s benefits, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the heart functions in sickness and in health. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, and the most common form of heart disease occurs when the arteries that deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the heart become narrowed or clogged and lose their elasticity. Blood flow to the heart diminishes or may even be cut off completely, starving the organ of oxygen. Without adequate oxygen, the heart can no longer work properly, and heart cells begin to die.

    the overall risk of heart disease.

    Arteries that are healthy are similar to tubes that are flexible, wide open, and can contract and expand as blood flows through them with each heartbeat. However, when the inner lining of these vital tubes is injured due to factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, tobacco smoke, diabetes, and the aging process, the body produces a sticky substance to protect and heal the wounded area. This process is similar to using spackle to patch a small hole in drywall. However, the sticky spackle that the body produces causes fatty substances, calcium, proteins, inflammatory cells, and other debris in the blood to stick to the vessel walls, forming plaque.

    As the plaque accumulates on the inner walls of the arteries, the arteries become less elastic, which makes them more susceptible to injury. The gradual build-up of plaque also narrows the inner diameter of the artery, causing a hindrance in blood flow. Furthermore, the plaque may crack, or bits of plaque may become dislodged. In such cases, the body forms a clot around the plaque, further narrowing the artery. If the blood clot completely blocks the flow of blood through the artery, cells beyond the blockage that depend on a steady flow of oxygen from the blood can die, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

    Although cholesterol is necessary for normal body processes, too much of the wrong kind can lead to trouble. Dietary cholesterol is a fatty substance found in food such as meat, eggs, and cheese. Heredity also plays a role in the amount of cholesterol your body produces. If you have a family history of high blood cholesterol, your body may produce large amounts of the substance regardless of your eating and activity habits. All this cholesterol is transported throughout your body via the bloodstream, and there are several types of blood cholesterol.

    To reduce the risk of heart disease, it is essential to maintain optimal blood lipid levels, including total cholesterol (200 milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood or less), LDL cholesterol (100 mg/dL or less), HDL cholesterol (40 mg/dL or more), and triglycerides (150 mg/dL or less). However, cholesterol levels are just one of several risk factors, including family history and smoking, that determine the overall risk of heart disease.

    If you possess certain risk factors, your chances of developing heart disease may increase. In such cases, it may be necessary to aim for lipid levels that are lower than the standard ones mentioned in this article. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate course of action.

    LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, can stick to artery walls and form plaque, making arteries inflexible and hard, which can increase blood pressure and make it harder for the heart to pump blood. HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, helps eliminate excess cholesterol and prevent it from collecting in arteries, lowering the risk of heart disease. Triglycerides, another form of lipid, can contribute to thickening of artery walls if there are too many in the blood. Garlic has been studied for its potential to lower cholesterol levels, with some research suggesting it can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the short term. However, more recent studies have tempered initial enthusiasm and concluded that garlic may not alter HDL levels. It’s important to consult a healthcare provider before making any dietary modifications or starting a new treatment.

    The research conducted has shown that garlic has the most significant impact on lowering cholesterol levels during the first three months of garlic therapy. However, after six months, there were no further reductions in lipid levels. Even though garlic can be beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels, it cannot be solely relied upon to combat high blood cholesterol levels as elevated cholesterol levels contribute to heart disease over an extended period. More research is required, including longer-term studies and consideration of the type of garlic used. Some studies suggest that garlic must be crushed or cut to activate its health-promoting elements. However, the products used in various studies were inconsistent, and it is uncertain whether garlic’s effects wear off after several months or whether other factors influenced the findings. Although garlic may not be the cure-all for high blood cholesterol levels, it still plays a vital role in healing. According to a 2005 Mayo Clinic report, garlic has a grade of “B” for reducing blood cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol over short periods. A “B” grade means there is strong scientific evidence to support its use for that purpose. While garlic may not be the magic bullet against cholesterol, it can have significant positive effects.

