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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 serve garlic, the history of garlic’s healing properties, and the medicinal uses of garlic.

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

About Garlic

Garlic is a hardy perennial that looks like an onion, but the bulb is divided into cloves. The flower head resembles a tissue paper dunce cap and contains small flowers and bulblets.

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

In the following section, we will explain how to grow garlic.

For 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

Most garlic enthusiasts understand that garlic is a crucial ingredient in the kitchen. Make it a staple in your home vegetable garden.

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

During its early growth period, garlic requires cool temperatures but can tolerate heat in later stages. Garlic can be planted in the spring in the North and in the fall in the South for good results. Garlic is grown from cloves or bulblets, planted with the plump side down in full sun and well-worked soil that is high in organic matter and well-draining. Cloves should be planted four to six weeks before the average date of the last frost, 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Garlic should be kept slightly dry, especially when the bulbs are near maturity, to improve flavor. The area should be cultivated regularly.

To harvest garlic, dig the entire plant when the tops start to dry, indicating maturity after 90 days from planting. The plumpest cloves should be used for cooking, and the others should be planted.

Few varieties of garlic are available, and plants can be grown from cloves purchased from the grocery store.

In the next section, we will discuss selecting and preparing garlic.

For more information about garlic, try vegetable recipes, vegetable gardens, or gardening.

Selecting Garlic

When selecting garlic, it’s important to know how to properly prepare it. Most varieties have a pungent odor and taste, but pink-skinned garlic is a bit sweeter and lasts longer than white garlic. Elephant garlic is milder in flavor than regular garlic and should be used like a leek. However, most varieties can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Garlic is featured in the
Roasted Garlic Hummus recipe.

Choose fresh garlic that has paper-white skins and feels firm to the touch. Loose garlic is easier to check for quality than pre-packaged garlic. Avoid garlic with damp or brown spots. Garlic powder does not have the same flavor as fresh garlic, as much of the flavor is processed out. Garlic salt contains a lot of sodium, so it is best to avoid using it. Store garlic in a cool, dark, and dry place. Check it occasionally if you don’t use it regularly, as it may only last a few weeks or a few months. If garlic begins to sprout, it is still okay to use, but it may have a milder flavor. To prepare garlic, use a garlic press for a full-force flavor or minced garlic for a milder flavor. Baked whole cloves provide a buttery flavor. For salads, rub the bottom of the bowl with a cut clove or add freshly crushed garlic. To neutralize the pungent aroma of garlic on your breath, chew on fresh parsley, mint, or citrus peel. Cut or crush garlic and let it sit in the air for about 10 minutes before using to reap its healing benefits. Garlic has been used for physical and spiritual health for over 5,000 years, and it was even used to help build the great pyramids.

The ancient Egyptians believed that garlic had sacred powers and could keep evil spirits away. They even buried garlic-shaped lumps of clay with their dead pharaohs. Garlic bulbs were found scattered around King Tut’s tomb by archaeologists. The Greeks and Romans also believed in the power of garlic, with Greek athletes and soldiers eating it to enhance their strength and Roman soldiers eating it for inspiration and courage. Garlic was used medicinally by Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine,” and was used to treat a variety of ailments, including wounds, infection, leprosy, and digestive disorders. Garlic was also used in attempts to prevent the plague in the Middle Ages and was introduced to various regions around the world by explorers and migrating peoples. Although it was used medicinally, it was not commonly used in cooking. Our ancestors would be surprised to learn that we don’t appreciate garlic’s healing qualities more.

Throughout history, garlic has been used in various ways for medicinal purposes. The juice of the bulb could be taken internally, while the bulb could be made into a paste for external treatment of health issues. Garlic was also believed to bring good luck and protect against evil, specifically against vampires and sorcerers. However, this belief is only present in European and American folklore. During World War I, garlic was used by the Russians to treat wounds and fight infection. In modern times, herbalists have touted garlic for a variety of health issues, and scientists have identified sulfur-containing compounds in garlic that have medicinal properties. When a garlic clove is cut or crushed, sulfurous substances are activated, forming compounds with therapeutic properties such as allicin and ajoene. While garlic has had a mixed reputation throughout history, it is now widely recognized for its health benefits.

