Garlic: A Guide to Growing and Using It

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Garlic is a beloved vegetable that has a devoted following among its fans. It’s hard to imagine many vegetable dishes without garlic. In this article, we’ll be discussing growing garlic, how to choose and serve it, the medicinal properties of garlic, and its healing history.

Garlic & Garlic Recipes Image Gallery

Use the plumpest garlic cloves for cooking and plant the others. See more pictures of garlic & garlic recipes.

About Garlic

Garlic is a perennial plant that resembles an onion, except that its bulb is made up of individual cloves. Its flower head looks like a dunce cap made of tissue paper and contains small flowers and bulblets.

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

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

Want to learn more about garlic? Check out:

  • 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 related to gardening.


Growing Garlic

Garlic is a must-have in any kitchen, especially for garlic lovers. Why not make it a must-have in your vegetable garden too?

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

During the early growth period, garlic requires cool temperatures, but it can withstand heat in later stages. For optimal results, plant garlic in the spring in the North and in the fall in the South. Garlic is grown from clove or bulblet, with the plump side placed downwards. Ensure that the cloves are planted in full sunlight with well-worked soil that is high in organic matter and drains well. Plant cloves 4 to 6 weeks before the average date of the last frost, 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Keep garlic slightly dry, particularly when bulbs are nearing maturity, as it enhances the flavor. Keep the area cultivated.

To harvest garlic, dig the entire plant when the tops begin to dry out, indicating that the bulbs are mature. It takes 90 days for mature plants to grow from planting. Use the plumpest cloves for cooking and plant the others. Limited varieties of garlic are available, and they can be cultivated using cloves purchased from a grocery store.

The subsequent section will discuss how to select and prepare garlic properly. For more information on garlic, try checking out Vegetable Recipes, Vegetable Gardens, and Gardening.

Selecting garlic correctly is crucial, given that it is a popular ingredient. Most garlic varieties have a similar pungent odor and taste. Pink-skinned garlic has a sweeter taste and lasts longer than white garlic. Elephant garlic, a large-clove variety, has a milder flavor than regular garlic and should be used like a leek. However, most garlic varieties can be used interchangeably in recipes.

The Roasted Garlic Hummus recipe features garlic prominently.

If possible, choose loose garlic instead of the packaged ones. It’s easier to check the quality of the garlic when it’s not hidden behind cellophane. Fresh garlic typically has paper-white skins, so look for those. When selecting garlic, choose a head that is firm to the touch with no visible dampness or brown spots. Don’t expect garlic powder to taste like fresh garlic because much of the flavor is processed out. Garlic salt contains high amounts of sodium, so avoid using it. Store garlic in a cool, dry, and dark place, and check it occasionally if you don’t use it regularly. If garlic begins to sprout, it’s still okay to use, but it may have a milder flavor. To neutralize the strong odor of garlic on your breath, chew on fresh parsley, mint, or citrus peel. Garlic has a long history of being used for its healing properties. The ancient Egyptians were the first to farm garlic, and hard-working slaves received a ration of garlic each day to improve their strength and ward off illness. Garlic has many culinary and healing properties, making it a natural wonder.

The wonders of the ancient world include the sacred qualities of garlic as believed by the Ancient Egyptians. They used to bury garlic-shaped clay lumps with the dead pharaohs to keep away evil spirits. Even after millennia, archaeologists found preserved garlic bulbs scattered around King Tut’s tomb. The Ancient Egyptians believed in the power of garlic so much that they would chew it before making a journey at night, creating a foul-smelling breath that could ward off evil spirits. The Greeks and Romans also loved garlic and used it for strength-enhancing properties before entering the arena or battlefield. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the “father of medicine,” prescribed garlic for a variety of ailments around 400 B.C. It was used to treat wounds, fight infection, cure leprosy, and ease digestive disorders. Garlic’s reputation as a medicinal wonder continued into the Middle Ages, where it was used in attempts to prevent the plague and to treat leprosy and other ailments. The Spanish, Portuguese, and French introduced garlic to the Americas. Interestingly, in many historic cultures, garlic was used medicinally but not in cooking.