    Supplements in the form of nonenteric-coated tablets containing dehydrated garlic powder (with a standardized alliin content of 1.3%) have been found to reduce total cholesterol levels by up to 20 mg/dL within 4 to 12 weeks, with unclear effects beyond 20 weeks. LDL cholesterol may decrease by up to 10 mg/dL, while triglycerides may decrease by up to 20 mg/dL. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol levels are not significantly affected. However, well-designed studies of longer duration and larger sample sizes are needed to provide stronger evidence of the cholesterol-reducing benefits of garlic, according to Mayo’s report. While garlic may be an easy and inexpensive addition to a cholesterol-lowering diet, it is not meant to replace prescribed medications. Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol levels before or alongside drug therapy, as delaying or minimizing drug therapy can reduce the risks of drug side effects. Garlic’s main drawback is its odor, which affects breath and perspiration. Different forms of garlic yield different results, so it’s important to choose the right form with the right content of active ingredients. Fresh garlic cloves may contain the highest amount of allicin, but they have not been extensively studied yet. Dehydrated garlic powder made into tablets or capsules often provides some therapeutic value, while enteric-coated garlic tablets may not dissolve soon enough to release the allicin they contain. Nonenteric-coated garlic tablets standardized to contain 1.3% allicin may be more effective than enteric-coated tablets, but they do cause garlic breath. Aged garlic extract and garlic oil have shown conflicting results in studies.

    Looking for more information about garlic? Check out these resources: vegetable recipes featuring garlic, nutritional information about garlic, tips for growing a vegetable garden, and gardening advice. However, please note that this information is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Neither the editors nor the author take responsibility for any consequences resulting from following this information. As for the heart benefits of garlic, it contains powerful antioxidants such as selenium, vitamin C, and quercetin that help prevent oxidation and reduce LDL cholesterol damage. Garlic also contains trace amounts of manganese, which is important for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Additionally, garlic can help slightly reduce blood pressure.

    Oxidation, which is linked to oxygen, a crucial element for our survival, can be harmful. For instance, when rust forms on car or garden tools, it gradually destroys the metal. This rust is an example of oxidation. Similarly, when the human body breaks down glucose for energy, free radicals are produced, which start oxidizing and damaging cellular tissue. This can cause the bloodstream and blood vessels to rust out.

    Antioxidants can destroy free radicals, including those caused by environmental factors such as ultraviolet rays, air pollutants, cigarette smoke, rancid oils, and pesticides. The body keeps a steady supply of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. However, the number of free radicals can sometimes overwhelm the body’s antioxidant stock, particularly if one is not consuming enough antioxidant nutrients.

    When free radicals damage the cells that line the arteries, the body produces a sticky, spackle-like substance to repair it. Unfortunately, this substance attracts cholesterol and debris that build up in the arteries, leading to progressive plaque formation. The more plaque in the arteries, the greater the risk to one’s health.

    In addition, free radicals can oxidize the cholesterol circulating through the arteries. When this happens, it damages the lining of the arteries, contributing significantly to plaque buildup and narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Antioxidants can protect arteries, and garlic’s ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol may be one of the ways it protects heart health.

    Calcium is a vital nutrient required for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, helping muscles function correctly, reducing the risk of colon cancer, and other functions. However, calcium can also contribute to plaque formation. Cutting back on calcium will not reduce the risk of this harmful process. The body determines how it uses calcium, and avoiding calcium-rich foods can cause the body to draw calcium out of its “savings account” – the bones. This can lead to weakened bones that are more susceptible to breakage and osteoporosis.

    It is recommended to consume around 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. To prevent calcium-fueled plaque buildup in blood vessels, it is advised to eat less saturated and trans fats and consume more antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and garlic.

    Garlic can potentially prevent calcium from binding with other substances that contribute to plaque formation. A study conducted at the UCLA Medical Center involving 19 participants found that those who received an aged garlic extract containing S-allylcysteine, one of garlic’s sulfur-rich compounds, had a lower calcium score than those who received a placebo. If confirmed by larger studies, garlic could become a useful preventive tool for individuals at high risk of cardiovascular problems.

    In addition to preventing plaque formation, garlic may also help improve blood pressure and flow. Research suggests that garlic’s chemicals can widen capillary walls and reduce blood platelet stickiness, leading to small reductions in blood pressure. Garlic may also increase the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow.

    Overall, garlic appears to be a valuable ally in the fight against heart disease, thanks to its antioxidant properties and ability to improve blood pressure and flow. However, it’s important to note that this information is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Consult with a physician or other healthcare provider before making any treatment or lifestyle changes.

    The article discusses the benefits of garlic in fighting off viruses and heart disease. It also includes a glossary of heart disease terms such as arteriosclerosis and hypercholesterolemia. The antimicrobial properties of garlic are highlighted, with allicin being credited as the substance responsible for killing bacteria and viruses. The article ends with a disclaimer that the information provided is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from a healthcare provider.