If you want to learn more about garlic, you can try checking out Vegetable Recipes for delicious recipes that feature garlic, Nutrition to find out how garlic fits in with your overall nutrition plans, Vegetable Gardens to learn how to grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year, and Gardening to get answers to your questions about all things that come from the garden. However, it’s important to note that the information provided is solely for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action, or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Garlic can be used medicinally by consuming a clove a day, as it contains an array of nutrients and phytochemicals that provide health benefits. Garlic is generally safe for most adults, but those who are allergic to plants in the Liliaceae family should avoid it. People anticipating surgery or dental procedures, pregnant women, and those with bleeding disorders should also avoid taking large amounts of garlic on a regular basis due to its ability to thin the blood. It’s important to talk to your health-care provider before consuming garlic if you have any concerns. And, as an added bonus, eating garlic before dental procedures is not recommended as it can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding.

  • If you take prescription medications and consume large amounts of garlic or take garlic supplements, it may interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills, some medications prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, certain HIV/AIDS antiviral medications, and other medications. It’s important to consult with your health-care provider and/or pharmacist before taking garlic supplements.
  • Garlic may give a nursing mother’s milk an unpleasant taste, causing the baby to reject it and resulting in shorter nursing times.
  • If you have a sensitive stomach, consuming too much garlic can lead to stomach irritation, heartburn, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea, or constipation. It’s best to go easy on garlic.
  • Direct application of garlic to the skin can cause burns. Be cautious when applying raw garlic to children’s skin.
  • If the strong odor of garlic bothers you, consume less of it.
  • The Scoop on Supplements

    While fresh, naturally grown raw garlic is the best option, supplements can be an alternative for those who can’t get enough of it in their diet.

    Garlic extract added to olive oil has been used for centuries as a remedy for ear infections. Herbalists recommend slightly heating the oil, adding a small amount of sliced garlic, letting it sit for a few minutes, and thoroughly straining it before placing a few drops into the infected ear. It is important to make sure there are no garlic particles in the oil. Test the oil on the inside of your arm first to make sure it is not too strong. It is best to consult with your health-care provider before trying this remedy, especially if you have or have had a ruptured eardrum.

    The research studies mentioned have pointed out that not all garlic supplements have the same amount of allicin as claimed on the label when tested. Various factors such as the type of garlic, growing conditions, amount and type of fertilizer used, processing methods, and quality control during manufacturing can affect the consistency of garlic supplements. This creates a challenge when assessing the research on garlic, as it is uncertain whether commercial garlic preparations actually contain what they claim to have. It is also unclear which compounds they contain and how much of it is present in the supplement being taken.

    Garlic supplements are typically made by slicing garlic and drying it at low temperatures to prevent the destruction of alliinase, which is the enzyme that converts alliin into allicin. The dried garlic is then powdered and formed into tablets. The powder must contain a minimum of 0.3 percent alliin to meet the quality standards set by the U.S. Pharmacopeia. However, manufacturers process and label their supplements differently, making it confusing for consumers to choose the right supplement. Some tablets contain only alliin, which is converted to allicin, while others contain both alliin and allicin. Some labels may also have an “allicin potential” statement, which refers to the amount of allicin that could be formed, but not how much is actually formed.

    Most supplements are “enteric coated” to prevent the destruction of alliinase by the acidic conditions in the stomach. However, most tablets produce only a small amount of allicin under these conditions, and they often take too long to dissolve. “Allicin release” is a better measurement of how much allicin a supplement produces under digestive tract conditions, but very few manufacturers list this measurement on their labels.