Historically, garlic was used for medicinal purposes in a variety of ways. The juice of the bulb could be consumed internally for one ailment, while the bulb could be ground into a paste for external treatment of other health issues. Garlic was also believed to bring good luck and protect against evil, especially sorcerers and vampires. While garlic was believed to be a defensive tool against vampires in European and American folklore, it is not mentioned in vampire legends from other parts of the world. During World War I, garlic was used to treat battle wounds and fight infection. In the early 20th century, garlic was used as a remedy for various health problems, including preventing colds and treating intestinal issues. Today, garlic is popular in part due to the identification of sulfur-containing compounds that have medicinal properties. Cutting, crushing, or chewing garlic cloves activates sulfurous substances, which form compounds with therapeutic properties. Allicin and ajoene are among the most researched and medically powerful compounds found in garlic. While garlic has a mixed past, its usefulness in modern society is widely accepted.

Looking for more information on garlic? Check out these resources:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Discover tasty recipes featuring garlic.
  • Nutrition: Learn how garlic contributes to overall nutrition.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Get tips on growing a bountiful vegetable garden.
  • Gardening: Find answers to your gardening questions.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor the publisher are liable for any consequences resulting from following this information, including any treatment, exercise, dietary modification, or medication application. This information does not replace medical advice from a healthcare provider. Before starting any treatment, consult with your physician or healthcare provider.

Using Garlic for Medicinal Purposes

For medicinal purposes, one clove of garlic per day is often recommended. Garlic contains vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that have health benefits.

Garlic’s Safety

Garlic is generally safe for most adults, but individuals allergic to lilies, onions, chives, or tulips should avoid it. Garlic may cause reactions in people who are allergic to it, whether it is ingested, inhaled, or applied topically. If you plan to have surgery or dental work done, have a bleeding disorder, or are pregnant, avoid taking large amounts of garlic, as it can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding. Consult with your healthcare provider before taking garlic if you are taking blood thinners or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. To be safe, always consult with a healthcare professional before using garlic for medicinal purposes.

Garlic can thin the blood, so avoid eating it before dental procedures.
  • Garlic can have negative interactions with medications other than anticoagulants. Birth control pills, cyclosporine (often used for rheumatoid arthritis), and some other medications may be affected by garlic. Additionally, garlic can interfere with certain HIV/AIDS antiviral medications by reducing their effectiveness. It is important to discuss your use of garlic supplements or regular consumption of large amounts of garlic with your health-care provider and/or pharmacist if you take prescription medications.
  • For nursing women, garlic may give their milk an unpleasant taste that their baby may reject, resulting in shorter nursing times.
  • Consuming excessive amounts of garlic can cause stomach irritation, leading 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, garlic can cause burns. It is crucial to be cautious when using raw garlic on children’s skin.
  • If you are bothered by the strong smell of garlic on your breath, perspiration, or skin, it is advisable to consume less of it.
  • The Lowdown on Supplements

    While fresh, organically grown raw garlic is the best option, supplements may be necessary if you cannot incorporate enough garlic into your diet.

    Garlic for Ear Infections
    Garlic extract mixed with olive oil has been used for centuries as a remedy for ear infections. To create this remedy, herbalists suggest slightly heating the oil, adding a small amount of sliced garlic, allowing it to sit for several minutes, and then straining it thoroughly before putting a few drops into the infected ear.

    It is crucial to ensure that there are no garlic particles in the oil. Prior to placing the oil in the ear, put a few drops on the inside of your arm and let it sit for several minutes to ensure that it is not potent enough to burn your arm (either due to the oil’s temperature or the amount of garlic essence present). If it passes the test, put a few small drops into the infected ear. Create a fresh mixture for each treatment.

    Before attempting this home remedy, it is best to consult your health-care provider, particularly if you have had a ruptured eardrum previously.

    The research studies have noted that not all garlic supplements have the same amount of allicin as claimed on the label during testing. Several variables contribute to this inconsistency, including the type of garlic, growing conditions, fertilizer amounts and types, processing methods, and quality control. This issue creates a problem in evaluating garlic research, as it is unclear whether commercial garlic preparations contain the advertised compounds and how much of it they contain.