    Research conducted in laboratories has confirmed that raw garlic possesses both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is effective in combating a wide range of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungus, intestinal parasites, and yeast, as well as common cold and flu viruses. However, cooking garlic destroys allicin, so it is recommended to use raw garlic to prevent or treat infections.

    A study conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa and published in Phytotherapy Research in April 2005 confirmed garlic’s ability to fight infections. The researchers tested 19 natural health products containing garlic and five fresh garlic extracts for active compounds and antimicrobial activity. They found that those products with the highest allicin content were the most effective in eliminating three types of common bacteria: E. faecalis, N. gonorrhoeae, and S. aureus.

    Garlic is currently being investigated for its potential to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Garlic juice was tested at the University of California, Irvine, against a wide range of potential pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. It demonstrated significant activity against the pathogens, even when diluted up to 1:128 of the original juice.

    Furthermore, a study published in the July 2005 issue of Archives of Oral Biology suggests that garlic extract inhibits disease-causing bacteria in the mouth and may help fight periodontitis, a serious gum disease. This is significant because oral health can affect the rest of the body, as bacteria from bleeding gums can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the heart valve.

    Is it feasible for garlic to work together with prescription drugs to lessen side effects or improve their effectiveness? Studies have shown that it is indeed possible. In a study conducted at Rutgers University, garlic and two common antibiotics were tested against antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus and E. coli. The results showed that garlic significantly increased the effectiveness of the two medications in killing the bacteria. Another study conducted in Mexico City showed that various sulfur-containing compounds from garlic, when ingested with gentamicin, a powerful antibiotic, diminished kidney damage. Surprisingly, garlic also enhanced the effect of gentamicin. These findings suggest that garlic could reduce the amount of gentamicin needed and minimize kidney damage.

    Although research conducted in lab dishes and animals has shown that garlic is effective in fighting microbes, including those that are resistant to common antibiotics and enhances the effects of traditional antibiotics, its effectiveness in humans is yet to be proven. Nonetheless, preliminary reports suggest that garlic may help reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infection. A study published in Advances in Therapy showed that volunteers who took garlic supplements had significantly fewer colds and their colds went away faster than those who received a placebo. Garlic may also help eradicate Giardia lamblia, a parasite that causes giardiasis, an infection of the small intestine.

    Herbalists recommend a solution of crushed garlic cloves stirred into water taken three times a day to eradicate Giardia, but it’s essential to consult a health-care provider before attempting to use garlic as part of the treatment. Finally, a study conducted in the January 2005 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy showed that fresh garlic extract inhibited C. albicans, a fungus that causes infections.

    The reason behind yeast infections was studied, and it was found that an extract was highly efficient against C. albicans in the initial hour of exposure. However, the efficiency of the extract declined over the 48-hour duration it was tested. Nonetheless, conventional antifungal drugs also exhibit reduced efficiency over time.

    A mixture of water and raw garlic can prevent
    wounds from getting infected.

    Looking for more information on garlic? Check out:

    • Vegetable Recipes: A collection of delicious recipes featuring garlic.
    • Nutrition: Learn how garlic fits into your overall nutrition plan.
    • Vegetable Gardens: Tips on growing a successful vegetable garden.
    • Gardening: Answers to your gardening questions.

    This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor the publisher takes responsibility for any consequences resulting from following the information contained in this article. This information does not replace the advice of a physician or other healthcare provider. Always consult a healthcare professional before beginning any treatment or making any changes to your healthcare plan.

    More on the Benefits of Garlic for Infections

    External Treatments

    Garlic has a number of uses for external treatments. Applying a solution of raw crushed garlic and water to a wound may help prevent infection. (Mix one clove of garlic with one-third cup of water and use the solution within three hours to ensure maximum potency.) Garlic footbaths are believed to help improve athlete’s foot.

    A study conducted at Bastyr University, a natural health sciences school near Seattle, found that a garlic oil extract cured all warts it was applied to within two weeks. The garlic oil extract also dissolved corns. However, using a slice of garlic taped to the skin risks blistering healthy skin. Garlic’s phytochemical compounds are strong enough to create chemical burns, so caution should be used when applying externally. Do not use on young children and protect the surrounding healthy skin with petroleum jelly.

    Garlic is also recommended by herbalists to help fight the common cold. Chewing garlic and holding it in the mouth before swallowing can provide the best dose of bacteria-fighting allicin. Alternatively, minced garlic can be put into gelatin capsules and taken with food. Taking three cloves a day during a cold may help alleviate symptoms. Garlic poultices or plasters can also be used to treat colds and chest congestion.