    When choosing a garlic supplement, start by looking for the “standardization” statement on the label. “Standardized” products are supposed to contain a certain amount of a specific ingredient. For example, a product that says “standardized to contain 1.3 percent alliin” should have at least 1.3 percent alliin in every pill. However, this is not always the case, and the USP seal provides a more reliable guarantee of standardization.

    Garlic supplements contain other active compounds besides allicin, but these are typically not standardized. Dried garlic powder is considered to have similar effects to 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 other active compounds than dried powder.

    The image below shows that a good garlic supplement should contain at least 1.3 percent allicin.

    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

    If you are in the market for a garlic supplement, make sure it is standardized to contain at least 1.3 percent allicin. In the US, pharmacy-grade garlic typically contains 0.3 percent (powdered form) to 0.5 percent (fresh, dried form) allicin. Avoid enteric-coated or time-release tablets as they may not dissolve quickly enough in your digestive tract to make use of the allicin.

    Looking for more information on garlic? Check out vegetable recipes that feature garlic, learn how garlic fits into your nutrition plans, or get tips on growing a vegetable garden.

    Note that this information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice. Consumer Guide, Publications International, Ltd., the author, and publisher do not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from following the information contained in this article. Before starting any treatment, consult with your physician or other healthcare provider.

    When it comes to garlic dosage, scientific boards recommend different amounts. The Mayo Clinic cites the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy’s recommendation for preventing atherosclerosis as 3 milligrams to 5 milligrams allicin (3,000 micrograms to 5,000 micrograms allicin) or one clove or 0.5 gram to 1 gram of dried powder. The World Health Organization recommends 2 grams to 5 grams of fresh garlic, 0.4 gram to 1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams of garlic oil, 300 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, or some other formulation that yields the equivalent of 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams (2,000 to 5,000 micrograms) of allicin daily.

    Rather than worrying about whether or not garlic supplements contain what they claim, try adding fresh garlic to your meals. A typical garlic clove weighs about 3 grams and contains 24 milligrams to 56 milligrams of alliin. When crushed, a standard clove will produce about 2.5 milligrams to 4.5 milligrams of allicin per gram of fresh weight. This means that one typical clove weighing 3 grams will yield 7.5 milligrams to 13.5 milligrams of allicin.

    Studies conducted on rats have shown that feeding them allicin while on a sugar-rich diet can lower their blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels. A study published in the December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension showed that the weight of rats fed allicin either remained stable or decreased slightly, while the weight of rats in the control group increased. More research needs to be done, but this demonstrates the potential benefits of garlic.

    The main points to remember when taking garlic supplements are to aim for 5 milligrams of allicin per day and to use supplements that state the amount of “allicin release.” It is important to note that the amount of allicin is often listed in micrograms rather than milligrams on supplement labels. A supplement containing 5,000 micrograms of allicin meets the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy’s recommendation of 3 to 5 milligrams of allicin. However, a supplement may contain 500 milligrams of dried garlic bulb, which is equal to 0.5 gram and falls into the low end of the World Health Organization’s recommendation for dried garlic powder. Garlic may help lower cholesterol, which is closely related to heart disease. When the body makes too much cholesterol, it can clog up the bloodstream and lead to problems with the heart. Garlic can reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. It is important to seek the advice of a physician or other health care provider before undertaking any course of treatment.

    the risk of heart disease.

    Healthy arteries are like flexible tubes that can contract and expand slightly as blood flows through them with each heartbeat. However, if the inner lining of these tubes is damaged due to high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, tobacco smoke, diabetes, or the aging process, the body produces a sticky substance to heal the wound. This substance causes fatty substances, proteins, calcium, inflammatory cells, and other debris in the blood to stick to the vessel walls, forming plaque on the inner walls of the arteries. As the plaque accumulates, the arteries become less elastic, making them more vulnerable to further injury. The gradual buildup of plaque also narrows the inner diameter of the artery, hampering blood flow. The plaque can also crack or become dislodged, leading to a blood clot that can block the flow of blood through the artery, causing a heart attack or stroke.