    To create supplements, garlic is sliced and dried at low temperatures to prevent the destruction of alliinase, the enzyme that converts alliin to allicin. The dried garlic is then pulverized into a powder and formed into tablets to meet the standards set by the U.S. Pharmacopeia. The powder must contain at least 0.3 percent alliin.

    Shopping for garlic supplements can be confusing because manufacturers process and label their supplements differently. Some tablets contain alliin, which is converted to allicin, while others contain both alliin and allicin. Some supplements have an “allicin potential” statement that refers to the amount of allicin that could be formed when alliin is converted, not how much allicin the supplement actually produces.

    Most supplements are “enteric coated” to prevent the destruction of alliinase in the stomach, but this also means that the tablets often take too long to dissolve, and most do not produce much allicin under the tough conditions. The better measurement is “allicin release,” which discloses how much allicin the supplement produces under conditions similar to those found in the digestive tract. Unfortunately, only a few manufacturers list this measurement on their labels.

    When choosing a garlic supplement, look for the “standardization” statement on the label, but even this is not a guarantee. A “standardized” product should have a specific amount of a particular ingredient. However, this is not always the case, and the other active compounds in garlic are typically not standardized. Dried garlic powder is considered to have similar effects to fresh, crushed garlic. Other 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.

    To find a garlic supplement that is effective, look for one that is standardized to contain at least 1.3 percent allicin. In the US, pharmacy-grade garlic typically contains between 0.3 and 0.5 percent allicin. Avoid tablets that are enteric-coated or time-release, as these may not dissolve quickly enough in your digestive tract to make use of the allicin.

    For more information about garlic, consider checking out:

    • Vegetable Recipes: Discover delicious recipes that feature garlic.
    • Nutrition: Learn how garlic fits in with your overall nutrition plans.
    • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
    • Gardening: Get answers to your questions about all things that come from the garden.

    This information is intended solely for informational purposes. IT 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 resulting 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 healthcare provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other healthcare provider.

    More on How to Use Garlic Medicinally

    How Much Should You Take?

    Large scientific boards make several dosage recommendations for garlic. The Mayo Clinic cites the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy’s recommendation for preventing atherosclerosis as 3-5 milligrams of allicin (3,000-5,000 micrograms) or one clove or 0.5-1 gram of dried powder.

    The World Health Organization recommends 2-5 grams of fresh garlic, 0.4-1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, 2-5 milligrams of garlic oil, 300-1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, or some other formulation that yields 2-5 milligrams (2,000-5,000 micrograms) of allicin daily.

    Rather than worrying about the contents of garlic supplements, simply enjoy the potent aroma and flavor of fresh garlic in your meals. You can always be sure that you’re getting the best and most effective allicin by adding garlic to your food. Consider this:

    • An average clove of garlic weighs about 3 grams.
    • The amount of alliin in a typical clove ranges from 24-56 milligrams.
    • When crushed, a standard clove will produce about 2.5-4.5 milligrams of allicin per gram of fresh weight. This means that a typical clove weighing 3 grams will yield 7.5-13.5 milligrams of allicin.
    Control Your Waistline
    With Garlic
    Studies performed on rats indicate that when fed allicin while on a sugar-rich diet, the rodents’ blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels all decrease. A study that appeared in the December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension showed other surprising results. The weight of the rats that were fed allicin either remained stable or decreased slightly. The weight of the rats in the control group increased. Certainly, additional research needs to be done, but this study again demonstrates how wide-ranging garlic’s benefits could be.

    The key to getting the benefits of garlic is to aim for about 5 milligrams of allicin per day. When choosing supplements, look for those that state the amount of “allicin release” rather than “allicin yield” or “allicin potential.” It’s important to note that many supplement labels list the amount of allicin in micrograms (mcg) instead of milligrams (mg). For example, a supplement containing 5,000 micrograms of allicin has 5 milligrams of allicin, which meets the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy’s recommendation of 3 to 5 milligrams. While a supplement may contain 500 milligrams of dried garlic bulb, this is equivalent to only 0.5 gram and falls into the low end of the World Health Organization’s recommendation for dried garlic powder. Keep in mind that while dried powder contains only a small amount of allicin, other compounds make up the rest of the tablet.