    To use garlic as a poultice, first chop the garlic and place it in a clean cloth, thin washcloth, or paper towel. Fold the cloth over to cover the garlic, and then pour very warm water over it. After letting it sit for a few seconds, wring it out lightly and place the wrapped garlic on the chest for several minutes. Reheat the poultice with warm water and place it on the back, over the lung area, for several minutes. Some herbalists suggest placing it on the soles of the feet as well. However, be cautious not to let the garlic touch the skin directly, as it may cause a burn due to its potency.

    Garlic may also have cancer-fighting properties. According to studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute, garlic, particularly unprocessed garlic, may reduce the risk of stomach and colon cancers. Although further research is needed, the studies have shown that garlic possesses anticancer activity, particularly toward prostate and stomach cancer. Just two servings of garlic a week may prevent colon cancer.

    Note that this information is solely for informational purposes and not intended to provide medical advice. Consult a physician or other healthcare provider before undertaking any course of treatment.

    research has found, consider adding more garlic to your diet to potentially reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. It appears that garlic’s antioxidants and sulfur-containing agents, including allicin, may protect cells from damage and toxic effects of cancer-causing agents. Eating as little as two servings of garlic a week may be enough to help protect against colon cancer. Garlic may also help prevent gastritis and stomach cancer by decreasing H. pylori bacteria in the stomach. Studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic for three to five years or longer may decrease the risk of laryngeal, gastric, colon, and endometrial cancers. However, garlic intake has not shown a reduction in breast cancer risk and the data on prostate cancer is less definitive. Topically applied garlic compounds have been shown to defend against skin cancer, but it is important to follow physician’s treatment guidelines for skin cancer. Overall, garlic has amazing health-affirming properties and adding more to your diet may be beneficial.

    If you want to benefit from garlic, you can easily incorporate it into your diet and health routine without any guilt. For more information on garlic, you can explore recipes that feature it, learn how it fits in with your overall nutrition plans, grow your own vegetable garden, and get answers to questions about gardening. However, it’s important to note that this information is strictly for informational purposes and should not be taken as medical advice. Neither the editors nor the author or publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, exercise, dietary modification, or medication. It’s important to always consult with your physician or healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regimen.


    1. What are the health benefits of consuming garlic?

    Garlic is a powerful natural remedy that has been used for centuries. It is known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Garlic is also high in antioxidants, which help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Consuming garlic regularly can help to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and improve circulation. It is also believed to boost the immune system and help fight off infections. Additionally, garlic has been shown to have a positive effect on brain function and may even help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

    2. How can garlic be used in cooking?

    Garlic is a versatile ingredient that is commonly used in a variety of dishes. It can be chopped, minced, or crushed and added to sauces, soups, stews, and marinades. Roasted garlic can also be used as a spread on bread or as a topping for pizza. Garlic can also be used to flavor meats, vegetables, and grains. When cooking with garlic, it is important to be careful not to overcook it, as this can cause it to become bitter.

    3. Can garlic be used as a natural remedy for colds and flu?

    Garlic is often used as a natural remedy for colds and flu. It is believed to have antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help to fight off infections. Some people recommend eating raw garlic or taking garlic supplements at the first sign of a cold or flu. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims. While garlic may help to boost the immune system, it is not a substitute for medical treatment.

    4. What are the potential side effects of consuming garlic?

    While garlic is generally considered safe to consume, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. Eating large amounts of garlic can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Some people may also be allergic to garlic and experience symptoms such as skin rash, itching, and difficulty breathing. Garlic can also interact with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor before consuming large amounts of garlic if you are taking any medications.

    5. How should garlic be stored?

    Garlic should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It is best to store garlic in a ventilated container or bag to prevent it from becoming moldy. Whole garlic bulbs can be stored for up to six months, while peeled garlic cloves should be used within a few days. It is important to discard any garlic that has begun to sprout or has become soft or moldy.

    6. Can garlic be used to repel insects?

    Garlic is often used as a natural insect repellent. It is believed to repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects due to its strong odor. Some people recommend placing garlic cloves around outdoor areas to keep insects away. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims. While garlic may help to repel insects, it is not a substitute for other insect repellents and precautions such as wearing long sleeves and pants and using mosquito nets.

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