    While some cholesterol is necessary for normal body processes, too much of the wrong kind can cause heart disease. Dietary cholesterol is a fatty substance that is broken down by the body to digest and turns back into cholesterol. Additionally, the solid fats in your diet can be turned into cholesterol. Genetics also play a role in the amount of cholesterol your body produces, making it hard for some people to control their cholesterol levels even with a healthy diet and exercise. The most significant types of blood cholesterol are total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Cholesterol levels are just one risk factor for heart disease, along with family history and smoking.

    If you possess risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, you may require lipid levels that are lower than the standard values provided. It is recommended that you consult your healthcare professional.

    LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it can stick to artery walls and form plaque, which narrows arteries and makes them inflexible. This can lead to high blood pressure and difficulty delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. HDL cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein, is known as “good” cholesterol because it helps eliminate excess cholesterol and prevent it from collecting in the arteries, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Triglycerides, another form of lipid, can also contribute to the thickening of artery walls if there are too many in the blood. While early studies showed promise for garlic’s ability to lower cholesterol, more recent studies have shown that it can significantly lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the short term but does not affect HDL levels. As with any medical concern, it’s important to seek the advice of a healthcare provider before undergoing any treatment or dietary modification.

    A study has shown that garlic has the most significant effect on lowering cholesterol during the first three months of therapy. However, after six months, there were no further reductions. Although garlic can be a helpful addition to a cholesterol-lowering diet, it cannot be relied upon as the sole solution to high blood cholesterol levels. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of garlic. The type of garlic used in the studies was inconsistent, and it is unknown whether garlic stops being effective after several months or if other factors influenced the results. A 2005 Mayo Clinic report gives garlic a “B” grade for small reductions in blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol over short periods of time. While garlic may not be a miracle cure for cholesterol, it can still have positive effects.

    The consumption of nonenteric-coated tablets containing dehydrated garlic powder, standardized to 1.3 percent alliin, as a supplement may reduce total cholesterol levels up to 20 mg/dL within 4 to 12 weeks. The effects of the supplement beyond 20 weeks remain unclear. Additionally, LDL levels may decrease up to 10 mg/dL while triglycerides may decrease up to 20 mg/dL. However, HDL cholesterol levels are not significantly affected. Mayo’s report stated that more extensive and well-designed studies with larger participant groups could provide more conclusive evidence of garlic’s cholesterol-reducing benefits. Nonetheless, garlic is not a substitute for prescribed medications to lower blood cholesterol levels.

    In contrast, doctors often recommend lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol levels alongside drug therapy or before starting drug therapy. Lifestyle changes may decrease the risks of side effects associated with medication. While garlic’s primary drawback is the odor it produces in breath and perspiration, including it in a cholesterol-lowering diet is an easy and inexpensive way to enhance meal flavor, particularly in low-fat and low-sodium meals.

    Different forms of garlic yield different results, making it challenging to compare studies of garlic’s effectiveness in humans. Fresh cloves of garlic, either chopped or chewed, may have the highest allicin content, but they have not been well-studied. Swallowing whole fresh cloves of garlic showed no therapeutic value in limited studies. Dehydrated garlic powder made into tablets or capsules often provided some therapeutic value, but the allicin content varies within and among brands. Enteric-coated garlic tablets may not dissolve soon enough to release the allicin they contain, but they prevent garlic odor on the breath. Nonenteric-coated garlic tablets standardized to 1.3 percent allicin may be more effective than enteric-coated tablets, but they cause garlic breath. Aged garlic extract’s active compound is ajoene, but there are conflicting results in studies of its health benefits. Garlic oil shows little therapeutic value in studies.

    Looking for more information on garlic? Consider checking out resources such as vegetable recipes featuring garlic, information on how garlic fits into your nutrition plans, tips for growing a vegetable garden, and advice on gardening in general. However, it’s important to note that this information should only be used for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. Neither the publisher nor the author take responsibility for any consequences resulting from following the information in this resource. Before pursuing any treatment or dietary modification, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider.