    One of the specific benefits of garlic is that it may help lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is closely related to heart disease, and anything that is effective against cholesterol will also help lower the risk of heart disease. Garlic can play a big role in reducing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. 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 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 likelihood of developing heart disease.

    Arteries that are healthy are similar to flexible tubes that can expand and contract slightly as blood flows through them with each heartbeat. However, when the inner lining of these tubes is damaged by factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, tobacco smoke, and 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 walls of the blood vessels, forming plaque. As this plaque accumulates, the arteries become less elastic, more vulnerable to injury, and gradually narrow, leading to hampered blood flow. In some cases, the plaque can crack or dislodge, and platelets form a clot around it, further narrowing the artery. This can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

    Cholesterol plays a vital role in normal body processes, but too much of the wrong kind can cause problems. Dietary cholesterol is broken down by the body and turned back into cholesterol. Genetics also play a role in how much cholesterol the body produces. Cholesterol is transported throughout the body via the bloodstream, and there are several types of blood cholesterol. The optimal blood lipid levels are determined by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and include total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. It’s important to note that cholesterol levels are just one of several risk factors that determine the likelihood of developing heart disease.

    To lower your risk of heart disease, it may be necessary to target lipid levels lower than the standard ones if you have one or more risk factors. It is important to consult with your healthcare provider.

    LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, sticks to artery walls and forms plaque, narrowing the arteries and making them inflexible. This can lead to high blood pressure and difficulty delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, works to eliminate excess blood cholesterol and prevent it from collecting in the arteries. Triglycerides, although not cholesterol, can also contribute to thickening artery walls and negatively affect heart health. Garlic supplements have been advertised as a way to lower cholesterol levels, but while early studies showed promise, more recent studies have tempered enthusiasm. Garlic may be able to significantly lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the short term, but it does not alter HDL. As with any medical concern, it is important to consult with a physician before beginning any course of treatment.

    According to research, garlic has the most significant effect on lowering cholesterol in the first three months of therapy. However, after six months, no further lipid reductions occur. Although garlic can be a helpful addition to a cholesterol-lowering diet, it cannot be relied on as the sole solution to high blood cholesterol levels. Additional research is needed, including longer-term studies and consideration of the type of garlic used. Studies have shown that garlic must be cut or crushed to activate its health-promoting components, but the products tested in various studies were inconsistent. While garlic may not be a miracle cure for blood cholesterol, it does have a healing role to play. The Mayo Clinic gives garlic a grade of “B” for small reductions in blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol over short periods of time. Although it may not be a magic bullet against cholesterol, garlic can have significant positive effects.

    Supplements containing dehydrated garlic powder (standardized to 1.3 percent alliin) in nonenteric-coated tablets may decrease total cholesterol levels by up to 20 mg/dL for 4 to 12 weeks. However, the effects beyond 20 weeks are not clear. LDL levels may decrease by up to 10 mg/dL, and triglycerides may decrease by up to 20 mg/dL, but HDL cholesterol levels are not significantly affected. Although well-designed studies of longer duration and including more people may provide stronger evidence of garlic’s cholesterol-reducing benefits, garlic is not likely to replace medications prescribed by a physician to lower blood cholesterol levels.

    On the other hand, lifestyle changes may be recommended by doctors to lower cholesterol levels before or along with drug therapy. Garlic may enhance the flavor of low-fat and low-sodium meals, and including it more often in a cholesterol-lowering diet is easy and inexpensive. However, the main drawback of garlic is its odor, which may give your breath and perspiration a strong smell.

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

    Cholesterol is not the only risk to your heart floating in the blood. On the next page, you can learn how garlic helps prevent harmful oxidation.

