Garlic's powerful curative properties have been known and used for eons. Many cultures have used garlic over the centuries to ward off everything from minor illnesses to evil spirits and for extra protection they add a heavy dose to most meals! Anyone who has ever seen a Dracula movie can surely remember the villagers running around with garlic wrapped around their necks to fight off those evil vampires.
Garlic was even used during major Plague outbreaks, and with some reported success! They just saw that garlic prevented more illnesses, and they were sure it was because the evil spirits were frightened away and not able to inhabit the sick person's body to cause more trouble.
Some writings that have survived from the thirteenth century suggest that victims of the Plague who had been fed and covered with garlic either lived longer or survived altogether. It's too bad the people didn't quite realize why the garlic was working - it could have perhaps saved even more lives.
Its incredible success in healing is the sole reason that we still use garlic today.
Modern medicine, however, has finally pinpointed the exact reasons why garlic works and its curative powers can all be attributed to one tiny ingredient called allicin. This is the same chemical that gives garlic its distinctive aroma, and its antibacterial abilities. It is because of allicin that many professional health care providers have added garlic to their practice.
The scientific community can't quite agree whether garlic is an herb, vegetable, or flower - but when it comes to healing, no one really cares. Garlic actually is a member of the lily family and it is closely related to the onion.
Garlic is one of the most potent "miracle cures" known to man. It:
Is a powerful antibiotic.
Is also kills some fungi and viruses including Athlete's Foot and even Herpes.
Can help reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels which in turn helps to reduce tissue swelling.
Reduces blood sugar levels by increasing insulin production.
Fortifies the body's immune system.
Reduces the cancer causing effects in nitrates.
Garlic can be eaten alone, added to other foods raw or cooked, taken in tablet form, or applied topically. Baked garlic is actually a tasty and healthy side dish which has a bit of a nutty flavor. Simply put an entire unpeeled head of garlic in a shallow pan, brush liberally with olive oil, and bake for about half hour at 350 degrees F. The garlic will be soft and can be easily removed clove by clove.
If you are going to buy garlic tablets, make certain you are buying pure unadulterated garlic. Do not purchase tablets that have been "deodorized". These tablets have had their allicin removed to prevent any residual odor, but it is the allicin that provides the majority of the healing. When the allicin content is changed, there is little point in even taking the tablets.
Be aware that garlic is very strong. Some people complain of stomach or digestive upsets after even one tablet. Others report minor to serious skin irritation when garlic and/or its juice is used topically. So before deciding on your new garlic regimen, start slowly. Don't take tablets and add it to every meal on a particular day. You could be sorry.
So, what can you do with garlic?
Take one 800 mg capsule daily to strengthen your immune system and fight off minor illnesses including colds, various infections, and allergy symptoms.
Apply the juice to skin irritation such as poison ivy, eczema, hives
In the rare instance that you find a case of measles or chicken pox, garlic juice soothes the skin and can prevent some scarring. The juice also kills the germs that are live on the skin, decreasing any chance of cross contamination.
Garlic has shown remarkable results in recurrent yeast and urinary track infections. For a yeast infection, a tampon completely soaked in garlic juice can be inserted and left overnight. For a UTI, take up to three 800 mg capsules each day either instead of or along with your prescription antibiotic.
Ingrown nails that have become infected, swollen and painful can be easily treated with a cotton ball soaked in pure garlic juice or fill a small bowl and let your finger or toe soak for ten minutes or so. Two or three treatments in one day can provide dramatic results.
Garlic works wonders for hemorrhoid sufferers! Make a compress of crushed garlic by putting about a tablespoon on a gauze square, and place over the affected area for about 10 - 15 minutes. It will help to sooth the inflame tissues, reduce swelling, and kill any bacteria present.
Post-partum: New moms with stitches have found great relief with some warm sitz baths with added garlic juice. It helps the tender skin heal, reduces swelling, and helps prevent infection.
Note: If you don't like chopping or pressing garlic, it is perfectly acceptable to buy a jar of real garlic that has been previously minced or chopped. This is actually an ideal alternative if you plan on using the garlic juice in some of the remedies such as a sitz bath because the garlic is packed in plenty of the juice. Having ready to use garlic is also a boon when it comes to cooking. You can add a spoonful to anything at the last minute without needing to plan ahead.