    Garlic is packed with powerful sulfur compounds like allicin, as well as antioxidants that prevent harmful oxidation in the body. These antioxidants include selenium, vitamin C, and quercetin. Garlic also contains trace amounts of manganese, an important component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. In addition to keeping blood clean, garlic may also help slightly reduce blood pressure.

    Oxidation is linked to oxygen, a vital element that is essential to every aspect of our lives. However, oxidation can be harmful, as seen when rust accumulates on metal objects, such as cars or garden tools, and eventually destroys them. This rust is an example of oxidation. Similarly, when the body breaks down glucose for energy, free radicals are produced, which start oxidizing and damaging cellular tissue. This process can be likened to “rusting out” of the bloodstream and blood vessels.

    Antioxidants play a critical role in destroying free radicals, including those caused by environmental factors, such as ultraviolet rays, air pollutants, cigarette smoke, rancid oils, and pesticides. The body maintains a steady supply of antioxidants to counteract free radicals. However, when the number of free radicals exceeds the body’s antioxidant store, it can lead to health problems, especially if there is a lack of antioxidant nutrients.

    When free radicals damage the cells lining the arteries, the body produces a sticky substance, which attracts cholesterol and debris, leading to progressive plaque formation in the arteries. The more plaque present in the arteries, the greater the health risk. Moreover, free radicals can oxidize the cholesterol circulating in the arteries, causing damage to the lining, contributing significantly to plaque buildup and narrowing and hardening of the arteries.

    Antioxidants, therefore, play a crucial role in protecting the arteries, and garlic’s ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol may be one of its many ways of protecting heart health.

    Calcium is an essential nutrient that the body needs to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, help the muscles work correctly, and reduce the risk of colon cancer and other functions. However, calcium can get involved in plaque formation, which is harmful to the body. Cutting back on calcium consumption is not the solution to prevent plaque buildup; instead, one should consume about 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day to preserve the bone bank of calcium. The body determines how it uses calcium, and avoiding calcium-rich foods can lead to the body drawing calcium from its “savings account,” which can leave the bones weakened and more susceptible to breakage and osteoporosis. To prevent calcium-fueled plaque buildup in the blood vessels, one should eat less saturated and trans fat and consume more antioxidant-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and garlic.

    Garlic can help prevent calcium from binding with other substances in plaque, according to a study conducted at the UCLA Medical Center. The study involved 19 participants who were given either a placebo or an aged garlic extract that contained S-allylcysteine, a compound rich in sulfur found in garlic. The group that received the aged garlic extract showed a 7.5% increase in calcium score, while the placebo group showed a significantly greater increase of 22.2%. The findings suggest that aged garlic extract may inhibit the rate of coronary artery calcification, making it a useful preventative tool for patients at high risk of cardiovascular problems. However, further larger-scale studies are necessary to confirm these results. In addition to its ability to prevent plaque formation, garlic may also help lower blood pressure by increasing blood flow to capillaries and improving the production of nitric oxide. Garlic’s antioxidant ability also helps protect arteries from plaque formation and blockages.

    The article provides a glossary of heart disease terms to help readers better understand the condition. It includes definitions of terms such as “antioxidant,” “arteriosclerosis,” “atherosclerosis,” and “hypercholesterolemia.” The article also notes that garlic has antimicrobial properties that can help fight off infections caused by bacteria and viruses. However, it emphasizes that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice from a healthcare professional.

    Research has shown that raw garlic possesses both antibacterial and antiviral properties. It has been found to effectively combat a wide range of infections caused by gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungus, intestinal parasites, and yeast. However, cooking garlic destroys the allicin, so it is necessary to consume raw garlic to prevent or treat infections.

    A study conducted by the University of Ottawa and published in Phytotherapy Research in April 2005 confirmed the infection-fighting ability of garlic. Researchers tested 19 natural health products containing garlic and five fresh garlic extracts to determine their active compounds and antimicrobial activity. They discovered that products with a higher allicin content were the most successful at eliminating three common types of bacteria. These bacteria included E. faecalis, which causes urinary tract infections; N. gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea; and S. aureus, which is responsible for many infections that occur in hospitals.