    Looking for more information about garlic? Check out these resources: Vegetable Recipes for delicious dishes featuring garlic, Nutrition information to learn how garlic fits into your overall health plan, Vegetable Gardens for tips on growing your own harvest, and Gardening for answers to all your gardening questions. It’s important to note that this information is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Neither the editors nor the author take responsibility for any consequences resulting from following the information provided. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

    Garlic is a powerful natural remedy for heart health. Packed with sulfur compounds like allicin, garlic is also a rich source of antioxidants like selenium, vitamin C, and quercetin, which help prevent oxidation in the body. Additionally, garlic contains trace amounts of manganese, an important component of an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. These compounds work together to keep the blood clean and reduce blood pressure. While garlic is a great addition to a heart-healthy diet, it should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment or advice from a healthcare provider.

    Oxidation is linked to oxygen, a crucial element in every aspect of our lives. However, oxidation can be harmful, as seen when rust accumulates on metal objects, such as cars or garden tools, leading to their destruction. Similarly, when glucose is broken down for energy in the body, free radicals are produced, which can damage cellular tissue. This process is comparable to “rusting out” of the bloodstream and blood vessels.

    Antioxidants are essential as they destroy free radicals, including those produced by environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, ultraviolet rays, air pollutants, rancid oils, and pesticides. The body keeps a regular supply of antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. Unfortunately, there are times when the number of free radicals overwhelms the body’s antioxidant stock, particularly when there is a lack of antioxidant nutrients.

    Free radicals that harm the cells lining the arteries cause the production of a sticky spackle-like substance in an attempt to repair the damage. However, this substance attracts cholesterol and debris that accumulate in the arteries, leading to progressive plaque formation. The more the plaque in the arteries, the greater the risk to health.

    The cholesterol circulating through the arteries can also be oxidized by free radicals. When this happens, it damages the lining of the arteries, leading to the buildup of plaque and the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

    Antioxidants are vital for the protection of arteries. Garlic’s ability to stop the oxidation of cholesterol is one of the ways it helps to protect heart health.

    Calcium: Friend
    or Foe?Calcium is vital for maintaining strong bones and teeth, helping muscles function correctly, reducing the risk of colon cancer, and other functions. However, when calcium gets involved in plaque formation, it can be harmful. Cutting back on calcium will not lower the risk of this process.

    The body determines how it uses calcium, and avoiding calcium-rich foods will result in the body drawing calcium from its “savings account” – the bones. This can leave the bones weakened and more susceptible to breakage and eventually osteoporosis, where the bones become thin and easily broken.

    Consuming about 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, found in an eight-ounce glass of fat-free milk, can help preserve the bone bank of calcium. Preventing calcium-fueled plaque buildup in the blood vessels is achievable by eating less saturated and trans fat and consuming more antioxidant-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and garlic.

    Garlic may play a role in preventing the buildup of plaque in arteries by preventing calcium from binding with other substances. A study conducted by UCLA Medical Center showed that aged garlic extract containing S-allylcysteine, a sulfur-rich compound found in garlic, had a significant impact on inhibiting the rate of coronary artery calcification, compared to a placebo group. While the study was small, if larger-scale studies confirm these results, garlic could prove to be a useful preventative tool for patients at high risk for future cardiovascular problems.

    Additionally, garlic may help improve blood pressure by increasing blood flow to the capillaries and reducing the ability of blood platelets to cause blockages. Garlic may also increase the production of nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels relax and allow for better blood flow throughout the body.

    Overall, while garlic may not have extensive lipid-lowering abilities, its antioxidant properties and ability to prevent plaque buildup, improve blood pressure, and increase nitric oxide production make it a valuable addition to a heart-healthy diet. However, it is important to note that this information is solely for informational purposes and does not replace the advice of a physician or other healthcare provider.

    The article discusses heart disease and provides a glossary of terms related to it. It explains the benefits of antioxidants and the negative effects of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. It also defines terms such as fibrinolysis, hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, and oxidation. The article emphasizes that it is for informational purposes only and not intended to provide medical advice.

    Additionally, the article highlights the antimicrobial properties of garlic and its potential to prevent infections both inside and outside the body. The article credits allicin for garlic’s effectiveness in killing bacteria and viruses. An image of garlic is included in the article.

    Studies conducted in laboratories have shown that raw garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties that are effective against a wide range of bacteria, fungi, intestinal parasites, and yeast. However, cooking garlic destroys the allicin, which is the compound responsible for these properties, so it is important to consume it raw to prevent or fight infections.