    Scientists are currently examining whether garlic can combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Studies have revealed that garlic juice has potent activity against a broad spectrum of potential pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Garlic juice has retained significant antimicrobial activity even when diluted up to 1:128 of the original juice.

    Garlic may also promote oral health. In a study published in Archives of Oral Biology in July 2005, researchers discovered that garlic extract inhibits disease-causing bacteria in the mouth, which may be useful in treating periodontitis, a severe gum disease. Bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums and travel to your heart valve, causing damage. Improving oral health can have a positive impact on the rest of the body.

    Overall, research has demonstrated the potential health benefits of consuming raw garlic to combat infections caused by various microorganisms.

    gram-positive bacteria that can cause infections in humans. The study found that fresh garlic extract was effective in inhibiting the growth of C. albicans, and it was more effective than the commercially available garlic supplement. These findings suggest that using fresh garlic may be a more potent way to fight infections caused by C. albicans.

    In conclusion, research has shown that garlic can work alongside prescription medications to reduce side effects and enhance their effectiveness. It has also been found to be a strong defender against microbes, including those that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Eating raw garlic may help combat sickness-causing bugs, and it may reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections. Garlic has also been found to be effective in eradicating Giardia lamblia, a parasite that commonly lives in stream water. Finally, fresh garlic extract has been found to inhibit the growth of C. albicans, suggesting that it may be a potent way to fight infections caused by this bacteria.

    The reason behind yeast infections was studied and an extract was found to be highly efficient against C. albicans in the initial hour of contact. However, its effectiveness decreased during the 48-hour period of testing. This decline in effectiveness is also seen in conventional antifungal drugs. Additionally, a mixture of raw garlic and water has been found to be effective in preventing wound infections. The image below shows a solution of raw garlic and water being used.

    Looking for more information about garlic? Check out the following resources:

    • Vegetable Recipes: Discover tasty recipes that incorporate garlic.
    • Nutrition: Learn about how garlic contributes to your overall nutrition plan.
    • Vegetable Gardens: Grow an abundant supply of vegetables this year.
    • Gardening: Get answers to your questions about gardening and growing your own produce.

    Please note that this information is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to offer medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher assume responsibility for any outcomes resulting from following the information contained within. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any treatment plan, readers should consult their physician or healthcare provider.

    More on Garlic’s Benefits for Infections

    In addition to its culinary uses, garlic also has a number of external applications. For instance, applying a solution of crushed garlic and water to a wound can help prevent infection. (Mix one clove of crushed garlic with a third of a cup of clean water, but use the solution within three hours to maintain its potency.) Garlic is also traditionally believed to be effective in treating athlete’s foot when used as a footbath several times a day.

    A study conducted by Bastyr University, a natural health sciences school and research center near Seattle, found that a garlic oil extract effectively cured all warts to which it was applied within two weeks. However, a water extract of garlic was not as effective. The garlic oil extract also proved to be useful in dissolving corns. Using garlic oil extract is a better option than the old-fashioned approach of taping a slice of garlic to a wart, as the slice can cause blisters on the healthy surrounding skin. (Note that products containing acid that remove warts can also pose the same risk.)

    Garlic’s phytochemical compounds are powerful enough to cause chemical burns, so it’s important to exercise caution when applying garlic externally, and to avoid using it on young children. To protect the surrounding healthy skin, apply petroleum jelly to it before applying the garlic.

    While viruses present a relatively small threat compared to cancer, research has shown that garlic may be useful in preventing this serious disease. To learn more about this research, please see the next page.

    Garlic as a Cold Remedy: Fighting the Flu

    Herbalists recommend chewing garlic and holding it in your mouth for a few minutes before swallowing to benefit from the bacteria-fighting allicin. However, this can be difficult for children or those who find garlic too spicy. An alternative is to mince a clove and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the allicin to form, and then place it into empty gelatin capsules (which can be found in the herb section of a natural foods store).

    Consuming three cloves of garlic per day when you have a cold may help alleviate symptoms. If raw garlic is too harsh on your stomach, take the capsules with food that contains a small amount of canola oil or, even better, olive oil. Some people also create a garlic poultice or plaster to treat colds and chest congestion. To make one,

    To make a garlic poultice, chop some garlic and place it in a clean cloth, thin washcloth, or paper towel. Fold the cloth over to enclose the garlic and pour very warm water over the wrapped garlic. After a few seconds, wring it out and place the wrapped garlic on your chest for several minutes. Reheat with warm water and place on your back, over the lung area, for several minutes. Some herbalists also recommend placing the poultice on the soles of your feet. It’s important to be cautious, as cut garlic is powerful and can result in burns if it comes into direct contact with skin.

    Garlic has been linked to potential cancer prevention benefits. Some studies suggest that eating garlic, especially unprocessed garlic, could reduce the risk of stomach and colon cancers. The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute found that 28 out of 37 studies indicated garlic had anticancer activity, particularly for prostate and stomach cancer. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

    Garlic has been found to have potential anticancer benefits, with just two servings a week being enough to protect against colon cancer. Antioxidants and sulfur-containing agents, including allicin, found in garlic appear to protect colon cells from cancer-causing agents. Garlic may also decrease H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, preventing gastritis from turning into cancer. Studies have shown that regular garlic intake may reduce the risk of developing stomach, laryngeal, gastric, colon, and endometrial cancers. Garlic may also defend against skin cancer when applied topically to tumors. However, it is important to consult a physician before using garlic as a home remedy for skin cancer or suspicious lesions.

    To benefit from the advantages of garlic, you can incorporate it into your meals and health routine without any regrets. Looking for more information about garlic? Check out Vegetable Recipes for delicious recipes featuring garlic, Nutrition to learn how garlic fits into your overall nutrition plans, Vegetable Gardens to grow a full harvest of great vegetables, and Gardening to have your garden-related questions answered. Please note that this information is solely for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences resulting from reading or following the information contained in this article. This information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider, and before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.


    1. What is garlic?

    Garlic is a plant that belongs to the onion family. The bulb of the garlic plant is the part that is commonly used for cooking.

    2. What are the health benefits of garlic?

    Garlic has been shown to have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering high blood pressure, and boosting the immune system.

    3. How do you cook with garlic?

    Garlic can be used in many different ways in cooking. It can be chopped and added to dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries, or roasted and used as a spread on bread or crackers.

    4. What is the best way to store garlic?

    Garlic should be stored in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or cabinet. It should not be stored in the refrigerator, as this can cause it to sprout and lose flavor.

    5. How do you peel garlic?

    To peel garlic, first break apart the cloves from the bulb. Then, place a clove of garlic on a cutting board and gently press it with the side of a chef’s knife. This will loosen the skin, which can then be easily peeled away.

    6. Can you eat garlic raw?

    Yes, garlic can be eaten raw. It has a strong flavor when raw, so it is often used in small amounts as a flavoring for dishes like salads and dips.

    7. What dishes is garlic commonly used in?

    Garlic is used in many different types of dishes, including Italian, French, and Mediterranean cuisines. It is commonly used in dishes like pasta, pizza, and roasted meats.

    8. How much garlic should I use in a recipe?

    The amount of garlic to use in a recipe will depend on personal preference and the dish being prepared. A good rule of thumb is to use one to two cloves of garlic per serving.

    9. Can I freeze garlic?

    Yes, garlic can be frozen. To freeze garlic, either chop it finely or puree it with a bit of oil, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.

    10. Is garlic safe for pets?

    No, garlic can be toxic to pets, especially dogs and cats. It can cause anemia and other health problems, so it should not be given to pets in any form.

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