    A study conducted by researchers at the University of Ottawa and published in the April 2005 issue of Phytotherapy Research confirmed garlic’s infection-fighting capability. They tested 19 natural health products containing garlic and five fresh garlic extracts for active compounds and antimicrobial activity against three types of common bacteria. The products with the highest allicin content were the most successful at eradicating the bacteria.

    Garlic is now being investigated to see if it can help fight microbes that are resistant to antibiotics. A study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, found that garlic juice showed significant activity against a wide spectrum of potential pathogens, including several antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Even in dilutions ranging up to 1:128 of the original juice, garlic juice still retained significant antimicrobial activity.

    In addition to its antibacterial properties, garlic extract has also been found to inhibit disease-causing bacteria in the mouth, according to a study published in the July 2005 issue of Archives of Oral Biology. This may be valuable in fighting periodontitis, a serious gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. As oral health can impact the rest of the body, it is important to maintain healthy gums to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and causing damage to the heart valve.

    gram-positive bacteria that can cause infections in humans. The study found that fresh garlic extract was indeed effective in inhibiting the growth of C. albicans, indicating its potential as a natural alternative to traditional antibiotics.

    Overall, the results of various studies suggest that garlic may have the ability to enhance the effectiveness of prescription medications, reduce their side effects, and combat various bacterial infections. While more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and limitations, incorporating garlic into your diet may offer some natural health benefits.

    The reason behind yeast infections was studied, and it was discovered that a solution made from raw garlic and water can be helpful in preventing wound infections. The extract showed significant efficacy against C. albicans in the first hour of exposure, but the effectiveness decreased over a 48-hour period, which is similar to the decline in effectiveness seen with traditional antifungal medications. The findings suggest that the use of garlic and water solution could be a viable alternative to conventional antifungal medications.

    Looking for more information on garlic? Check out:

    • Vegetable Recipes: Discover delicious recipes featuring garlic.
    • Nutrition: Learn about how garlic fits into your overall nutrition plan.
    • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a bountiful harvest of vegetables this year.
    • Gardening: Get answers to your questions about all things garden-related.

    This information is provided for informational purposes only. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor the publisher take responsibility for any potential consequences resulting from reading or following the information contained in this article. This information is not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Before starting any treatment, readers should consult with their physician or healthcare provider.

    More on Garlic’s Benefits for Infections

    External Treatments

    Garlic has many uses externally as well. A topical solution of raw garlic and water can potentially prevent wound infections. (To make the solution, crush a clove of garlic and mix it with one-third cup of clean water. Use the solution within three hours, as it loses potency over time.) A garlic solution used as a footbath several times a day is traditionally thought to improve athlete’s foot.

    A study conducted at Bastyr University showed that a garlic oil extract cured all warts it was applied to within two weeks. A water extract of garlic was much less effective. The garlic oil extract also proved useful in dissolving corns.

    Using garlic oil extract appears to work better than the old folk remedy of tying or taping a slice of garlic to a wart, which can blister the surrounding healthy skin. Garlic’s phytochemical compounds are potent enough to cause chemical burns, so it should be used externally with caution and not on young children. To protect the surrounding healthy skin, petroleum jelly can be applied before the garlic.

    Although viruses are a small foe compared to cancer, research into garlic’s potential to prevent cancer is discussed on the next page.

    Flu Fighter: Garlic vs. the Common ColdHerbalists recommend chewing garlic and holding it in your mouth for a while before swallowing to obtain the best dose of bacteria-fighting allicin. For those who find garlic too spicy, mincing a clove and letting it sit for 10-15 minutes before stuffing it into empty gelatin capsules (purchased in the herb section of a natural foods store) is an alternative.

    Taking three cloves a day when you have a cold may help you feel better. If raw garlic upsets your stomach, take the capsules with food that contains a little bit of canola or olive oil.

    Other folk remedies for colds and chest congestion include a garlic poultice or plaster. To make one,

    To make a garlic poultice, place chopped garlic in a clean cloth or paper towel and wrap it. Pour warm water over the wrapped garlic and wring it out. Apply the poultice to the chest for a few minutes and then to the lung area on the back. Some herbalists suggest putting the poultice on the soles of the feet. Be cautious not to let the garlic come into direct contact with the skin, as it can cause burns. Garlic is believed by some scientists to have cancer-fighting properties, particularly against stomach and colon cancers. However, more studies are needed to confirm these claims. This information is solely for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. Before starting any treatment, consult a physician or other healthcare provider.

    Garlic has been found to have anticancer benefits, with even just two servings a week potentially protecting against colon cancer. The sulfur-containing agents in garlic, such as allicin, appear to protect colon cells from cancer-causing agents and decrease the H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, which can prevent gastritis from developing into cancer. Studies have shown that regular garlic consumption can decrease the risk of laryngeal, gastric, colon, and endometrial cancers, but it does not appear to have the same effect on breast cancer. Garlic may also defend against skin cancer when applied topically, but it is important to seek professional medical advice for any skin lesions or concerns. Overall, garlic has many health-affirming properties that make it a valuable addition to a healthy diet.

    If you want to enjoy the benefits of garlic, you can easily incorporate it into your meals and health routine without any guilt. For more information on garlic, consider exploring vegetable recipes that feature this flavorful ingredient, learning about its nutritional benefits, starting your own vegetable garden, or seeking advice on gardening. However, it’s important to note that this information is for informational purposes only and should not be used as medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide, Publications International, Ltd., the author, nor the publisher can be held responsible for any negative consequences resulting from following the information contained in this article. Additionally, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your health routine.



    What is garlic?

    Garlic is a vegetable that belongs to the same family as onions and shallots. It is widely used in cooking for its strong, pungent flavor and aroma. Garlic is native to central Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years. It is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat various ailments throughout history.


    How do you prepare garlic for cooking?

    To prepare garlic for cooking, first peel the cloves and remove any brown or discolored parts. Then, chop, mince, or crush the cloves depending on the recipe. Garlic can also be roasted or baked whole to create a milder flavor. It is important to note that garlic should be cooked over low heat to avoid burning and bitterness.


    What are the health benefits of garlic?

    Garlic has been shown to have numerous health benefits. It contains compounds that can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve brain function and prevent dementia.


    What are some common dishes that use garlic?

    Garlic is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Some common dishes that use garlic include garlic bread, pasta with garlic and olive oil, garlic shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted garlic chicken. Garlic can also be used in soups, stews, and sauces to add flavor and depth.


    Can garlic be eaten raw?

    Yes, garlic can be eaten raw. However, it is important to note that raw garlic has a much stronger flavor and can be difficult to digest for some people. To reduce the strong flavor, garlic can be sliced thin and added to salads or sandwiches. It can also be mixed with honey or yogurt to create a milder flavor.


    How do you grow garlic?

    To grow garlic, first select a sunny, well-draining location in your garden. Plant individual cloves in the fall, about 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Water the garlic regularly and mulch to retain moisture. In the spring, cut off any flower stalks that appear to encourage bulb growth. Harvest the garlic when the leaves turn yellow and the bulbs have formed.


    What is black garlic?

    Black garlic is a type of garlic that has been fermented at a high temperature for several weeks. This process creates a sweet, mellow flavor and changes the color of the garlic to black. Black garlic is often used in Asian cuisine and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is also believed to have higher antioxidant levels than regular garlic.


    How should garlic be stored?

    Garlic should be stored in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard. Whole bulbs can be stored for several months, while peeled or chopped garlic should be used within a few days. Avoid storing garlic in the refrigerator, as this can cause it to sprout and become rubbery.


    Can garlic be used as a natural insect repellent?

    Yes, garlic can be used as a natural insect repellent. The strong odor of garlic can repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects. To use garlic as an insect repellent, crush a few cloves and mix with water or oil to create a spray. Spray the mixture on your skin or around your home to deter insects.


    What are some common substitutes for garlic in recipes?

    If you don’t have garlic on hand or are allergic to it, there are several substitutes you can use in recipes. Some common substitutes for garlic include onion powder, shallots, chives, and ginger. However, it is important to note that these substitutes may not provide the same flavor profile as garlic and may alter the taste of the dish.

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